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What Would Shakespeare’s Characters Eat If They Came to HVSF? 

When you come to the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival, your night out includes more than a great theater experience. You can also enjoy a mouth-watering meal at the Valley Restaurant, have a cozy picnic, or you can pick something up at concessions.

If you’re wondering what food we serve or what’s good (honestly, everything), we thought Shakespeare could provide some guidance and inspiration. Here’s what we think some of Shakespeare’s best-known characters would order if they came to eat at HVSF.   

Dining In at the Valley Restaurant

Macbeth and Lady Macbeth
Probably best to avoid anything too bloody. Scottish seafood is some of the best in the world, so Macbeth and his Missus might appreciate how wonderful the Valley’s black sea bass with slow roasted tomatoes & zucchini is.

Henry V and Falstaff
Before it all went wrong, these two would have had a great time having dinner together at the restaurant. They would have laughed while sharing antipasto, which includes delicious fresh vegetables like roasted carrots and beets with mint and feta. These two seem like steak and potatoes men, so the flat iron steak with chimichurri potato salad would be perfect.

With his reputation for being indecisive, The Valley’s prix-fixe menu, and its curated selection of choices, could really help Hamlet out. Although even then — between the steak, the fish, the lamb, the chicken, and the grilled eggplant, it would still be a difficult choice. Hamlet’s best bet would probably be to bring Horatio, and maybe even Rosencrantz and Guildenstern along, and get everyone to agree to share their entrees. To eat or not to eat? There’s no question. 

Getting a Picnic

Hermia, Lysander, Helena, Demetrius, Oberon, Titania, Bottom, and Puck (A Midsummer Night’s Dream)
A picnic on our beautiful grounds is the closest thing to a frolicking in the woods vibe we can think of. Besides, if you have a donkey in your party, you’re going to have to stay outside. For all these people and fairies, we’re going to need a feast, but if you’re dining outside during the summer, it’s also nice to keep it light. This group would enjoy the cobb salad and the roots, radishes, and radicchio salad, plus the green goddess grain bowl. We’re also going to load them up with sandwiches, all served on focaccia bread: spicy zucchini, grilled chicken, bluefish salad, and charred eggplant.  

Romeo and Juliet
Young love kind of fills you up without food. Romeo & Juliet would order a picnic because it’s a great idea for a romantic night, but they’d probably be more interested in sharing dessert. Strawberry shortcake, with those beautiful fresh red berries, would be a great choice for two young people passionately in love. Although so would the s’mores cookie, the brownie, or the lemon bar — all enticing sweets for people who are sweet on each other.

Stopping by Concessions

Edgar (King Lear)
A man in hiding still needs to eat, but he could also use the cover of being part of a crowd. Edgar can be discreet by ordering at concessions, and since he disguises himself as a beggar, he might only order a side dish, which gives him a choice of three tasty, but low cost, meals: roasted beets, chimichurri potato salad, or roasted sweet potatoes.

Cleopatra is a woman under enormous stress. At concessions she could relax in the casual ambiance, forgetting about Caesar and Rome for a while. After her meal (maybe the Middle Eastern-inspired lamb kefta with yogurt cucumber sauce, if she was craving a taste of home), Cleopatra might enjoy one of life’s — and HVSF’s — little pleasures with an ice cream from the locally crafted Jane’s Ice Cream.

What are you waiting for?

Explore The Menu

You can make a reservation at the Valley Restaurant, order a picnic, and learn more about dining as part of your HVSF experience here. And remember, you can pre-order concessions so that they’re ready and waiting for you at intermission!