Local Dining on a Dime: Main Course

Good food is something to savor and if it comes at an affordable price, it’s something to celebrate. Main Course, located at 175 Main Street in New Paltz, is a farm-to-table restaurant offering a wide variety of dishes made with local ingredients.

According to their website, Main Course’s motto is “Fresh, Local, Sustainable, Seasonal.”

I had the pleasure of speaking with Annette Tomei, the general manager of Main Course who feels her mission is to supply her customers with fresh ingredients and a sense of community when they dine.

“Our mission as a whole is to serve delicious food that is seasonal and sourced from our local farm community,” she said. “It’s a place for people to hang out and make themselves at home.”

This “at home” feeling is reflected in the decor of the restaurant. It’s farm chic and isn’t stuffy. With its wooden tables and mason jars, it definitely has some country flair. The feel that the company is trying to convey through their decor is “rustic but with an urban feel.” With whimsical decorations like papier-mâché strawberries and beautiful flower arrangements in glass jars, the scene is fun and comfortable.

Main Course also values making their company environmentally friendly. All of their disposable items are biodegradable. All of the garbage is sorted at the end of each work day to ensure that products are going to be recycled properly.

As a college student, I’m looking for cheap food that is delicious and will fill me up. Here, all meals are made to order using fresh local ingredients and every order is unique to each customer.

Main Course has a wide variety of foods for $10 and under that are filling and delicious. For instance, street foods like empanadas and falafel are all under $7. Many of their paninis and sandwiches are under $10. There is also the “Main Course Combo” which is half a sandwich, a cup of soup and a salad for $9.65. But my favorite, also for under $10, is the create your own chopped salad.

Overloaded with beautiful greens and bright red tomatoes, I could taste the freshness of their products within the first bite. The contrast of the salty tobacco onions (fried onion straws) and the sweetness of the candied walnuts gives the salad depth beyond the vegetables. Accompanied by creamy balsamic and a sprinkling of sprouts, it was just as beautiful to look at as it was to eat (I even had seconds for a midnight snack!).

You might be thinking, “What is so special about a salad?” In my opinion, it’s fresh, well-decorated and very delicious. For a college student who wants a break from the dining hall, this is a perfect healthy meal that won’t break the bank.

Check out my Instagram, @cheapcollegecuisine, where I will be highlighting this restaurant and others from the local area that are all $10 or less.