My most vivid memories of being a camp counselor in the late 1970s are about nights out at the Andes Hotel in upstate Delaware County. The scene was a mix of tattooed, bearded bikers shooting pool in the bar and blue-haired ladies and gents square dancing in the cavernous dining room. We counselors used to order pizza and beer from the bar.
Nights at the 1850s two-story Colonial hotel, with its gracious rocking-chair porch, were exotic for a city kid, as was the night I spent in one of the hotel rooms out back. (Don’t tell my parents.)
On a recent steaming hot July Sunday, I’m sitting on that same porch, eating smoked salmon benedict prepared with “crisp roesti potatoes, poached eggs and an herb Hollandaise.” The meal has been prepared by Ed O’Neill, a Culinary Institute of America-trained chef who owns the hotel with his wife, Sally.
The Andes Hotel is not the honky-tonk I remember. Neither is the sleepy village of Andes, situated halfway between Woodstock and Cooperstown, about three hours from New York City.
With its fresh, locally grown menu items, an array of music and theater, the annual Harvest Moon Ball, updated rooms and Cans & Clams nights in its summer shack, the Andes is as hip as any NYC boutique hotel. It draws locals, second-home owners and tourists.
Kelsey Grammer, who owns a 1900s farmhouse in Andes, stops in frequently — it’s like an upstate “Cheers.” Ben Stiller recently dropped by. Main Street, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, lures sophisticates with its art galleries, antiques and gift shops, a farmers market and the Tay Tea shop and restaurant. Read More