A rightward turn at Cairos McDonalds
suggested Saugerties, and we cheered as the Notars pulled
left a few miles short of Saugerties into Bluestone
Tavern, an establishment most of us have nonchalantly
passed by many times.
For a rare third consecutive time, the Notars (hosts and
selectors) and the Quinns accompanied the Karneses and
Teators on Daylight Savings Time eve.
Blue Stone Taverns menu is classic mid-scale
restaurant with a raft-full of favorites and a half-dozen
specials. Ten appetizers, several soups, several sides,
ten salads, two steaks, a dozen entrées, a range of
burgers and sandwiches, and several desserts fill out a
comfortable range of choices.
Upon our seating, Rachel delivered two baskets of sliced
Italian bread accompanied by wrapped pats of butter. Soon
to follow came a bottle of SnapDragon 2013 Pinot Noir.
After some perusal, choices were:
Shrimp scamp skewers, a large bowl of pasta with at least
a dozen shrimp in the classic buttery prep (Chay: very
good, plenty of shrimp although skewers were missing)
Chicken Marsala (Joyce: excellent, especially the sauce
that appeared to be made with real Marsala and not just
Veal Marsala (Mark: fork-tender, tasty, excellent
A special, the Fishermans Platter, with fried fish,
shrimp and scallops (Kerry: ok, a bit more fried than he
realized when ordering)
A special, the Pork Medallions, with a demi-glace sauce
(Deb T: so-so for both meat and sauce)
Portobello mushroom, stuffed with roasted red peppers,
spinach and garlic, served with linguini in marinara
(Julie: excellent; Chay was eyeing the sauce for his
And from the sandwich menu, the fish taco plate with beer
battered haddock, chipotle sauce, lettuce, cheese and
pico de gallo (Don: a nice change of pace; Deb K: good
but too full after the Notar splurge to really enjoy it)
Accompanying most of the entrées
were mashed potatoes (mixed ratings) and sautéed
zucchini (more mixed ratings).
Preceding the entrées, and part of the price, was a
house salad (eight inch scalloped plate with greens,
tomato chunks, onion half-rings, carrot shreds, and a
welcome half-handful of chickpeas.
The two taco-eaters ordered the soups of the night: Deb
K, the cream of spinach (very good) and Don, the cream of
chicken and mushroom (average but still a nice starter).
Desserts siren call could
entice only two.
Molten lava cake (can you guess?
I thought it good
enough although the lava had semi-solidified)
Dark chocolate mousse (Julie thought it excellent)
The drink order was a bit lighter,
sort of, than usual, with four drinkers of the red wine,
complemented by three water-only drinkers, and one soda.
(It was a short list of house wines, with $7 a glass, or
$26 a bottle, probably a good arrangement for the house,
and easy for the casual wine drinkers.)
Service by Rachel was excellent. She
was friendly, approachable, and prompt, with frequent
checks on water and needs. Near the finish, clearing
Debs almost full plate, she politely inquired if
the food was ok, asked sensitively and politely.
Ambiance was a pleasant mix of pub
and mid-level restaurant. It is tough to judge a
restaurant by its outside appearance when one arrives in
the dark, with deep snow banks, and an almost soft dirt
The first space is a conglomeration of bathroom, coat
rack, waiting area. Straight ahead was a bright,
TV-enhanced ten-stool bar, with two boothsa
welcoming lair for cold nights. We turned rightward into
a 20x30 room holding four booths and five tables. Two
sets of folding double doors allowed peering into a twin
Medium-brown wainscoting filled the bottom four feet of
wall with the remaining four feet wallpapered in grape
leaf and vine motif. The twin room used burgundy paint
instead of wallpaper.
Light came from the six recessed ceiling lights as well
as the four sets of twin sconcescomfortably lit for
atmosphere. And a couple windows peered into the darkness
but would have shown High Falls Rd and Old State Route 32
if daylight had allowed.
Three tables were combined, with Chay and Mark taking the
ends. A dark cloth napkin held a knife and fork, with two
tea votive candles set inside glass bulbs.
Noise, at first, seemed problematic but either we
accustomed to it or it was not as noisy as first thought.
Conversations were reasonably audible, and then easily
heard as the room thinned.
Dinner tab, with all included, came
to a whopping $65 per couple, the second consecutive low
cost event, with an interesting contrast in restaurant
styles from the month before at Cask and Rasher.
We had started at the Notars, their
second hosting, and DP8s fourth ever hosting by our
valued New DP8ers.
Mark and Joyce had prepared a welcome start for the
evening (although more than a couple of us realized too
late that we had eaten more than an appetizers
bowl of nuts was the first welcome, but it was the next
two that stole the limelight. A round of baked brie,
warmed to a languid drip-flow, topped with honey and
springs of rosemary, waited to be spread on the toasted
bread pieces, and then topped with the maple-coated
toasted walnuts. Oh my. And anyone not using a plate
probably had to wipe cheese off the counter or floor.
And Mark had made pretzel chunks, about an inch or more
across, soft and chewy, awaiting the mustard dip.
variety of beer awaited the beer drinker or two, while a
McGregor 2008 Cabernet Franc and a Ravines 2011
Chardonnay tempted the wine drinkers.
Although the four of us had met only
two weeks previous, we had an evening full of talk and
chat. Number one topic was the rare Karnes mid-winter
trip to Florida. Their adventure was enhanced
by aircraft mechanical problems, weather delays, finding
a hotel room on ones own, and other ancillary
And the six weeks of brutal Arctic weather was drawing to
a close, we were promised. Greater than usual fuel usage,
five foot deep frost, dog-walking issues, staying
comfortablall have been daily topics. Good bye,
February; and, Spring, get your arse in gear!
The Quinns and Teators had attended Pat Hoffmans
funeral, and the ensuing lunch get-together. We chuckled
when the guest speaker (Chris H) told of his favorite
teacher (of course, Kerry was sitting there to soak in
the announcement of his name)!
Other topics included: a smaller hot tub, the healing of
the missing toe nail, HS baseball season, the
Quinns dog-walking, the perils of raising HS and
beyond kids, Conors teaching experiences, Daylight
Savings Time, C-D stuff (thank you, Kerry, for reminding
us retirees why we should not pine to return!), online
curriculum uselessness again, skiing, the whereabouts of
the Monteverds and Adamses, a possible Adams visit next
month, Catskill HS doings, Joyces upcoming France
trip (and Mark, too), our enjoyment of visiting a
restaurant we keep meaning to try, ...), and more to make
an evening pleasant and laugh-provoking.