Angela’s Pizzeria & Brewery – June (dt)
6.00 – 6.5, 6.5, 6.5, 6, 6, 6, 6, 5.5, 5
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A local pick, the Karneses promised, and local it was as we pulled into Angela’s Pizzeria and Brewery on Rt 32 just south of Story’s Four Corners in Kiskatom—a perpetual could-be but finally selected after a dozen years.
          According to its website, Angela’s has had a productive forty year history in the Hudson Valley . An unmistakably Italian eatery, it offers a generous width of menu offerings with comfortable pricing—a dozen appetizers, ten soups/salad, usual array of pizza combination, calzone, paninis, hamburgers, heroes, several pasta dishes, another eight styles of Italian dishes with choices of meats, a handful of entrées, and a few desserts.
          And Wednesday is Pasta Festa night, all you can eat, for $10, with soup (chicken fajita, this evening) or salad, and bread pudding for dessert—an event that DP8 normally would not notice (see below). If selected, one can barely do McDonald’s for that price.
          Orders for the table included:
**From the Pasta Festa menu: baked ziti – (Kriss & Ken), frutti de mare – (Kerry), chicken scampi – (Julie), and pasta puttanesca – (Mark). All were deemed satisfactory and satisfying.
**From the regular menu: chicken stagione – (Deb T), shrimp stagione – (Deb K), pork braciole – (Don), and shrimp parm – (Chay). All were deemed satisfactory. 

Off to one side, through the glass plate windows, was the Rip Van Winkle Brewery, a new venture, and whose offerings of pale ale, stout, brown ale, and light ale enticed all the usual wine drinkers this evening except for one. We deemed the beer to be satisfactory, worthy of a trip back on a dry day. Three others imbibed water or diet soda.

The dessert offerings were sparse, and two of us chose the tartuffo—formulaic, rock-hard upon delivery, but once semi-thawed was satisfactory.

Given the circumstances, it was not surprising that the bill—including tax, tip, and drinks—came to $54 per couple, an inexpensive night and a 25 minute drive from Freehold.

Service was mostly good (ugh, we did not get a name this evening). She was efficient (perhaps, a bit curt for our likes a couple times), food was prompt, water was delivered when requested, and Ken got most of the (miserable) coffee he wanted.

Ambiance was becoming of a clean, almost sterile, remodeled pancake house, which is what we seemed to remember the building was in its earliest incarnation. The front room, about a 30’x30’, bore a thin carpet, beige veneer wainscoting, lighter upper half, lit by recessed lightbulbs above and sconces on the wall.
          Our back half of the serving area, another 30’x30’ but with a sloping roof, featured the same carpet and walls, but was lit by four faux-stained-glass bowls, surrounded with the small-tile, half-globe sconces—again, formulaic but clean and orderly.
          The tables were veneer-topped, and the chairs were light-colored wood, with a wooden horizontal piece for back support, all very sturdy but our (my?) butts were suggesting to move after ninety minutes. A banded napkin held a set of spoon-fork-knife, with several sets placed mid-table along with a salt and pepper shaker, and the two piece cut glass globe holding the non-lit oil light.
          If we want a dependable, reasonably priced evening meal, Angela’s would be on the list.

The evening had started somewhat unconventionally—an evening of firsts and rarities.
          The rarities: a Wednesday evening date, due to no Friday, Saturday, or Sunday this month being accessible to all of us. (What is happening to us in retirement!);
          And then, getting home in the light. With consideration to Deb working, the Karneses made reservations for 6:30 , and we eased back home in the near-solstice light of dusk-sunset;
          And then, even though it was a Karneses’ selection, the pre-session was hosted at the Notars’, with supplies brought by the Karneses;
then, the first, we pulled a DP9, with Kerry & Julie subbing, complemented by Mark who was an evening bachelor.
          Whew!

Discussions here, there, and in-between ranged the usual direction. Even though Joyce was not present, her looming retirement was the big topic. The fact we could tease Mark caused the prolongation of topic.
          The other big topic was C-D stuff, especially with Kerry enjoying his year so much, and looking forward to another, with new requirements, return to old ones, administrative changes, C-DTA elections, politics, and other small stuff.

            Other topics: a bit of after-trips details, the weeklong dead juniper pulling project at the Monteverds, Deb’s photos of Nate and Jenae, Jen’s pregnancy, summer plans, social calendars, naughty post cards, the Adamses’ whereabouts, the Quinn and Monteverd and Notar  kids’ whereabouts, a bit of the national bad weather news, the upcoming end-of-year party at Karneses, and more.