A rightward turn at Cairo’s McDonald’s suggested Saugerties, and we
cheered as the Notars pulled left a few miles short of Saugerties into
Bluestone Tavern, an establishment most of us have nonchalantly passed by
For a rare third
consecutive time, the Notars (hosts and selectors) and the Quinns
accompanied the Karneses and Teators on Daylight Savings Time eve.
Tavern’s menu is classic mid-scale restaurant with a raft-full of
favorites and a half-dozen specials. Ten appetizers, several soups,
several sides, ten salads, two steaks, a dozen entrées, a range of
burgers and sandwiches, and several desserts fill out a comfortable range
Upon our seating,
Rachel delivered two baskets of sliced Italian bread accompanied by
wrapped pats of butter. Soon to follow came a bottle of SnapDragon 2013
After some perusal, choices were:
Shrimp scamp skewers, a large bowl of pasta with at least a dozen shrimp
in the classic buttery prep (Chay: very good, plenty of shrimp although
skewers were missing)
Chicken Marsala (Joyce: excellent, especially the sauce that appeared to
be made with real Marsala and not just gravy-glop)
Veal Marsala (Mark: fork-tender, tasty, excellent Marsala)
A special, the Fisherman’s Platter, with fried fish, shrimp and scallops
(Kerry: ok, a bit more fried than he realized when ordering)
A special, the Pork Medallions, with a demi-glace sauce (Deb T: so-so for
both meat and sauce)
Portobello mushroom, stuffed with roasted red peppers, spinach and garlic,
served with linguini in marinara (Julie: excellent; Chay was eyeing the
sauce for his plate!)
And from the sandwich menu, the fish taco plate with beer battered
haddock, chipotle sauce, lettuce, cheese and pico de gallo (Don: a nice
change of pace; Deb K: good but too full after the Notar splurge to really
Accompanying most of the entrées were mashed
potatoes (mixed ratings) and sautéed zucchini (more mixed ratings).
Preceding the entrées,
and part of the price, was a house salad (eight inch scalloped plate with
greens, tomato chunks, onion half-rings, carrot shreds, and a welcome
half-handful of chickpeas.
The two taco-eaters ordered the soups of the night: Deb K, the
cream of spinach (very good) and Don, the cream of chicken and mushroom
(average but still a nice starter).
Dessert’s siren call could entice only two.
Molten lava cake (can you guess? …I thought it good enough although the
lava had semi-solidified)
Dark chocolate mousse (Julie thought it excellent)
The drink order was a bit lighter, sort of, than
usual, with four drinkers of the red wine, complemented by three
water-only drinkers, and one soda. (It was a short list of house wines,
with $7 a glass, or $26 a bottle, probably a good arrangement for the
house, and easy for the casual wine drinkers.)
Service by Rachel was excellent. She was friendly,
approachable, and prompt, with frequent checks on water and needs. Near
the finish, clearing Deb’s almost full plate, she politely inquired if
the food was ok, asked sensitively and politely.
Ambiance was a pleasant mix of pub and mid-level
restaurant. It is tough to judge a restaurant by its outside appearance
when one arrives in the dark, with deep snow banks, and an almost soft
dirt park lot.
space is a conglomeration of bathroom, coat rack, waiting area. Straight
ahead was a bright, TV-enhanced ten-stool bar, with two booths—a
welcoming lair for cold nights. We turned rightward into a 20x30 room
holding four booths and five tables. Two sets of folding double doors
allowed peering into a twin room.
Medium-brown wainscoting filled the bottom four feet of wall with
the remaining four feet wallpapered in grape leaf and vine motif. The twin
room used burgundy paint instead of wallpaper.
Light came from the six recessed ceiling lights as well as the four
sets of twin sconces—comfortably lit for atmosphere. And a couple
windows peered into the darkness but would have shown High Falls Rd and
Old State Route 32 if daylight had allowed.
Three tables were combined, with Chay and Mark taking the ends. A
dark cloth napkin held a knife and fork, with two tea votive candles set
inside glass bulbs.
Noise, at first, seemed problematic but either we accustomed to it
or it was not as noisy as first thought. Conversations were reasonably
audible, and then easily heard as the room thinned.
Dinner tab, with all included, came to a whopping $65
per couple, the second consecutive low cost event, with an interesting
contrast in restaurant styles from the month before at Cask and Rasher.
We had started at the Notars, their second hosting,
and DP8’s fourth ever hosting by our valued New DP8ers.
Mark and Joyce had prepared a welcome start for the evening
(although more than a couple of us realized too late that we had eaten
more than an appetizer’s share! Ha).
A bowl of nuts was the first welcome, but it was the next two that
stole the limelight. A round of baked brie, warmed to a languid drip-flow,
topped with honey and springs of rosemary, waited to be spread on the
toasted bread pieces, and then topped with the maple-coated toasted
walnuts. Oh my. And anyone not using a plate probably had to wipe cheese
off the counter or floor.
And Mark had made pretzel chunks, about an inch or more across,
soft and chewy, awaiting the mustard dip.
A variety of beer awaited the beer drinker or two, while a McGregor
2008 Cabernet Franc and a Ravines 2011 Chardonnay tempted the wine
Although the four of us had met only two weeks
previous, we had an evening full of talk and chat. Number one topic was
the rare Karnes mid-winter trip to Florida. Their adventure was
“enhanced” by aircraft mechanical problems, weather delays, finding a
hotel room on one’s own, and other ancillary inconveniences.
And the six weeks of brutal Arctic weather was drawing to a close,
we were promised. Greater than usual fuel usage, five foot deep frost,
dog-walking issues, staying comfortabl—all have been daily topics. Good
bye, February; and, Spring, get your arse in gear!
The Quinns and Teators had attended Pat Hoffman’s funeral, and
the ensuing lunch get-together. We chuckled when the guest speaker (Chris
H) told of his favorite teacher (of course, Kerry was sitting there to
soak in the announcement of his name)!
Other topics included: a smaller hot tub, the healing of the
missing toe nail, HS baseball season, the Quinns’ dog-walking, the
perils of raising HS and beyond kids, Conor’s teaching experiences,
Daylight Savings Time, C-D stuff (thank you, Kerry, for reminding us
retirees why we should not pine to return!), online curriculum uselessness
again, skiing, the whereabouts of the Monteverds and Adamses, a possible
Adams visit next month, Catskill HS doings, Joyce’s upcoming France trip
(and Mark, too), our enjoyment of visiting a restaurant we keep meaning to
try, ...), and more to make an evening pleasant and laugh-provoking.