Bistro 27 – November 2015 (dt)
5.96 – 6.5, 6.5, 6.25, 6, 6, 5.5, 5
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A promise of a short drive culminated in a left turn in Jefferson Heights to the Catskill Country Club and the newly re-organized club restaurant.
          As an area golf club restaurant, Bistro 27 strays not far from the tried and true area palates, even as it advertises as a destination restaurant, not just a golfing sidekick.
          The menu is comprised of a dozen appetizers and nearly twenty entrées, reflecting a range of the American menu.
          The seven choices at our round table included:

===> tilapia oreganata, with a garlic butter crust (Dennis: very good)
===> shrimpp fra diablo, over fettuccine (Chay: good but might have been warmer)
===> pork chops (Deb T: thin, dried out, tough)
===> osso bucco (Don: plain but good enough, tender)
===> strip steak (Kriss: ok-good, cool potatoes)
===> chicken caprese slice chicken topped with mozzarella, tomato, and basil (Deb K: good)
===> chicken capellini (Ken: good, big bowl of pasta over chicken)

Most of the entrées allowed a choice of two of: mashed potatoes, rice pilaf, pasta, string beans, and grilled zucchini.
          A house salad was included, a modest and sufficient salad.

The dessert list, about six choices in length, was orally delivered. (Do restaurants sell more desserts without a written list?) We came close to passing but Dennis’ call for coffee led to:

===> chocolate mousse: Kriss,& Don (average but good enough)
===> cheese cake: Dennis (good)
===> lime sorbet: Deb K (good; but we all know where we can find better!)
===> caramel apple pie: Ken (good)
===> black Sambuca: Chay & Dennis (their favorite post-DP8-dinner drink)

Our drink list consisted of a bottle of Malbec and one more of pinot noir for the four red wine drinkers, in addition to the two sodas, and a water.

Service by Jamie was the best part of the evening. She pleasantly fulfilled our requests, bore with us while the music played, was personable and available without hovering. We were greeted and thanked as we entered, and thanked again as we left—one of the most overtly appreciative restaurants we have encountered.

The 30x40 main room is a classy and elegant room, holding about ten tables, including our eight-place round table that is our favorite type. Comfortable banquet seats ringed the table topped with white linen, three piece silverware set held by a white linen cloth, white bread plates, and salt and pepper shakers.
          Water was promptly poured, with a carafe of water left behind. Two baskets of Italian bread soon appeared, with a ramekin each of softened butter and olive oil accompanying. (perhaps the culinary highlight of the evening)
          A diagonal-cut wainscot of four feet circled the room, topped by another four feet of designed painting, topped by another six to eight feet of light green pastel, except for the fireplace of pastel blue. Lighting came from the recessed light strip ringing the room at the eight foot level. The lofty ceiling allowed two bold and dramatic chandeliers to gracefully fill the upper reaches. The bar and entry way lay visible above the wainscoting on two sides, with spindles acting as dividers. Another open wall leads to a more casual room with casual design, and where the band would perform its 7-10 pm Saturday night schedule, a circumstance that came into play this Saturday evening.
          Water was filled, Ken’s coffee was attended to, and several notes about non-hot food temps were made but none severe enough to coerce any of us to send back.
         
Now, the 800 pound gorilla. As we sat down, the band started. We all agreed they were a good band but… 100 decibels is not in our comfort zone. Diners wanting loud music while eating got it, those wanting to dance while dining or just to dance got it, and those (us) wanting to dine and converse did not get it. That is, until the hour break the band mercifully took that lasted until nearly our departure. We scratched our head trying to figure out the strategy of luring diners to enjoy a Saturday night dining while having a band blaring music forty feet away. We were a bit more appreciative as we were leaving but we had spent our first forty-five minutes near-yelling to the person next to us. It definitely affected our scores that would have been higher otherwise. We recognized a worthy attempt to draw people in, just bad timing for a table that did not want to hear music louder than if a running vacuum cleaner had been placed in the middle of table.

Our bill for the evening came to $75 per couple, including tax, tip, and drinks—an economical evening. I’d even go back but maybe an hour earlier on a Saturday night to enjoy the food and then the music.

The evening had started at the Karneses’s abode, with Kalli needing a few minutes for a Kalli-esque greeting. Deb had prepared a platter of celery, pepper slices of three colors, and carrots; a side dish of dip; a plate of cheese; and a bowl of two types of crackers. Meanwhile, Chay kept the thirsty throats quenched – a red, a white, a white zin, beer, and soda.
          Topics for the evening—at the house, at the restaurant, and on the road—was topped with the big “man” event of the night. However, not being there, I will have to depend on the veracity of the reports from the other three. The garage door opener needed fixing, and the three huskies stepped outside from the kitchen. Stories were told that Ken pounded the crap out of the motor housing with a 2x4, bets were made, and someone was supposed to buy dinner. Never did hear the end of that one.
         Otherwise, we were entertained by: Dennis’s trip to Newfoundland in Sept-Oct; Kriss’s report on her house-sitting experience in Kaui, flights there and back, cloudy weather, and more; health of mothers; status of the singles’ relationships (next generation); the next Florida home for the Monteverds; one of the nicest Novembers in memory; power outages, and Dennis’ alleged influence; Christmas shopping; a computer virus suffered by the Karneses; golf; development on Weed Rd; flooding in the Charleston area a couple months ago; the Adamses’s trip here in December; Christmas office party; Don’s cemetery digging; and the rest has escaped the grasp of my synapses.
          Tonight was the first dinner of Year #14. Wow!