Times Union - If it were possible to take a perfect Hudson Valley fall afternoon, chop it up, cook it and lay it on plates, you'd get Zakary Pelaccio's mid-October fare at Fish & Game. Here's what it would look like:
Butternut squash richly braised in maple with pine nuts, a wet smear of fresh cow's milk cheese and hints of leek, apple and turnip alongside paper-thin slivers of white carrot.
Duck breast cut from a bird aged for three weeks in a barn across town. It's tender, spit-roasted over a small fireplace, served with sunchokes and sourdough-bread sauce with the slick texture of olive oil the loaf bathed in.
Housemade cow's cheese again, this time whipped to a smooth pillow for pebbles of ginger candied to a jolting, sublime sweetness, a reminder of how mesmerizing that tiny root can be when in the right hands.
Pelaccio keeps you clueless to his $75 seven-course productions — the only dinner option at Fish & Game — until you walk in, but trust him. He's turned this 19th-century blacksmith shop into Hudson's prime stage for the lush harvests of Columbia County. Each dish reflects both this hip riverside city and the farmlands surrounding Pelaccio's hearth-heated hangout.