Atelier Restaurant.Bar – January 2019 (dt)
6.91 – 7.3, 7.2, 7, 7, 7, 6.75, 6.5, 6.5

A switch from wintertime group-selections back to our customary individual pick (close-to-home suggested, for the winter) found the Karnes car leading the way south on Rt 23 and taking the Jefferson Heights exit which prompted a few in the Notar car to suggest Tatiana’s. Of course, Tatiana’s exists no more but we still pulled in, with the new name of Atelier Restaurant.Bar
            For the record, we visited this site when it was Tatiana’s in July 2004 (visit #21).

Chay would reveal that ARB is closed on Sundays but because he made reservations online, the owner decided to respect our choice and opened for us and another table of seven, which canceled just before we arrived. Lots of bonus points, and yep, we had the place to ourselves—a weird feeling.

Atelier uses the Thomas Cole view of the Catskill Creek on its website and promises “a wide range of food inspired from places all over the world including USA, France, Italy, Spain, Jamaica as well as Mediterranean Countries.” And it does fulfill that claim, as well as adding another several specials of entrées and appetizers.

Our choices for the evening:

            Most of the dishes came with rice, with a brief interruption from server Lauren who announced the Indonesian rice was not available and the choice was potato, white rice, or Basmati rice.

A house tossed salad was included—an ordinary but satisfactory plate of mixed greens, three cherry tomatoes, two slices of cucumber, and three half-ring onion arcs. Many of us enjoyed the bleu cheese-with-crumbles dressing.

Both appetizers were heartily enjoyed:

Desserts included:

Another star of the show, before any of the above was delivered, were the two metal baskets of bread, with dipping oil. Slices of a small dense loaf, a bit nutty, and toasted was delicious – some of the best bread we have had.

Otherwise, we could have selected the cauliflower steak or truffle mac ‘n cheese or Spanish steamers but did not.

Service by Lauren was wonderful, almost too wonderful, in fact a bit cloying. But then again, it was her fifth day of work, and we were the only table. She would explain all our choices, hoped that we were having an excellent time, circled the table once, wanted the best for our experience, asked if we had any questions, circled the table, filled our water glasses, asked how we were doing, did a two minute errand elsewhere, came back, repeated, well, you get the idea. We have never had such attention paid to us, and we will try not to wish out loud that we would like more attention.
            Actually, we were well taken care of. She was pleasant and attentive and filled Ken’s mug when needed. We would find out that we had a couple of connections with her, which was pleasant enough. We would certainly take this service over a number of other places.
            Pacing was slow. Entrées came out at the 100 minute mark, and we egressed into the Catskillian darkness at the 160 minute mark. A leisurely pace for us could have been fifty minutes less leisurely.

Those of us not inside since our 2004 visit did not recognize anything. But, those of us who had visited in the last couple years noticed the elimination of half of the dividing hallway wall that used to separate the bar area and dining room. It was painted more brightly than before. And, if it had been sunny, we would have seen the Catskill Creek in the rear.

A service of knife, spoon, and two forks was set beside a six inch plate holding a weave-pattern cloth. Blue tinted water glasses made it difficult for Lauren to know when water needed refilling.

Prices for entrées were inexpensive, especially including a salad, generally in the $20 range. Bottles of wine clustered around the $26 mark, a number that most other places would have listed at $5-$10 more. The table shared a Chianti Classico and a merlot. The final bill was $98 per couple, probably a little more than we might have first thought.

We had gathered the cars at the Notar house before heading southward. Conversation topics during the car ride and table seating included: lots of questions for Chay about either hand and that other thing, Lynda’s treatment, the Monteverd imminent departure to Florida (it was nice to have them included in what is becoming a rare full house for January), more compliments about Deb K’s extravaganza a couple weeks ago, winter plans (the Notars to Florida), future trips (Teators in spring), the number of times we go out to eat, Kriss not wanting any more doggy bags for a while, Mark’s fixer-upper houses, Deb T’s cat porch, the doings of Tim-Judy-Den-Barbara-Ross(-and Lynda)-Kerry-Julie, any more details of Deb K’s mom’s funeral, Clem in Florida, the Wall and a rare foray into Trumpian politics (thanks, Mark), Deb K’s former work site building, Catskill’s Main Street, quiet celebrations of New Year’s Eve, (un)pleasant Mah-jongg mates, and other topics that have eluded me.