Chalet Fondue – March 2017 (dt)
6.75 – 7.3, 7.3, 7, 7, 6.9, 6.5, 6, 6

March’s penultimate day found DP8 reconnoitering through Windham on its way to Chalet Fondue during Greene County Restaurant Week.

Six of us were first-timers at CF, an overdue oversight addressed this evening. As the name suggests, fondue is a regular menu staple but consumes only two lines of the forty items listed. Comprising the rest of the menu is Swiss-German cuisine, and nods to Continental choices and a few American slots. The Restaurant Week menu reflected the variety as well.

Everyone utilized the GCRW menu although ordering from the regular menu was possible:

            Not selected were the Weiner Zweibel Rosbraten (NY Strip Steak) and Weisswurst (veal sausages).
            Home-style bowls of spaetzle and vegetables were delivered, with a refill of the spaetzle that was good as MVB.
Almost all entrées were deemed very good to excellent, with the chicken marsala and veal drawing the best comments. A few noted the sauerbraten was not as fall-apart-tender as expected, and another few thought the potato pancakes were mediocre or packaged.

Two ten-inch loaves of hearty and warm peasant bread on cutting boards were delivered early, testing our cutting skills; all agreed it was a worthy bread. A saucer of aluminum-foiled butter accompanied.

GCRW appetizer gave a choice of salad or soup. Six chose the salad—a six inch plate heaping with greens, onion rings, and tomatoes. Two (Deb K and Don) selected the chicken vegetable soup that came brimming in a big tea cup bowl—tasty, chocked full of ingredients, a tang of salt and delicious.

After the appropriate time span, a choice of three desserts was offered.

            The first two were deemed very good to excellent, with half the table testing the rings. The streudel, however, drew mixed reviews.

Service by Toni was capable, adept, personable, with a good sense of timing – a sign of experience. Water was filled as needed, dishes cleared appropriately, information dispensed succinctly, and a revised table configuration effected upon our entry. Her handling of the wrong beer was seamless and humorously handled.

The drink order consisted of two draft beers (plus the mistake), a bottle of Murphy-Goode 2014 pinot noir (three drinkers), two diet Cokes—a light night for us.

Ambiance is both old-country warm and semi-outdated. First impression is influenced by a pot-holed and puddled parking lot to traverse. And a moment of confusion ensues when entering the attached Nunzio’s Pizzeria before lumbering rightward down a short hallway and rightward again to the service desk. And the round table requested sat in the glass enclosure, perfectly sited, but unavailable this evening because of interior temperature. Shucks.
            Instead, we re-arranged the odd configuration of tables to make two connected tables with two sides of four. We were the only ones in this “room” and the conversational buzz of the just-across-the-entry-aisle Wine Cellar dining room was just enough background noise to be pleasant and then again barely noticeable, allowing us to follow every conversation at our table.
            The wine cellar fit the chalet motif the best, with Alpine decoration, arched doorways, and curved window openings.
            Our room was a pleasant eight table room, with a light Norwegian wood beige-tan siding that felt borrowed from another era. One light overhead, shielded by faux stained glass sufficed as light for the table. Views of the other two rooms, combined with the brightly lit kitchen made for an interesting eyeful.

            Restaurant Week prices stated $20.17 for three courses. Add in drinks, tax, and tip and $70 per couple was the end result. And half of us took home enough food for a partial meal tomorrow.

The evening started at the Teator house. As we agreed last year, lighter fare consisted of cheese and crackers, a small bowl of salsa, a few pretzels, and slices of New York Restaurant kielbasa. A couple glasses of Berger Gruner Veltliner, a glass 14 Hands cabernet sauvignon, and a beer sufficed.
            Influencing those amounts was a preliminary bottle of Mumm brut rosé that lingered in our glasses halfway into the 30 minute session. The sparkling was used as a toast for three events: the safe return of the Notarnicolas from a month long cruise and tour to Southeast Asia and China; Chay’s above and beyond the call of duty in securing the clearing of the Teator driveway in the 30 inch snowfall during their absence in Florida; and to Mark in clarifying a health insurance premium that resulted in a monthly cost substantially less than the initial billing. Huzzah! Cheers!
            The big topic of the night was the Notar trip to Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam and China. Favorite sights, climate, cruise details, food, guides, and more were asked about during the evening. Great Wall, terra cotta soldiers….
            And with six of us out-of-state, only the Karneses faced the largest snowfall of the decade. Tales from those here, and not, were recounted.
            Other topics: Lynda and Ross in Florida for five weeks Feb-March; health of the mothers; the Teator two week excursion to Florida in mid-March; the Notars coping with after-trip stuff; their missed flight at Newark; Chay’s sliding the truck backwards down his driveway during the storm; the wonders of Xanax; the wonders of stretchy pants at the end of the meal; IRS woes; health insurance plans; being the lone real-world worker; delaying golf season; The Villages; retirements and party dates; Mark’s capable following Don’s directions on the long way to Chalet Fondue; Deb’s art class at Greenville Arms this week; busy May and June schedules; April DP8 date on the 20 – Karnes pick; where in the world are the Monteverds and Adamses; boiler problems; Henry; ideas for summer plans; and more to be left in the dustbins of memory.