I knew right from the start that it was going to be a terrible decision to make. Would it be the mussels in saffron cream sauce from the specials menu? The taragon mussels, or mussels Brittany, with cream and mixed herbs? (All are specials, and all are so extraordinary it’s impossible to take a bite without saying, “Oh. My. God.”) … No! The prime rib (Friday, Saturday and Sunday only). That’s it. So huge, (unless you order the more dainty English cut); so delicious; so perfectly cooked … But wait! What about the roast duck? Ahh, the roast duck …
I adore duck, particularly a half a duck that allows me to enjoy both dark and light meat. There aren’t many places to order it in the Gardiner area, so the duck won in the end. Chef Jean Boulidor, from Brittany, France, has owned and run the Bruynswyck Inn for 14 years, and in that time he has made more than a few roast ducks. His primary treatment of it is with an unlikely and delicious cognac strawberry sauce and it is served on a bed of fruit. The breast meat is juicy, the skin is crisp, the sauce is wonderful. (I keep telling myself that I will be taking half of my half a duck home for the next day, but this has yet to happen.) It comes with a starch, a salad and a cooked vegetable and while you are waiting, you are served crudités (raw vegetables and dip) and a basket of excellent bread and butter. At $21 it’s a deal.
For a lighter, less expensive but equally wonderful meal, the Bruynswyck Inn has a Bistro Menu available in their bar. It features things like sliced sirloin served on french bread with garlic butter melting on top ($15) which also comes with a starch, crudités and a basket of bread and butter.
The Bruynswyck Inn is a small, homey, charming place where you’re likely to see the same faces every time you go. You’ll find it at 2162 Bruynswick Rd., Wallkill (Bruynswick Road at the intersection of Hoagerburg Road, a stone’s throw from the Shawangunk Fire Station). I try not to let it annoy me that the restaurant is spelled Bruynswyck and the road is spelled Bruynswick, and that both are way too hard to spell anyway. The food is so good it’s easy to let such petty (annoying!) things go.
They’re open Wednesday through Sunday 5:00pm to 10:00pm. Manager and Bookkeeper Lee Ann Muller has been with the Inn for all 14 years and recommends reservations. Give them a call at (845) 895-1147, and don’t take my seat at the bar!