A Magazine About Food, Art & Exchange In Midtown Kingston, Published By The Hudson Valley Current.

Family Tradition

Hillside Friends and Family II   
Sunday brunch is one of my family traditions. My husband and I wake up late, brew some coffee, and slowly get ourselves and the kids ready for a treat. We love to try new places, and six years ago, prompted by the “Sunday Brunch: 10:30-2pm” sandwich board in front of the stone restaurant, we wandered into Hillside Friends and Family II (known locally both as Hillside and as Friends and Family II) on Route 209.
We were immediately welcomed by the comforting atmosphere. It is like the downstairs of a charming rustic inn. A warm crackling fireplace sets the tone, and a beautiful Christmas tree seems to hug the air. The bar is stocked, and people are quietly talking at intimate tables in the three conjoined dining rooms.
Besides the ambiance and the good food, there is something that makes Hillside extra delightful—free bonuses! Once we got our menus, the waitress brought out a basket filled with warm baked goods including mini-bagels, mini-muffins, scones, and breads. This regular complimentary treat is served with butter and jam. As if that isn’t enough to seal your commitment to this eatery, they shortly return with a large complimentary tray of fresh fruits—strawberries, grapes, pineapple, cantaloupe, watermelon, and honeydew. By this time, I am nearly full. But, I’ve already placed my order for eggs benedict with spinach. Their hollandaise is divine, and the potatoes are nice and well done. My son orders the same thing every time we go—Lobster Bisque; it’s his very favorite meal. My daughter has the pancakes (chocolate chip if they have them, otherwise banana or strawberry), and my husband gives a smile and thumbs up to the three-cheese omelet of the day with spinach and mushroom.
Owners Salah Alygad and Denise and Brianne McCarroll focus on serving unique, fresh, and high quality food in a casual atmosphere. More than likely, Denise will come by to see how your meal was and get to know you. After some pleasant conversation and several coffee refills, I look down at my plate, surprised to see that I’ve eaten all of my food. Feeling full and satisfied I pull my coat on and head into the cold Sunday afternoon to travel back home for another Sunday family tradition…family movie. If only every day could be Sunday!
–Alysse Robin