Captain’s Inn at Point Lookout – January 2018 (dt)
6.37 – 7.35, 6.8, 6.8, 6, 6, 6, 6, 6

Tracks of three pairs of car headlights converged at Captain’s Inn on a brisk January evening, an opportunity to enjoy friends and dining (#182).

We last dined at Captain’s Inn two years ago, another stay-close-to-home, support-local-economy selection. Of course, the infamous “biker” dinner of ten years ago is still firmly etched in Kriss’s mind.

Little has changed in a couple years. Captain Jack again greeted us, cautioning us about the iciness outside and his attempts to make it safe. Inside, maritime motif surrounded all, even the life-size mannequin upon entering—a pleasant, even if idiosyncratic, touch.

The menu is comfortable American, with something for everyone. For this evening, that meant:

            Sides varied from dish to dish.
            Opinions ranged mostly from ok to satisfactory, with a couple minor complaints, and one or two votes for excellent. Moe than half of the parm and the Pompeii portions were doggy-bagged, enough for two more portions. We were both underwhelmed about the minor flaws while at the same time satisfied for a dependable place to dine. Go figger.

The included salad was part of the average-satisfactory mix, a verdict not surprising for included salads. Good enough.

Six of us enjoyed a beginning appetizer of French onion (Mark: good enough) or clam chowder (Chay, Deb T, Joyce, Kerry, Deb K: very average to good), while two of us (Julie, Don) refused to be lured. ha.

A basket of thin sliced artisan bread, with herbed butter, was a welcome starter. The start was just slow enough that we had to be careful to not fill up with bread. Eventually, two more baskets were delivered.

Dessert captured two (Julie, Don; balancing the non-appetizer?) with the evening special – hazelnut-raspberry chocolate mousse. Oh, it was delicious. Julie shared with the table, Don with Deb. A couple others had coffee.

The drinks order consisted of a couple beers, a bottle of pinot noir, and a glass of wine. True to form, after Joyce ordered the wine, the Captain came back after nearly ten minutes and apologized for being out of our first selection, ringing a memory of similar happenstance last time. And Chay noted that one of the beers on the menu was also out.

Service by Beth, as most noted, was efficient and timely. Still, I heard a couple comments that pacing was a bit slow the last third of our evening.

Ambiance has been described in our previous two meetings. Still, not to be overlooked were: the wish we would dine there with daylight left so we could enjoy the view of the valley; the sense that the lights from the several chandeliers were turned up way too high; the tables and carpeting surrounding the bare dance floor and squared-in ceiling trim still felt like a waste of space for regular dining; the noise level emanated only from us, except for the three people who sat at the bar and later convened at one of the tables; Captain’s Inn seems to have so much potential and it just is not all there.

The pacing, for most of us, seemed comfortable, with an almost two hour span from start to finish. We started slowly but we caused that, and the ending might have been a few minutes faster.

The bill for the evening totaled $87 per couple, a reasonable value. (this is the same sentence I wrote last year, word for word.)

Good luck, Captain’s Inn, and Captain Jack. We hope the business of the other nights makes up for this evening, not that we mind being the only people in the building.

Unlike two years ago, when we started from the Teator residence on a group pick, we met directly at the restaurant, as we are doing much more often.
Discussions included: hoping there is not another cold snap like after Christmas left somewhere in the rest of this year’s calendar; familial activity in the Quinn family; post-holiday reviews; Deb T’s parents’ health; the Notar excursion plans; figuring a DP8 Feb-March schedule we all could make; empty restaurants, the whereabouts of the Monterverds and Adamses; Kerry’s haircut; icy driveways; wildlife doings in our yards; and a variety of other topics that have escaped my keyboard.