Situated near the corner of Windham’s South Street
and SR 23, Chicken Run has matured since its inception several years ago,
proving to be a popular spot for adults, kids, and deck-sitters. Plus, the
view of, and proximity to, Ski Windham is an asset. And, for a restaurant
named Chicken Run, chicken taking a back seat to steak probably does not
Big Picture? A bunch of DP8ers went home happy.
Seven of the eight this evening consumed some
combination of Porterhouse, NY Strip,
T-Bone, or Ribeye, finished in shades of medium-rare to well
(readers of past reviews can figure this). All thought the steaks very
good to excellent—tender, tasty, according to request, as well as
measuring up to higher priced establishments.
The only holdout to the steak stampede was Don, who ordered the
blackened salmon, a spicy remoulade heightening the blackened element.
All dinners come with a cornbread square, and two sides: Kent’s
cole slaw, potato salad, mac & cheese, mashed potatoes, French fries,
vegetable of the day (wax and string beans), baked beans, more cornbread.
The steak specials came with a more-than-modest bowl of good basic
salad, while Mark and Joyce had the chicken gumbo, a favorite of theirs.
The only salad-less, soup-less person was the fish-eater, the salad not
part of the dinner.
For dessert, a
slice of berry pie went to Don, while Mark and Tim sipped the not-black
Sambuca and Ken ventured into the Grappa world. (Judy, you will be mostly
impressed that when Ken could not sip any more, he allowed the leftover to
be tasted by the rest of the table, which also proved a challenge, a
worthwhile one, to our palates.)
The wine list is an extraordinary contradiction. A list of about
ten house wines is sold by the varietal at the same price of $30—no
mention of winery, vintage, country, etc. We ordered two—a bottle of the
Pinot Noir (out came a Corcia Bourgogne 2011) and the Cabernet Sauvignon
(out came a Morada 2011). On the other end is a list of about twenty
mid-high end wines, ranging from $50 to almost $200, leaving us to wonder
who would order the Ponsardin Champagne with the Chicken Pot Pie! Perhaps,
Service was a
mix. “Abby” (never did get a real name) bustled in jeans and t-shirt
to take orders and requests, was friendly and attentive, and fit the
casual nature of Chicken Run. “We serve delicious and nutritious comfort
food in family rustic dining style” is the web site description. Just to
prove the point, when the wine order arrived, six wine glasses were set in
front of Don, with the bottle already opened, waiting for the customer to
pour—real casual character. Food delivery and clearing was handled
efficiently, mostly. (A pet peeve of mine is when a waiter different from
the one who took order delivers the order, having to ask who ordered
what.) One particularly efficient way of clearing the table behind us was
to push the debris into the large garbage can dragged to the table. It was
a first for some of us.
Mention of the noise level cannot be avoided. It was loud. It was
intense, almost marrow-piercing, at times. It was a room that held about
thirty but we seemed to get all the loud-bodies. I sat in the center of
one of the rows of four and could not hear the conversation from the far
end (two seats away) for most of the evening. The noise abated only when
the first table left, or food was delivered to the second. We agreed we
cannot fault the restaurant but it certainly degrades dining pleasure.
averaged out but… A dinner bowl of popcorn awaited each table of four, a
nice starting point. Once consumed (five minutes later), we waited until
the salads arrived thirty-five minutes later, followed fifteen minutes
later by entrées. As usual, the gap is masked by our pleasure in the talk
and banter. And the evening took about two hours and small change, a
comfortable fit for us.
The final bill,
including tax, tip, and drinks, came to $100 per couple, a speck higher
than one might first think for a casual place but considering seven steaks
($22-$30 range) in the bill, it was understandable.
It’s a place to go back to, whether on the back deck on a summer
evening or inside on a cold wintry night.
And thank you, Mark and Joyce, for rounding out the table for this
classic country casual. A dirt parking greets the cars. Upon entry, the
specials board certainly favors, with the biggest letters, the steak
choices and prices while, on the right side, the dessert shelves entice
the onlooker for near-future use.
A choice of three rooms awaits, mostly in the 30-40 seating
capacity range. Branching off to the back is a long row that suddenly
opens into a sizeable bar, with TVs on, and music appropriately blaring.
Chicken Run has a range of moods that should fit most towns and
complements well the Windham scene.
Our room was a square box, with wood on all sides with no noise
suppressors, perhaps an element in the noise bomb. Distressed-wood
flooring lies underfoot, a wainscoting effect with two styles of pine-look
divided by a 1x4 comprises the walls , and light pine boarding lies
overhead. Thick, butcher-block-ish tabletops were surround by lightly
cushioned sturdy chairs. Frosted tulip glass sconces, one on each wall,
politely provided light, while four overheads blatantly glared.
Paper-napkin-wrapped three-piece settings, held in the middle with the
paper band, set the table upon our entry, along with salt & pepper
shakers, and the aforementioned popcorn bowls. We requested water around,
and out came what most would consider a small juice glass. One table end
peered out the west window, with the fading glow of the nearing autumn
sunset and dusk.
(A month earlier, Don and Deb had eased into a quiet
scenic dinner on the back deck, with a view of the ski slopes, quite a
contrast to ambiance this evening. The Karneses and Notars had also
enjoyed Chicken Run before on golf outings.)
The evening had started at the Karnes
abode, on a pleasant mid-September evening. The first topic of discussion,
by necessity, was the newly repaved driveway with its smooth sleekness
greeting the uphill drivers. (Chay had already called to caution us about
Deb had a box of crackers and a basket of freshly-prepared, baked
& buttered loaf slices, awaiting the cheese spread.
Did I say cheese spread? It was a cream cheese-feta-spinach mix,
divided in half by a layer of roasted peppers, topped with sliced almonds.
Nope, it wasn’t the good looks that got our attention. It was size—a
six-inch tall, flat-bottom globe nestled on the plate daring us to touch
it. “No way we could make a dent in that,” I thought upon espying it.
But, I was wrong; only a few miniscule lumps were visible at departure
And Chay kept the parched throats at bay. Thank you, Chay and Deb,
for the pre-session.
With seven weeks since the last get-together, we had plenty to
catch up on. Topics at the Karneses’, to Windham, and back, included, in
part: details of the driveway; the coping with retirement by the two
latest entries into that world (neither seems to be suffering any ill
effects); Kalli (who vigorously welcomed all but settled back after a few
minutes, and after a baleful look); the quarter-million dollars paid to
buy out the C-D Superintendent, and all the other comments about
malfeasance, no money (except to buy out Superintendents),
administrators’ performance, etc.; news from C-D survivors; Catskill
school stuff from Joyce, and her classes in her final year; distance
learning with three schools, each on a different bell schedule; Mark and
Chay’s golf adventures, and why they must continue playing given their
recent lackluster play; the Teator trips to the Danube, and to Cape Cod
with Lynda and Ross; the Monteverd pool closing, with Ken going in for one
last 72-degree dip; the Notars
getting rid of the landline phone; discussion of phone service and
coverage; the Adamses’ adventures and upcoming visit; the doings of our
children; Kriss’s trips; the contest of truck vs new countertops in the
Monteverd household; a note from guidance asking to call a student by a
different gender name even though there is no legal standing; the teacher
who acknowledges forgetfulness or inflexibility; the last two items that
led to fifteen minutes of dealing with trans-gender practicalities;
Ken’s assignment to ... and report back next time; revising our schedule
so “real DP8” could fit in for October; school taxes; a philosophical
musing that we must act now while our bodies and minds are able; and more
topics that comprise the glue that makes our company worthwhile and