individual repeat selection, now done in consecutive
months, fooled many of us into thinking which restaurant
in Catskill we would enjoy. A pleasant surprise found us
parking in front of Conca DOro.
February 2007 was DP8s last visit to Conca, and
many of the details are similar.
reigns supreme, reflected in our choices:
==> Chicken fra diavolo (Mark: very good; Chay:
==> Veal parm (Ken: very good, even better than a
recent parm choice at one of our favorite places.
==> Chicken parm (Dennis: excellent sauce, very good
==> Grilled scallops (Deb, of course: satisfactory;
the competition out there is tough)
==> Stuffed shrimp parm (Joyce: rich and yummy)
==> Fried shrimp (Kriss: very good)
==> special: rigatoni & portobello mushroom
& goat cheese & basil (Deb K: fabulous)
==> special: trout and sweet potato fries (Don: very
good, a nice change of pace, with a tasty seasoning)
Appetizers lured no onethe Monteverds had generously
appetized us just a half-hour before.
a salad was included with the entrée, a practice that
meshes with our ordering comfort zone. Twas basic
but still a nice mix of greens, onions, a couple cherry
tomatoes, and cucumber slices awaiting our choice of
dressing, the most commonly selected of which was the
Two baskets of Italian bread, accompanied by two ramekins
of softened garlic butter, started the evening, with the
salads soon to follow.
Somehow, despite our
protests of fullness, the siren call of dessert
beckoned and we could not resist.
==> Strawberry shortcake (a wide mix of opinion: Deb
T: dough not cooked, cream a bit thick, mediocre; Dennis:
wonderful; Kriss: good, not great)
==> Flourless chocolate torte (Don: a pleasant
chocolatey dessert, felt like a thick fudge brownie)
==> Cannoli (Deb and Chay share: good)
==> Sambuca was enjoyed by Chay (black) and Ken
(white). Quality is always consistent!
==> And a few cups of coffee, in addition to
Kens perpetual supply, graced the table.
orders was simplified by the availability of a carafe of
Opici Chianti, an order that was repeated, and at a very
Service by Nikki was appreciated. A table of nine poses
a few extra demands, and Nikki smoothly took orders,
drink requests, water re-fills, check-ups, etc., all in
Old friend Conca is
one of our most visited fine dining area restaurants.
Thus, it is easy to overlook the ambiance
of a familiar place. Lots of brick. Dark floors. Linened
were set in the side room, a favorable happenstance this
evening because we were the only table in our room for
most of the evening. Conca has a reputation as a noisy,
hard-to-hear setting on a normal night, so a long table
of nine is a sure recipe for not hearing each other.
Tonight was much different, with end hearing end if we so
chose. (On the way out, we were feeling sorry for Conca
for a slow Saturday night.)
Several windows faced toward Main Street or the side
alley. Lighting from the fan/globe combinations cast a
medium light. Chilliness from the fans was eliminated
when the tallest of us reached and turned off the
Water glasses were regularly filled, although a couple
noted an occasional dry glass. And Kens coffee was
mostly kept filled, a situation we last faced in November
(Rule #7: Ken must have coffee).
Pacing was satisfactory, with two hours
circumscribing our stay. Courses were presented at
appropriate times and no lengthy lulls were noted. Again,
part of consistency at Conca. (Having said that, a few in
the know reviewed the recent changes in chefs.)
The final bill,
including all expenses, was a quite modest $75 per
couple. No extra appetizer/salad cost, and a wine tab
that equaled the cost of one bottle most evenings, pared
the final bill.
The evening had
started at the Monteverds, a very welcome happenstance.
DP8 last enjoyed the company of Ken and Kriss in
Ken kept the liquids flowinga nice variety of reds.
Kriss supplied modest but ample supplies. A four-divide
plate of three cheeses, four veggies; two pineapple bowls
of crackers; a pan of bites of Grandma Pizza Pie
(Freehold Grill, I suspect); and a three-divide pineapple
bowl of cashews, M&Ms, and Krauses malt balls
(a favorite of one of our members).
The group became DP9 for the evening with the company of
Mark, Joyce, and Dennis.
We caught up on the news that is shaping our lives. A big
one was Christophers new job, with graduation
coming up, and the obligatory parental concerns about
adequate housing, satisfactory furnishings, the three
hour distance from the CT coast, and a realization of a
major benchmark both in his and their lives.
Other topics included: post-cruise notes from the
Teators; Dons surgery and some ribbing; Debs
painting; lawn mowing; early season golf games; wildlife
sightings; Dennis upcoming trip to Alaska; his
photography; the Notar cruise next winter to SE Asia
& other parts (wow); Canadian wine; Kens
acquisition of a heavy safe and figuring how to get it
home; Krisss journeys since her return; the
Teators new car; Debs 60th
birthday party next month; graduation parties coming up;
the wisdom of making Dennis sit next to Deb K!; the
whereabouts of the Quinns, Adamses, and Pisano-Burhouse;
summer plans shaping up; and more.
Oh, wait, there was one more topic.
Ken was presented with a gift from Venice, via phone from
Judy. He obediently, slowly opened the package, unfolded