As I continue on my quest to find places that have great bar menu's or even just great places to try that are affordable. It has been a few years since I went to Le Express Bistro & Bar, Route 376 (1820 New Hackensack Rd, Poughkeepsie, NY) but on the encouragement of my two friends, David and Michael who are Le Express enthusiasts, we made the trip on a Wednesday. Their reason I should go here on a Wednesday? It is $1 Oyster day. Ok, I'm in!

When looking for "values" at restaurants/bars, know that most of the specials might only be available at the bar. Make sure to ask, ie, 'Are your happy hour specials also available at the tables or only in the bar?' Better to find out when you get there, than when you get your bill.

So I started with one of their winter cocktails, Maybe It's Cold Outside and my friend got the Ginger Bread Boy. The bartender let us know that the Ginger Bread Boy was a little sweet. I loved my cocktail, because it was rye whiskey based, but I tried my friends Ginger Bread Boy, I instantly thought I was drinking a ginger bread cookie, it was delicious. Talking to the bartender and then the owner, they mentioned that the winter cocktails would only be available for another few weeks.

It was suggested that we start with a dozen oysters and the roasted shishito peppers. The oysters were freshly shucked for us and the peppers arrived warm with a dusting of coarse salt. Both items where so tasty and delicious. Before too long, both of these were devoured and we had ordered the chicken liver pate spread. It was rich and served with even more grilled bread.

Yes, you can quickly spend some money here, but there are many choices that are affordable and filling. Go into this or any other place with a plan and take advantage of most businesses having their menus listed online. Also look at the facebook page for the business before you go. Often, places will post specials that are only available for that day/night and you would have to mention them when ordering.

Where do you think Cheap Hudson Valley Eats should visit next? It can be in Dutchess, Orange, Ulster or Columbia county. Email Brandi at

With tax and gratuity we spent $75 for 3 people for our drinks and apps.