An Ohio-native turned New Yorker, Chef Nathan Snow has been immersed in Italian cooking for more than a decade. And while New Paltz isn’t Naples, he believes the Italian approach to food and his mission for New Paltz’s newest eatery are symbiotic.
“The Italian philosophy is the regional plate to your area. In that vein it’s always been my philosophy to use the food you can get your hands on regionally,” Snow said. “Our goal is to get food like vegetables and proteins and even grains; our goal is to get it from as close to the restaurant as we can.”
Having opened in February of this past winter, The Huguenot is Main Street’s newest restaurant and project from A Tavola founders Snow and Bonnie Snow. The Huguenot features farm-to-table fare sourced from Karl Family Farms in Modena, N.Y. Just several doors down from A Tavola, the restaurant features American cuisine and a menu that evolves based on the seasons and availability of resources.
Snow, who came to New York after finding his love for food during his undergraduate studies at Ohio University, said he was first approached by Karl Farms about opening The Huguenot. After Il Gallo Giallo closed in 2013, he and his wife got the space at 36 Main St. and opened on Feb. 4.
Before moving to the Hudson Valley several years ago, Snow said he always wanted to find more restaurants that supported and utilized food from local farms.
“Ten years ago I was surprised that it wasn’t more farm-to-table stuff,” he said. “A lot of the farms go to the city to see their wares, but not in restaurants up here. I think New Paltz is, maybe not the first community to start investing in farm-to-table, but it’s definitely in that beginning trend of support.”
Snow said the menu evolves and rotates throughout the year based on what’s seasonal, with some supplements because of the winter months. Current items on the menu include a plate featuring roasted bone marrow with garlic confit, pear mostarda, cornichons and house brioce points, as well as bacon-wrapped pork loin with curried local apples, sweet potato puree and pan jus.
Because of the restaurant’s focus on farm-to-table American cuisine, Snow said he is able to push the limits of his culinary creativity, which he has enjoyed since the restaurant’s opening.
“The great thing about American food is that the sky really is the limit for what you can and can’t do,” Snow said. “There’s always room for creativity in food, but there’s something special about American food where you can really create whatever you feel like creating. There are many more rules you can break.”
Offering specials for Mother’s Day and college graduation, the restaurant’s philosophy and pricing makes for an attractive option for SUNY New Paltz students looking for something new to try.
Along with this, he believes his own family and culinary values are a perfect fit with the Hudson Valley.
“Everything is fresh, there are no preserves or sprays and there are literally farmers who go and pick things and bring them here,” Snow said. “I think people here are awesome and they all believe in supporting local farms and communities. A lot of the people who come here have become our friends, and it’s a great experience.”