Mountain View BrasserieFebruary 2013 (dt)
7.35 – 8, 7.5, 7.5, 7.5, 7.3, 7, 7, 7

Our traditional winter & close-to-home & support-the-local-economy date found us once again at our favorite—Mountain View Brasserie. (This marked our tenth visit in over ten years to a Buel-Suhner restaurant!)

The details of ambiance have been documented in past write-ups (review past ones for more). (However, we should note that Terry’s summertime gardening and exterior effects are one we miss by dining during winter’s depth.) The one note to repeat is the coziness of the back corner table/banquette.
          Although we know the menu well, the specials always tempt a few, or more, of us, and we delight in Terry’s presentation, almost breathless, always making us regret that we cannot order multiple dinners.
          After delivery of two silver bowls of thinly sliced French bread with accompanying ramekins of softened butter came the salad/appetizer course (house salad/soup included with dinner):
house salad (Deb T, Mark, Joyce: for all, a basic & competent starter salad)
tomato basil bisque (Don, Lynda: delightfully tomato-y, thick enough to almost bite, with enough basil to counter the natural acid)
Caesar salad (Chay, Deb K, Ross: very good, for all)
          We often bypass the regular appetizer list, knowing salad/soup is included, and that the entrées stretch our belts.

At the fifty minute mark, entrées arrived.
Broiled Seafood Medley of Shrimp, Scallops, Sole, Half-Lobster Tail stuffed with Crabmeat with Lemon White Wine Butter Sauce: (Don, Lynda: all parts were cooked just right, with both taking home leftovers; Lynda wished for some dipping butter)
Broiled Boston Scrod Fillet garnished with Shrimp served with Shrimp Jamabalya Sauce (Deb K, Joyce: very good fish, Jamabalya could have been spicier, two jumbo shrimp in sauce were positively noted)
Sautéed Sea Scallops served with Spinach and Bacon Sherry Vinaigrette (Deb T, of course: one of her favorite preparations, would order without bacon next time)
Sautéed Wiener Schnitzel with Spaetzle (Ross: excellent; [one of Don’s favorites, too])
12 oz. Prime Rib of Beef au jus (Chay: medium well, and excellent; Mark: medium rare, excellent)
          The entrées came with au gratin/baked potato and the fresh medley of green beans & carrots. They appear simple enough but we have dined at enough places to not take that for granted, especially au gratin.

Dessert beckoned, of course, with the specials complementing the regular list.
==> white chocolate bread pudding with caramel bourbon sauce (Deb K: excellent, an outstanding caramel sauce; Mark: good but a little dry for his tastes; Lynda, with the spoon, enjoyed also)
==> mango gelato (Joyce: very good)
==> Grand Marnier chocolate mousse with fresh orange sections (Ross: very good, enjoyed all the accompaniments, as did Lynda with the spoon)
==> warm apple tart with vanilla bean ice cream and caramel bourbon sauce (Don, with Deb’s help: very good, and a change of pace from the usual chocolate)
==> Lynda needed only a spoon, reaching in a couple directions.

Chay’s influence lured Mark and Deb T into the Black Sambuca world.
          This commingled with an offer of an after-dinner drink on the house. Complementing the other drinks were two tequilas, a triple sec, a Grand Marnier, and a Kahlua. Thank you, Terry and MVB.
          Service, as we have written time after time, was excellent. Rebecca was attentive to details, approachable, pleasant, organized, mighty careful with hot plates—a testament to MVB training. One benchmark of mine is a waiter taking orders and then delivering as if he/she knows where it is supposed to go, and Rebecca easily passed. Water glasses were replenished frequently, and empty plates were removed before the whole table was finished (an occasional topic among DP8, a topic that we see no one “right” answer, and it was fine).
          Pacing matched well with our habits. Something for the hands (bread) came within minutes of seating, entrées came at the fifty minute mark, no long lulls were noticed, and we left a speck over two-and-a-quarter hours.

            The wine list is a nice mix of origins, a more interesting list than I remember. With one or two more wine drinkers than usual, we needed three bottles, including:
==> Anne Pichon 2011 Gris Montagne de Ventoux (Rose)
Mauro Veglio 2009 Barbera d'Alba
Domaine de Montvac Arabesque 2009 Vacqueyras
          The rosé bottle was the first one ever ordered, done so to accompany four of our fish/seafood dinners, while the reds seem compatible with all. And wine pricing at MVB seems fair, with modest markup, especially on the Vacqueyras.
          The final bill, including tax, tip, and drinks came to $112 per couple, a very reasonable cost for all the facets of the evening’s experience.

Thank you, Terry, Ben, Max, and cast for once again reminding us what a competent, classy meal in a well-run restaurant should be, and for spoiling us!

We first convened at the Karneses’, edging up a snow-scraped driveway, blaming Nemo, the first named winter storm ever recorded in our write-ups. Coinciding was a just-minutes-before-our-arrival Shop-Rite delivery, necessitating Deb’s attention for food distribution, and prompting a discussion about supermarkets’ home-delivery services, the pros and cons of which we tossed around for a while.
          One inescapable change was the four different faces, as noted by the four different names above. Tim & Judy, Ken & Kriss were absent, basking in the Florida sun. (Howdy, to all, and hope you are enjoying your stays.)
          Instead, subbing, quite capably, I must state for the record, were Mark & Joyce (our first two-time substitutes), and Ross & Lynda (first timer...). Thank you, to the four “next-on-the-list” players.
           Deb had prepared a counter of hors d’oeuvres—a veggie tray with dip, and a basket of crackers with cheese bits. With our destination only ten minutes away, Deb wisely and deliberately limited the choices, a welcome effort so that we could more fully enjoy MVB. Good idea, Deb.
          And Chay slaked any thirsts – a growler of beer from Beer World, and an Apothic Red.
          And on we talked. Overriding all other topics was the death of Z, a veteran phys ed teacher at Cairo-Durham, a long-time friend, and perpetual character. A flurry of different angles of the story could not mask our shock and sadness, especially for his family. Even our toast to Z during dinner at MVB was followed by one of our most subdued moments ever in DP8 history. Au revoir, Z.
          Of course, the absence of the sun-basking four was mentioned a few times, and then more. I shall not repeat some of the things said about people who forsake wonderful Greene County winter weather!
          Another big variable this evening were the stories that the fresh-faced foursome brought. So, amongst all we may have mentioned, in no particular order: Lynda and Ross’s time in Florida, their house-swap, people they saw (Tim & Judy, for two), John’s serious fall and neck injury, visit with Lynda’s mom (Lynda can be such a dutiful, meek daughter, at times!); Chris N at RPI, tuition costs (the $60,000 figure was tossed around! EEK!), school stuff at CD and Catskill (Joyce), CD board decision about elementary split, new administration, Deb T’s France albums (shared with Terry, also), Nemo’s two to three feet of snow in New England and how we were spared (only eight inches), Deb T’s new job as property manager, skiing and clearing snow, and more.