The Club Restaurant @ Windham Country Club - November 2008
6.63 - 7.5, 7.25, 7.25, 6.5, 6.5, 6, 6, 6
--(name change to Seasons in 2011)
A clump of
unusually mild, early November days led up to the evening that brought us to the
Karnes abode for our monthly dinner outing. All noticed that time of year when
the darkness falls a little too early for most of our likings and the sign of
more of the same to come. Krypton gave his usual greeting, smells, kisses and a
big round flat wag for the Monteverds, which was received with pats on the head
and/or a good rub over his still-damp body from his afternoon bath. Being early
November, the autumn decorations, including some now fading mums, are still out
and about in and around the house.
The pre-dinner snacks for the evening included a spicy garlic and sun dried tomato dip with fresh veggies, crackers, fresh apple slices and a side of Indian candy corn. Kudos to our “produce lady” out on Route 145 between Preston Hollow and Middleburgh for the fresh crunchy red peppers and the apples that were “on the house”.
The evening’s conversation included the recent week’s activities, ...
We passed through East Durham and past Blackthorn Resort, making our way to Route 23 heading west. Most guessed the Windham area and some guesses were made about the ultimate destination – a new brew pub on Main Street, Chalet Fondue, etc., (possible future choices someone has been thinking about???). The end result however was not discovered until we arrived at The Club Restaurant at Windham Country Club, newly renovated and expanded and just recently re-opened in the last two months. Joe Baglio, the chef/owner of Vesuvio runs the new restaurant.
Upon entry to the restaurant you find a large open room with a spacious bar area to the left, a large fireplace in the center that reaches up to the high vaulted wood paneled ceilings. With a private party of some sort going on, the room was busy and noisy and, fortunately for us, there was a separate, smaller dining room to accommodate us. We sat in a square formation (similar to the round table) which was a first for us and a good fit as everyone could see and hear everyone talk.
Denise was our waitress and, while at first there was some hesitation on some of our parts as to how competent she might be, she stepped up and proved more than adequate by dinner’s end. Friendly and mostly efficient she informed us that, tonight, anyway, salads were included with dinner. While many of us were anxious to try some of the interesting appetizers (escargot, beet and goat cheese salad, bruschette with olive tapanade), for once, we let our brains and not our stomachs do the talking, realizing that there would be no room for dinner or especially dessert if we overindulged too early in the meal.
Upon snagging a wine list from the bar (as there did not appear to be a formal wine list for customers yet) Tim decided on a carafe of the “Austrea” (sp.?) house red for the 5 red wine drinkers. A bit odd we thought for a restaurant that had been open for two months not to have a better system, but the wine was fine, and a second carafe was ordered upon generous samplings of the first carafe being deemed adequate. Judy went for a pinot grigio and Kriss and Deb T opted for diet colas. Waters were served all around and baskets of warm rolls and butters appeared shortly thereafter.
Salads were served it seemed in no time and consisted of mixed greens with a slice or two of tomato in a balsamic dressing, Ken having his oil and balsamic vinegar on the side and acting as his own mixologist. The greens were fresh, the dressing tasty and the portion adequate – nothing exceptional to note.
Almost before salads could be finished and plates taken away, dinner was served – a very efficient kitchen apparently, even with a rather large crowd in the next room. Tim and Deb K opted for the rib-eye steak special, Judy the shrimp house special, Kriss and Ken the strip steak, Deb T the seared scallops (no surprise!) and Don and Chay one of the other specials of the night, a combo of scrod, shrimp, mussels and clams. As usual about this time, it got just a bit quieter as we dove into our respective meals which were accompanied by fresh green beans and garlic mashed potatoes. Kriss’ steak was served well done as requested and I heard few complaints about anyone’s meal. The rib-eye was generous in portion and excellent both as cooked (medium rare for Deb K) and in taste. The seafood combo was served in a white wine and light cream sauce and Chay indicated he wished the sauce had a little more “something”. Deb T deemed her scallops good and the Monteverds indicated their steaks were also good. With the exception of scraps of beef from a few plates (Kriss – Krypton says thank you!), plates were emptied and palates readied for the next and perhaps most important course for some of us – dessert.
Judy opted for the lemon tart, Don, Ken and Deb K the Snickers pie, Kriss the chocolate mousse cake, accompanied, of course, by more coffee for Ken, Frangelica for Tim and Sambuca for Chay. The coffee service was fine but Ken seemed less than impressed with the actual coffee (“maybe the water?” he claimed).
The bill with the normal 20% tip came to $92 a couple and some were happy to throw in a couple extra bucks for the friendly, efficient Denise who not only served us well but made us smile!!! How corny is that??? And although I would say our dining was leisurely, the timing of the courses was well paced and we were on our way home from a 7 p.m. dinner reservation at about 9:30.