June 2006 --
Christman's Windham House
6.50 - 7.5, 7, 6.5, 6.5, 6.5, 6, 6, 6
It felt more like late October or even early November as we headed out this month for our pre-dinner gathering at the Adams' home. As always, Tim and Judy feed us like there will be no dinner later in the evening (no complaints here). The evening got off to a rousing start when Don shared one of his students writing projects. Lets just say we all got the idea very quickly about this creative writing attempt and Don made it clear that high school was probably not the appropriate venue for this genre of literature.
Then off we went to who know where in three cars this evening, over Route 32, out and about and around Round Top, up and down and around and you get the idea, only to end up on Route 23 heading west up the mountain to Christmans in Windham. ...
The restaurant is part of Christmans resort/golf course with beautiful mountain views and large trees shading an old fashioned porch with comfy chairs. We were seated in a comfortable side room off the main dining room which provided for a great area for our conversation and a feeling of having our own little space. The interior whiteness, and shades of whiteness, gave the feeling of understated, old country inn elegance. Although appetizers were discussed and looked quite yummy, we all opted to skip and save room for dinner and possibly dessert.
Our waitress (name?) was friendly and appeared ready for anything this group could throw at her, starting with drinks the usual pinot grigio for Judy, sodas for 2 and red wine for the rest of us. Salads arrived, consisting of mixed greens and some traditional salad veggies, served with the house dressing (tarragon vinaigrette) or oil/vinegar. Very fresh, very attractive and tasty enough, albeit nothing too much out of the ordinary.
Some opted for dinner specials of a mixed grill (lamb, turkey and veal help!) while Don went for the Caribbean style mahi-mahi. Others opted for the scallop dinner (Deb T), a seafood Creole dish (Chay), a couple of steaks (Montes) and chicken thighs with gnocchi (Deb K). ... The mixed grill was declared delicious, scallops were delicious and the chicken was delicious. Don enjoyed the fish although he and I agreed that with a tomato style sauce, we did not consider it very Caribbean-ish. Chay declared his seafood fine, but nothing to write home about. And then we come to the steak eaters.
Now, to be fair, readers should be aware that this is a common and recurring problem for the Monteverds, who, against common cooking theories, still enjoy their red meat on the well done side and, in fact, find it quite inedible when there is too much red/pink coloring in their steak, although neither rarely complain. Now, I get that chefs do not like nor enjoy cooking steak well done and, indeed, would assert that it ruins the meat, relieving it of most of its taste, blah, blah, blah. Personally, I, along with at least one or two other diners in the group, wholeheartedly agree with this theory. Nonetheless, if thats how the diner wants it and thats how he orders it and thats how he enjoys eating it, then for goodness, cook the darn steak. Make your disclaimer about taste, toughness, etc., but give the customer what he wants! O.k., got that off my chest been wanting to do that for months. That being said, Ken and Kriss enjoyed their steaks to the extent that they could eat around the uncooked parts. The starch and accompanying veggies were fresh and well prepared. Ken shared his sweet potato fries with those of us in the group so inclined.
Dessert was a chocolate, flourless torte for Don (very rich and dense), lemon tarts (very lemony, very tart not bad for a non-chocolate dessert!) for some of the rest of us, the sorbet of the day for Judy, and then of course, the Frangelica for Tim and Sambuca for Chay. As usual, we do enjoy our desserts (including the individuals that drink theirs) and tonight was no exception.
Conversation was, as always lively, everyone sharing Summer vacation plans and those teacher people gloating about how work was almost over for them. Thats o.k., I think its time the non-teachers start making longer honey do lists.
The Up Side Service was stellar a friendly and helpful waitress with assistance from a bus boy (or was it a bus girl again, I need to write these things the next day, not a week later) and an occasional inquiry from the owner as to how things were going. Requests were granted expeditiously, water glasses filled regularly, inquiries about salads, dinner, dessert, drinks, etc. The only complaint might have been a slight disregard for Kennys appeal for coffee and lots of it when requested. Overall, a really good dining experience and I think we all agreed it could easily be a repeat for us, either together as a group or on our own.
The Down Side Really, the only thing I can think of is the steak thing, which was, as always, downplayed by Kriss and Ken. I think they just like hanging out with us As I have said many times before, its not really about the food (well, it is a little ).