A rare individual repeat selection,
now done in consecutive months, fooled many of us into thinking which
restaurant in Catskill we would enjoy. A pleasant surprise found us
parking in front of Conca D’Oro.
February 2007 was
DP8’s last visit to Conca, and many of the details are similar.
reigns supreme, reflected in our choices:
==> Chicken fra diavolo (Mark: very good;
==> Veal parm (Ken: very good, even better
than a recent parm choice at one of our favorite places.
==> Chicken parm (Dennis: excellent sauce,
very good chicken prep)
==> Grilled scallops (Deb, of course:
satisfactory; the competition out there is tough)
==> Stuffed shrimp parm (Joyce: rich and
==> Fried shrimp (Kriss: very good)
==> special: rigatoni & portobello
mushroom & goat cheese & basil (Deb K: fabulous)
==> special: trout and sweet potato fries
(Don: very good, a nice change of pace, with a tasty seasoning)
lured no one—the Monteverds had generously appetized us just a half-hour
However, a salad was included with the entrée, a practice that
meshes with our ordering comfort zone. ‘Twas basic but still a nice mix
of greens, onions, a couple cherry tomatoes, and cucumber slices awaiting
our choice of dressing, the most commonly selected of which was the house
Two baskets of
Italian bread, accompanied by two ramekins of softened garlic butter,
started the evening, with the salads soon to follow.
Somehow, despite our protests of
fullness, the siren call of dessert beckoned
and we could not resist.
==> Strawberry shortcake (a wide mix of
opinion: Deb T: dough not cooked, cream a bit thick, mediocre; Dennis:
wonderful; Kriss: good, not great)
==> Flourless chocolate torte (Don: a
pleasant chocolatey dessert, felt like a thick fudge brownie)
==> Cannoli (Deb and Chay share: good)
==> Sambuca was enjoyed by Chay (black)
and Ken (white). Quality is always consistent!
==> And a few cups of coffee, in addition
to Ken’s perpetual supply, graced the table.
orders was simplified by the availability of a carafe of Opici Chianti, an
order that was repeated, and at a very fair price.
by Nikki was appreciated. A table of nine poses a few extra demands, and
Nikki smoothly took orders, drink requests, water re-fills, check-ups,
etc., all in good shape.
Old friend Conca is one of our most
visited fine dining area restaurants. Thus, it is easy to overlook the ambiance
of a familiar place. Lots of brick. Dark floors. Linened tables.
were set in the side room, a favorable happenstance this evening because
we were the only table in our room for most of the evening. Conca has a
reputation as a noisy, hard-to-hear setting on a normal night, so a long
table of nine is a sure recipe for not hearing each other. Tonight was
much different, with end hearing end if we so chose. (On the way out, we
were feeling sorry for Conca for a slow Saturday night.)
faced toward Main Street or the side alley. Lighting from the fan/globe
combinations cast a medium light. Chilliness from the fans was eliminated
when the tallest of us reached and turned off the whirling dervishes.
Water glasses were
regularly filled, although a couple noted an occasional dry glass. And
Ken’s coffee was mostly kept filled, a situation we last faced in
November (Rule #7: Ken must have coffee).
was satisfactory, with two hours circumscribing our stay. Courses were
presented at appropriate times and no lengthy lulls were noted. Again,
part of consistency at Conca. (Having said that, a few in the know
reviewed the recent changes in chefs.)
The final bill, including all
expenses, was a quite modest $75 per couple. No extra appetizer/salad
cost, and a wine tab that equaled the cost of one bottle most evenings,
pared the final bill.
The evening had started at the
Monteverds, a very welcome happenstance. DP8 last enjoyed the company of
Ken and Kriss in December.
Ken kept the liquids flowing—a nice variety of reds.
Kriss supplied modest but ample supplies. A
four-divide plate of three cheeses, four veggies; two pineapple bowls of
crackers; a pan of bites of Grandma Pizza Pie (Freehold Grill, I suspect);
and a three-divide pineapple bowl of cashews, M&Ms, and Krause’s
malt balls (a favorite of one of our members).
The group became
DP9 for the evening with the company of Mark, Joyce, and Dennis.
We caught up on the news that is shaping our lives. A big one was
Christopher’s new job, with graduation coming up, and the obligatory
parental concerns about adequate housing, satisfactory furnishings, the
three hour distance from the CT coast, and a realization of a major
benchmark both in his and their lives.
included: post-cruise notes from the Teators; Don’s surgery and some
ribbing; Deb’s painting; lawn mowing; early season golf games; wildlife
sightings; Dennis’ upcoming trip to Alaska; his photography; the Notar
cruise next winter to SE Asia & other parts (wow); Canadian wine;
Ken’s acquisition of a heavy safe and figuring how to get it home;
Kriss’s journeys since her return; the Teators’ new car; Deb’s 60th
birthday party next month; graduation parties coming up; the wisdom of
making Dennis sit next to Deb K!; the whereabouts of the Quinns, Adamses,
and Pisano-Burhouse; summer plans shaping up; and more.
Oh, wait, there was one more topic.
Ken was presented
with a gift from Venice, via phone from Judy. He obediently, slowly opened
the package, unfolded ...