A twist with a twist.
For the second time in 136 events, an “Almost DP8” selected our
destination. So, when Ross turned left and uphill from the driveway, we
. But we sped past Bistro Brie, then lumbered past Chicken Run, and before
we could make headway to Brandywine (the last guess), we pulled into the
parking lot of Messina’s, a restaurant that crossed DP8’s path in
(Many past comments still apply so I will not linger as usual; for a look
back, go to: http://www.dteator.com/restaurants/zMessina.htm)
The menu is a
full one, and for some reason, for me, a tad tough to easily decipher
despite its organization. In the end, we chose:
==> orrechiette alla barese: little ear
pasta (Deb K has a different name for them! And one that prevents men from
eating them!) with chopped broccoli, sweet Italian sausage, garlic, virgin
olive oil, crushed red pepper (Deb K: excellent, matched what she wanted
for the evening) (pronunciation? aw-rehk-KYET-tay)
==> filet Marsala: sliced filet mignon
sautéed with mushrooms in a Marsala wine demi-glaze (Mark: excellent,
ordered medium-rare, although he ordered “cooked” which our waiter
initially interpreted as well-done)
==> rainbow trout almondine: 12 oz. trout
filet pan seared & served with toasted almonds on top in a lemon,
butter & white wine sauce (Lynda: very good)
==> seafood fra diavlo: shrimp, scallops,
calamari, mussels & chopped clams, sautéed in a spicy plum tomato
sauce served over linguini (Chay: excellent, with a few minor details -
the sauce a bit thin, the “heat” not as hot as he hoped, the calamari
he asked to not include were definitely present)
==> veal alla classico: dipped in egg
batter, sautéed; served with a light brandy cream sauce, mushrooms,
artichokes, sundried tomato & spinach (Ross: excellent)
==> chicken patron, a special: white and
dark chicken parts, sausage, peppers in a red sauce over ziti (Don:
excellent, nice variety of flavor and texture, both Teators enjoyed it the
==> baked salmon, a special: a length of
fish topped with a Portobello mushroom (Joyce: very good)
with the house vegetable, and roasted red potatoes although rice, or a
baked potato, or pasta was available.
Two wrapped baskets of thinly slice bread, accompanied by two
ramekins of individual servings of lift-top butter, arrived within ten
In a nice touch, compliments of the house (Deb K’s connection?),
two plates were set, both with the Cheese Bruschetta—a four cheese &
herb mixture spread on toasted Italian bread, melted, served, heaped with
artichokes, waiting for a spread of pesto sauce.
Meanwhile, soup and salad came with most dinners. The soup, a cup
of shrimp bisque (deemed excellent), was a comfortable second course.
(Some confusion about which dinners included soup meant a couple of us did
not enjoy a cup of soup; minor, but clumsy when a soup was offered to me a
half-hour after the fact and when entrées were half-consumed.
All were eligible for the house salad – a mix of several green,
with slice carrots, red onion, pepper, grape tomatoes, olives, a crouton
or two, and a choice of dressing. Ground pepper from the mill was
available; anyone tasting commented on how fresh and how sneeze-inducing
A scoop of ice cream as dessert
came with five of the dinners, and two availed themselves (Chay and
Lynda). (Kriss, we were thinking of your eight dollar dollop; you could
have had twice as much for eight dollars less!)
Don succumbed to the chocolate mousse snowflake cake (average-good
but it was fun bantering with the waiter about her birthday week cake and
how many days there are in a week); Ross enjoyed the cannoli with the
crisp crust, while Ross and Chay enjoyed a snifter of Sambuca.
Seven (of seven) were red wine
drinkers this evening, consuming two bottles of the Castello de Gabbiano
2012 Chianti – a sufficient enough red, especially with Italian food.
Service from Collette and
fellow waiters was good to very good – attentive and prompt. Collette
seemed to take the orders, another delivered, another filled water, and an
older gentleman ambled by once to verify all was well. Water was filled,
requests filled with alacrity, with a pleasantness that fit the ambiance
The final tab, $90 per couple, included a slight math contest
between Chay (in his head) and Deb (calculator). (Both came up with the
same figure but I am not allowed to tell you who won!).
Off we headed home, in a full moon hanging over the town in front
Of course, the treat of the night was Lynda
and Ross hosting the pre-session. Four of us had not been in
this neck of the woods in a looong time, and certainly not to the house,
so it was an enjoyable novelty.
Spread out on the coffee table in front of the flickering fireplace
fire were dishes of cheese chunks, salsa, cashews and salsa corn-chip
cups. A trip to the kitchen, with the view of the side rooms and deck
area, effected the filling of wine glasses – merlot, chardonnay, or
The other highlight of the pre-session was Henry, the house’s
Jack Russell, who entertained, encouraging anyone who would listen to play
tug-of-war and go-fetch. The climax came when Lynda unveiled a child’s
toy (found at the thrift shop, she claims)—.... Nice addition to DP8,
Lynda and Ross. (And Henry’s helping himself to hors d’oeuvres while
all of us were filling wine glasses in the kitchen added more character!
The cheese chunks with canine indentations were set aside.)
The Monteverds are still enjoying Florida weather, while the
Adamses are RVing America’s far Southwest (looking forward to seeing you
all again soon). And then Deb T was hustling back from her Amish quilting
bus trip; but she was late enough, a tad tired, a little too far away to
attend so it was DP7 this evening.
Discussion topics: Henry, of course. Then, the house, history of
the house, Pisano “kids,” the Notarnicola kitchen re-do and waiting
for the island butcher-block top, Deb’s bus trip, below-average March
temperatures, our narrow recent escape from a major snowstorm, golf and
golf courses and golf business, Catskill golf, Greene County golf, the
high school baseball season, Chay advising the C-D Life Smarts NYS
champions and upcoming national competition to Florida, retirement (barely
three months left for two of the three workers at the table), a student
trip to France, skiing, the table full of children next to us who were
quiet and well-behaved, and more topics that have eluded this pen.
And the ride up Cunningham Road is a classic country viewscape. As
we rounded the junction with CR 10, a view of Ski Windham emerged with its
snowy fingers of ski trails.
The way back was a bit trickier, with a squall that laid down a
major dusting on the road. The snow melt of a 50 degree day was turning
slushy in the flash freeze under the full moon, the same moon that hung
over Chicken Run and its overcrowded parking lot as we left. And a thin
layer of thawed muck that tracked everywhere had us tiptoeing to the cars.
Thanks, Lynda and Ross and Joyce and Mark, for
sharing good food amongst friends, and especially to Lynda and Ross for
such congenial hosting.