The Cafe Pongo Cookbook by Valerie Nehez
More Than 220 Recipes from the Hudson Valley

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews


North of the hustle and bustle of New York City lies an oasis of small-town America, the quiet Hudson River Valley hamlet of Tivoli. Virtually abandoned after its boom years at the beginning of the twentieth century, when steamships carried workers across the river to factories in Saugerties, this "no stoplight" town has gone through a renaissance along its main thoroughfare, and visitors find themselves relaxing and eating great food inside the welcoming doors of funky, casual Cafe Pongo.

"The Cafe Pongo Cookbook" captures the relaxed style and sophisticated cuisine of the restaurant with more than 220 recipes adapted for the home cook, including Poppy Seed Almond Hot Cakes with Maple Cream and Almonds, Beet and Shaved Fennel Salad with Clementine Vinaigrette, Shrimp and Hominy Cakes with Cilantro Creme Fraiche, Pan-Seared Penne and Greens with Feta and Pine Nuts, Barbecued Lemon Chicken with Crushed Cumin and Coriander Seeds, Steak with Caramelized Onions and Merlot Reduction, and Bread Pudding with Golden Raisins and Apricot Glaze.

In her warm and inviting voice, Valerie Nehez, the original chef/owner of Cafe Pongo, recounts her memories and brings her culinary know-how to each dish, making you feel almost as comfortable re-creating the recipes as you would be relaxing in a wooden chair inside the restaurant.

With over 25 black-and-white photographs throughout, "The Cafe Pongo Cookbook" will make you feel nostalgic for the restaurant and the Hudson Valley, whether you've been there before or only visited vicariously through this book.


About Valerie Nehez

See more books from this Author
Val Nehez grew up in Philadelphia and spent summers cooking with her grandmother in Merchantville, New Jersey. At the age of twenty, Val left college to start a restaurant, Santa Fe. This was the first business to open in the virtually abandoned village of Tivoli, in the Hudson Valley of New York, near Bard College and Rhinebeck. Ten years later, she opened Café Pongo (named for her dog) in the same town. She now continues to collect recipes and stories about food, teaches yoga, and enjoys the ceaseless beauty of the Hudson River Valley.
Published August 28, 2001 by Simon & Schuster. 288 pages
Genres: Cooking. Non-fiction

Rate this book!

Add Review