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Rhinebeck Locals Serve Up Comfort Food At Bangers Gastropub

By Andrea Pyros

This fall, a restaurant opened in a historically tricky spot in Rhinebeck, New York, tucked away on 22 Garden Street across from Sunflower Natural Foods and adjacent to the popular Japanese standby Osaka. Other restaurants have come and gone from this location including, most recently, Puccini and, before that, Portofino Ristorante. But Vinnie Sassone and Colby Miller, co-owners of Bangers Gastropub, are hoping to make a success out of their new venture by tapping into their strong Rhinebeck roots and by offering crowd-pleasing pub fare at reasonable prices.

Sassone manages the restaurant while Miller, who trained in New York, serves as Bangers’ head chef. Both were born and raised in Rhinebeck, and worked in a variety of the village’s restaurants over the years, including the now shuttered Arielle where they bonded over dreams of opening their own space.

“We had a couple of drinks one night, and talked about how we wanted to bring Rhinebeck back to Rhinebeck,” Sassone says. “We wanted a place where locals could go and feel comfortable and not attacked financially. We are so attached to this town, and we really wanted to make a communal place where our friends and family could convene.”

Enter the comfortable and welcoming Bangers, with its newly opened kitchen, beautiful wooden booths and expanded bar, warmly lit with Americana music playing in the background. In balmier seasons, there’s even a nicely secluded patio. Bangers’ vibe is, as intended, welcoming and neighborly — Sassone jokes that Thursday nights there are “like Cheers.” 

The menu, as you’d expect from the name, is English comfort food: hearty, rich and simple, and the pair have taken pains to honor their Hudson Valley diners’ desire for seasonal and local ingredients. Produce, when possible, is from area farms, and Northwind Farms in Tivoli supplies the meats. There’s a full bar, and plenty of beer, about half of which feature New York State breweries (including picks from Peekskill Brewery and Elizaville’s Sloop Brewing Co.).

Local friends recommended I try the buffalo cauliflower appetizer ($10) because it “melts in your mouth,” with another promising that the Scotch egg ($10) “is the real deal.” An actual English native said her children loved the fish and chips ($18). Actually, I did, too. Salty and delicately fried, they’re hard to resist, and the Bangers and Mash ($18) with Miller’s housemade sausage was a nice take on a classic dish.

A starter salad from the specials menu, with beets, goat cheese and pumpkin seeds ($14), was a fresh, flavorful counterbalance to our heavier main course choices. There are other salad entrees including a smoked salmon quinoa with arugula, avocado, red onion and tomato ($14) if you’re not feeling as indulgent, but for the most part, the menu is not intended to kick off your cleanse. Fine by us — we ended our most recent evening there with a delicious bread pudding special and a Guinness float with Jane’s bourbon pecan ice cream ($8) that my dining companion polished off.

There are $12 kids’ meals and a Sunday brunch, too, if you prefer less party time and more family time. Ultimately, the duo’s goal was to make a restaurant where locals would want to hang out, and in that they’ve done a bang-up job.

Bangers Gastropub
22 Garden St., Rhinebeck, NY
(845) 516-5283
Monday–Saturday 3-10 p.m.
Sunday 11 a.m.-10 p.m.
Bar is open until 1 a.m. every day

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Posted by Lisa Green on 12/04/17 at 09:24 AM • Permalink