Chef Tom Coliccio, co-founder of New York City's Gramercy Tavern, headed up Topping Rose House's restaurant when it opened in 2012, a year before the hotel's own doors and beds welcomed visitors.
Now headed by Ryan Murphy, this restaurant with its charming wrap-around porch, white millwork walls and a photograph by local multi-media artist Clifford Ross will make is a sensory experience, without the stuffiness that a fine restaurant can sometimes bring.
Topping Rose House also has its own farm, with many bustling, well-fed hens, so expect a seasonal and farm fresh menu, with some of the best pasta you'll have. A hearty breakfast menu with lemon pancakes with fresh jam and adorable tiny jars of Crown maple syrup imported from Duchess County made my morning.
All meals are buttoned down affairs; come as you are, even in the cute and thoughtful Hunter boots you can find in the hotel rooms. The service is friendly and upbeat, but also casual.
The intentionally rustic vibe (you feel as though you've dined in an upscale country barn) does not mean table wine: selections draw from local stars like Channing Daughters and Wölffer Estate as well as Burgundy.
Seafood connoisseurs will love the touches like the local hand-dived sea scallops. A star item for me was the beautifully-cooked cauliflower with truffles from Burgundy, served with Acacia honey.
If you'd rather not stay the night, consider coming here for a meal alone: it is refreshing to give you pause.