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A Bite With Gia at Oak and Reed

Published: January 11, 2023
Crème brulée is but one of the delights included in a fine dining experience at Oak and Reed. (Image: Rico k via Pixabay)

This article was contributed by Gia Nina, food enthusiast in the Hudson Valley area.

Hello, my dear friends and welcome back to A Bite With Gia, where we discuss the best places to eat in the Hudson Valley. This week we are visiting Oak and Reed, another Middletown restaurant, which brings a touch of New York City to our corner the Hudson Valley. If you enjoy fine dining, then Oak and Reed is the place for you.

Named after Aesop’s Fable “The Oak & The Reeds” for its moral depiction of resilience, the owners see Oak and Reed as integral to Middletown’s great strides towards revitalizing the area and sparking resilience in the lower Hudson Valley. I can appreciate the sentiment, as resilience allows us to move forward when we feel like there is no way to do so. 

Oak and Reed’s team consists of Laura Moore, Joseph Moore, Trace Martin and Dan Garrison. When you enter the restaurant, you will notice the kitchen has an open concept which allows you to see the two chefs hard at work creating the delicious meal you’re about to enjoy. The space is very comforting, and has a high-end vibe. The staff is diligent and ready to assist. Everything is chic and clean. 

Now, on to what really matters: their menu. My favorite dish by far is the “Buttermilk Fried Chicken,” which comes with a side of whipped mashed potatoes and bacon braised collard greens. This delicious comfort meal is a fan favorite with its crispy chicken topped with maple syrup — so yummy it’ll keep you coming back for more.

Other choices on the menu include Korean fried broccoli, kale salad, and a well-rounded assortment of proteins, such as grilled octopus, duck congee, grilled swordfish, and jerked pork chops. I’ve tried most of their dishes and they are all unique and delicious, especially the cornbread. 

Oak and Reed offers indoor and outdoor dining, with an open kitchen for the added interest of watching the chefs prepare your meal. (Image: Gia Nina)

If you choose to dine outside, the tables are in an alcove between the buildings, providing a measure of privacy. The last time I visited, I chose to sit inside and ended my meal with crème brulée. Below the sweet, golden-brown crust, hides a silky-smooth crème, and the combination just melts in your mouth. 

Overall, the restaurant, staff and location bring a real downtown New York City experience to our modest Middletown. I’ll tell you a secret: If you’re dining in, you could just order the crème brulée, and it would be worth the trip. 

One of the things that makes an enjoyable meal is to have some soft music to promote digestion. Have you ever eaten at one of those restaurants that plays loud dance music? I just can’t stand that! It’s almost like trying to eat at the gym. At Oak and Reed, subtle music in the background enhances the already nice ambiance. The restaurant has a rustic modern look that brings a classic aesthetic to the locale, and they also offer a decent variety of wines.

Eating at Oak and Reed was a pleasant experience and I look forward to going back. Next week we’ll head to another city in the Hudson Valley, with the goal of letting you know all the amazing eateries that the area has to offer. In the meantime, if you’re in downtown Middletown, you might visit Oak and Reed for a delicious Bite with Gia. 

Oak and Reed

18 Orchard Street

 Middletown, New York 10940. 

Phone: (845) 775-4200. 


Open for service

Tuesday: 5 pm – 9 pm

Wednesday – Saturday: 11:30 am – 9 pm

Sunday: 11:30 am – 8 pm