March 2004 - The Bears (By our always eloquent guest editor, Don Teator)
7.38 - 8, 8, 7.5, 7.5, 7.5, 7.5, 7, 6

    The last Saturday of March found our two car caravan skirting the eastern side of  Schoharie County on our way to Bears’ Steakhouse in Duanesburg. Much anticipation had been generated by the Monteverds’ hearty recommendation of a previous dinner date, tempered somewhat by the cool telephone reception by Kriss who had called the month before for a dinner reservation, fueled by a very limited menu.
    The Up Side – the food and service! The chateaubriand (for eight) arrived on a humungous (so what if this is not a real word!) platter, double meat-lined and festooned with baked potatoes and some obligatory vegetables. Even the usual meat-tolerators moaned in delight with some of the best prepared meat we have ever tasted.
    This had been preceded by an entrance in a cozy room, and our circular table, although small, was conducive for easy conversation. We even had appetizers, not common for us – shrimp and provolone. Then, the unlucky ones had salad which seemed very ordinary because the beef vegetable soup, made with the tenderloin tips, was practically a meal in itself.
    This brings us back to the chateaubriand, with enough leftovers for a small meal for each of us. We were all ready to pass on the dessert, as planned, and venture back to the Karnes’ for dessert but the delectable words rolled out too deliciously for us to ignore. So, homemade cherry pie ala mode, chocolate cream pie, and one more that I forgot topped the meal.
    The service was prompt, effusive, courteous, and also “homemade”, being the son of the owner. He managed to fill a couple of wine glasses very abundantly, regaled us with stories of past awful patrons (and the fate that beholds those who are found in Mama’s black book), and whisked us from course to course in a leisurely but tight pace (excuse the oxymoron).
    Other small notes include our driving in daylight (6:30 dinner time), the view of yonder valley from the steakhouse, and a view of country we don’t visit often.
    The Down Side: Very little. However, we did exhale a slight gasp at the bill (which included two bottles of wine, a few more glasses of wine, and a couple of aperitifs) of $560 for eight, breaking our previous record by about $100. We all agreed the expense paralleled the quality and service, and so we “motored” (this is for readers of Edmund Ingalls’ columns in the Greenville Local of the 1960s and 1970s) back home in reverse route. And a good time was had by all (another Local-ism).
    The other down side was the dessert that Deb had made (a “let’s test this on our company” chocolate cake whose recipe included a pint of chocolate turtle ice cream) sat inappropriately ignored. (No! Not the cake, but the fact we ignored it!) The upside was we took a big piece of it home.
    The other downside, for Tom and Ken, was their failure to capture the world championship of March Madness shuffleboard, losing ignominiously to the upstarts Don and Tim. Haaa! (Sorry, women, your contribution to the evening’s end has not been recorded.)