“A friendly little Shindig in the heart of Woodstock,” this restaurant does indeed feel like the heart of the town. Known for comfort food made with organic, local, and seasonal ingredients, Shindig seats about 25, tops, and is as cozy as they come. Light wood, blue tile, leather bar stools, and a sliding barn door that leads to the bathroom all add to its rustic charm. In the corner, a family carves pumpkins and the kids bring their plates back to the kitchen (I assume they’re friends of the owners; you don’t have to do that yourself).
We get cozy in our small booth and quickly learn the pace is a relaxed one, with oldies playing in the background. First up is Buffalo Chicken Melt, which features crunchy, buttery bread, thin fried chicken, spicy Buffalo sauce, a slice of pepper jack, and coleslaw. There’s also some mild ” bleu cheese business” that cuts through the other rich flavors. It’s a sandwich you can really dig into.
We also get the original Shindig Burger: medium-rare Hereford beef, Vermont cheddar, a slice of romaine, and smoky house sauce. A mild onion chutney is sweet and slightly charred. The juicy grilled tomato drips down the burger and makes the whole thing a bit of a mess.
Mac ‘n’ cheese creamy béchamel is made with cheddar, Parmesan, and havarti, set off by a touch of truffle and finished with a Parmesan bread crumb crust. It’s hard to resist eating it all in five minutes flat. Crisp leaves of Parmesan Brussels sprouts are another dish that’s especially delicious.
We finish with pear-apple crisp topped with a thick, not-too-sweet cream. It tastes like the last, best piece of cobbler: The one that has a ton of topping, and that gooey, irresistible crust-meets-fruit layer. You can taste the salt and oatmeal, and tons of cinnamon. The fruit is slightly undercooked, but it doesn’t take away from the flavor.
Almost everything at Shindig is local, from the bread sourced a block down down at Bread Alone, to the Keegan Ales beer from nearby Kingston. It’s stationed right on the main drag, Tinker Street, in the middle of town. And it fills up as the night goes on, locals happily taking their seat at the bar and saying hello to each other and the staff. It’s no surprise the place is owned by four “should-know-better-by-now lovers of food and good times.”