|Ken took the scenic way to
Rt 23 westward, feinted toward Point Lookout (Kriss could
not look), and sped through Windham until the siren call
of Brandywine pulled us in just before Ashland. All of us
had previously dined at Brandywine as separate parties,
so it took all of us to the end of DP8s twelfth
year before convening at one of likeliest choices.
Brandywines menu is clearly
Italian, with a non-ethnic nod to steaks and appetizers.
A couple dozen choices of preparations for veal, chicken,
and seafood await. The evenings choices:
Entrées are accompanied by a small side salad, an eight inch glass plate of greens, a couple chunks of tomatoes, a few slices of onion, a pepper slice, and olives, with a choice from several dressings. All thought satisfactory enough, and even better coming with dinner.
Dana insisted she had to show off the dessert
plattersight of the desserts would prevent us from
declining. And we were proof.
The evening started with a foot-long basket of Italian bread and bread sticks, accompanied by individual pats of butter as well as a small ramekin of herbed creamed butter, which was excellent (the ramekin, not the plastic-wrapped).
Service by Dana was a mix. Some of us thought she was goodefficient despite the evenings rush, attentive, personable. Others thought a bit brusque after orders were taken. And our table is not easy for judging when everyone is done. This was one of our few divergences of opinions.
is a motley blend of impressions. Entry is rough-hewn
with a cluttered entryway. Quickly passing on the left is
a large and friendly bar area that can seat twenty at the
bar and another twenty at tables. A dive into the main
dining area is a shrine of pine wood on walls and
ceiling, emanating a cozy and warm feeling. Recessed
lighting is sufficient without being distracting. A
commercial grade rug softens the tread, as well as the
noise level a bit. Booths line two sides, cozy spots for
groups of up to four. Peeps through two entryways reveal
a west-side addition painted a contrasting blue-green.
All tables were occupied.
The drink order consisted of three water/soda drinks and one bottle of a Barbera for the four wine drinkers. Wine prices one of the lower mark-ups in our travels.
A final bill of $70 per couple was testimony to value as well as a reason why people keep returning to Brandywine.
the evening in east Freehold. Kriss has set a
bowl of cashews, one of Halloween candy corn, and a large
serving bowl of several vegetables, a few cheeses, a
couple types of crackers, and a dip. Ken was displaying
his wine prowess with a Chinon or Corbieres (good
choices, Ken), a white zin for you know who, a beer, a
gin drink that did not suck gin with
coke and a later slather of dip and cracker dropped by
Ken, and water.