Bavarian Manor - June 2013 (dt)
6.72 – 7, 7, 7, 7, 6.75, 6.5, 6.5, 6

Heh, it is surprising to find that we were surprised that we were surprised!
          A close-to-home Monteverd selection took DP8 to rolling hill country, disembarking at Bavarian Manor in Purling after a torturous triple loop around Cairo and its Main-Street-closing Legs Diamond Celebration.
          Bavarian is familiar, both as a site for school functions and also as owner-classmate/children-students at Cairo-Durham. And, although most of us have dined at BM individually, DP8 has procrastinated ten years for this visit.
          German it advertises, and German it is, from menu to ambiance. The menu contains about fifteen German specialties, a few grill selections, a few chicken selections, nearly ten fish selections, and another ten Specials of the Evening. Add another half-dozen desserts, heavy on the German theme, and quite a variety awaits.
          Soon-after-arrival baskets of crusty rolls, joined by two small bowls of individual pull-tab butter servings, were followed fifteen minutes later by a choice of the basic house salad—a five inch glass salad plate with a few dollops of greens, one small slice of tomato, one slice of cucumber, a small bundle of carrot shreds—or homemade pea soup. (Tim, only, in a DP8 surprise, chose the pea soup, the winning choice, according to side-taster Judy).

Entrée choices:
==> Rouladen – thin cut steaks, rolled and seasoned with German mustard, stuffed with bacon, pickle, carrots and onions; served with gravy, buttered spaetzle and red cabbage (Deb K: excellent, and a topic of culinary discussion for a few minutes)
==> shrimp scampi – the usual rice and shrimp preparation (Chay: OK, not as garlicky as expected)
==> Boneless Roast Loin of Pork special, with herb rub, and a savory brown sauce (Deb T and Tim: both excellent; Deb loved the accompany sauerkraut, Tim not so much but Judy took it home; both thought the sauce excellent)
==> Gypsy Schnitzel – veal cutlet but with a zesty Hungarian paprika sauce, onions and mushrooms (Don: classic German, good, and worthy, especially with the spaetzle)
==> Bone-in Pork Shank (Judy: a tender, tasty, moist preparation and excellent, and Don agreed)
==> NY Strip Steak (Kriss: ordered well-done and got well-well, good, with a big take-home-to-Kalli portion)
==> Wiener Schnitzel – typical veal cutlet prep with light breading and lemon wedge (Ken: typical, a good prep, glad to have a vegetable and potato substitution for spaetzle)
Each meal, unless specified, came with a choice of mashed, baked, or spaetzle.

The dessert menu, comprised of a half-dozen German choices and a handful of ice cream options, seemed limited, at first, but served DP8 well. (The generous three scoop a la mode pleased all, and for a minimal cost.)
==> homemade apple strudel a la mode (Ken: standard but good)
 ==> the Divine Double Chocolate Lava Cake special a la mode (Don: very good, with the lava very warm as advertised, with the ice cream an excellent complement)
==> the Hudson Valley Award Winning Patee Sucree, two puff pastries, sandwiching abundant fruit compote, with scoops of vanilla ice cream (Judy, Deb T – deemed outstanding by both, worthy of the award; Don liked also)
==> Black Forest Cake (Kriss: very good, a big piece was too much to consume so shared with Don, Deb T, and Judy, who all thought it very good)
==> Black Sambuca (Chay, of course)
==> Frangelica (Tim, of course)
==> none: Deb K

Ken’s coffee cup was filled often. And water was delivered by the carafe, which we are fine with. And it was refilled on a timely basis.
          Drink orders raised a nose. After tasting the Karl Reh NV Dornfelder, we agreed to never order Dornfelder again, ever, for DP8 (too sweet for the crowd). And the Dr. Konstantin Frank 2009 Merlot was fine for some and not others. (We had ordered a Meritage but were informed it was phased out.) The wine list was a bit underwhelming; perhaps, we should have ventured onto the beer list. Otherwise, two sodas, and one water sufficed. Wine markup was relatively low.
          Service was deemed very good by all. Eleanor, a former student, was proficient, timely, attentive. Thank you, Eleanor. And all the wait staff (female) wore dirndls, a pleasing touch.

Ambiance is classic German-American boarding house of long standing. The exterior is a classic Victorian-ish boarding house entry with a wraparound deck with tables we should utilize next time.
          We ate in the front room, a thirty by thirty, with two wide apertures that abut the adjoining dining area of about the same size. The two apertures could be closed with folding doors and thus create two rooms. About ten tables filled our room, with an additional table used for a serving/water table. A large fireplace graced the west wall, while a large, lit inset glass shelving, filled with dozens of German “knickknacks” served as a focal point on the east wall. Other wall spaces were filled with clusters of steins, photographs, cuckoo clocks, paintings, and other German items, with a glockenspiel towering over the table up against the ceiling.
          Five five-globe chandeliers, each globe covered with a shade, provided most of the lighting with several other pieces filling in. Three 4’x 8’ windows comprise most of the road-facing wall, providing an airy feel, and were partially screened with a lace-look scalloped curtain. Window box treatments completed the window frames.
          Walls are a wide panel brown wainscoting, with a narrower sand-colored panel, rising to the soundproof-tiled ceiling, completed by hardwood floors (a ‘70s feel, for me). A center support pole was disguised with wrapping artificial vines and a string of small lights.
           The green and white gingerbread linened table was set with three steins of plastic and real flowers. (Other tables were overlaid with a white linen.) A bread plate, a napkin-stuffed water glass, and a setting of knife-spoon-two-forks completed the table.
          Pacing felt fine but my watch was noting that it was relatively fast, with entrées finished at the hour mark, and the meal done twenty-plus minutes shy of two hours, even though we sat for another half hour to continue talking.
          Ambiance was further established with the onset of German music at entrée time.
          The final bill, including food, drink, tax, and tip came to $85 per couple, a very reasonable amount for the satisfaction garnered.

The Monteverds entertained the pre-session. Kriss has prepared her pineapple bowl with M&Ms, Krause’s chocolate malt balls (heaviest dose of good chocolate ever for a malt ball), and cashews; a partitioned platter that included apple slices, pineapple chunks, and strawberries facing the half containing two cheeses, while nearby bowls held four cracker types.
          Ken plied his wine – Bitch red (I kid you not) and Alamos red – and beer and soda. Meanwhile, as time dwindled dangerously close to the usual 7 p.m. customary DP8 start time, Ken was trying to fake us into believing that dinner time this evening might be different (and it was, mostly because of the three views of Cairo Ken was forced into taking which prompted Chay into asking for a gas allowance!)
          Topics there or back or at the table or over the counter went many directions but a couple dominated: the Adamses possible sale of the house & yard sale & and prospective new house, pictures of the Monteverds’s Florida house, rain and more rain (nine inches three weeks), Ken’s sole possession of the love seat, Tim’s self-inviting himself to Father’s Day dinner, another classic Karnes’ party the night before, gossip and news from that party, Brian’s bicycle ride from Worcester to Cleveland, pictures of Tyler John, filling the pool, Kriss’ late night phone calls that she doesn’t make anymore, work (for the few who still do), changing the July DP8 location, yard sales and the stuff that people buy, possible timeline for the Adamses if the house sells as soon as expected, the Teator trip to Newport, and more than my brain could retain.