Miracle on Canal Street
Posted on 03 / 06 / 2008
I simply couldn't believe it the first time I walked into Aroma Thyme, soaked in the ambiance, and took a look at the menu. What's a great restaurant like this doing in a run-down town like Ellenville?
The answer is, the owners (Marcus and Jamie) grew up in the area and wanted to give something back. And trust me, it's worth the drive from anywhere in the Hudson Valley/Catskills to experience the outstanding quality of the food they are offering.
The menu is definitely omnivorous, but it is very accomodating to vegetarians and even vegans (menu clearly marked). The focus is on organic and local ingredients, eschewing refined flour, white sugar, butter, and cream. Essential oils and Gary Null supplements add an interesting twist to the recipes.
The interior is warm dark wood and soft greens. A bar stretches across half the restaurant and is usually manned by a knowledgeable bartender armed with an extraordinary wine and beer list, which includes organic selections. There are always a few interesting beers on tap. Local artists' work is often on display.
Live music on weekends, theme nights, and beer/wine tastings make Aroma Thyme a community as well as a restaurant.
And I haven't even told you about the food! I have trouble going there without ordering the Puree of Organic Sweet Potato & Yellow Curry Soup and the Organic Mesclun salad with Grated Golden Beets, Praline Walnuts & Tarragon Dressing. That alone could be a meal but I never stop there. There are always interesting specials (at least one veg-friendly). The seitan cutlets with Asparagus, Smoked Black Pepper and Roasted Tomatoes is a delicious standby if the specials don't interest me. The whole wheat thin crust pizzas are delicious for a lighter choice.
Save room for dessert - in particular, the Chocolate Ganache Torte, which is vegan and deceptively simple (the only ingredients are raw cocoa, coconut oil, and maple syrup plus a few Gary Null supplements) but incredibly rich and tasty. My husband and I can barely finish one thin slice between us.
Aroma Thyme has thrived for four years in a town where a restaurant or store is lucky to last six months. This is a testament to Marcus and Jamie's committment to holistic, high quality food in a convivial atmosphere. If anyone can bring Ellenville back to its Catskill-era glory days, it is these two.
Outstanding food, Incredible wine list, Friendly staff
Pricey (but worth it)