Copake Lake
The Greens at the Club

           6.41 = 7.2, 6.8,
     6.75, 6.75, 6.75, 6, 5.5, 5.5

A long-lit late-June evening allowed DP8 to savor the remnants of an 80° day on the weather-beaten deck of the Copake Country Club and its restaurant, the Greens at the Club. Arriving at 7 p.m., we watched the waning sunlight angles mingle with the waxing shadows across the first fairway as it stretched 300 yards to its pin. A half-dozen oak trees filtered the declining, yet still warm, sun until the multiple hues of blue beckoned the blackness of night.

... Food.
A compact menu seemed fuller with the listing of the ingredients of each plate, as well as the addition of specials. DP8ers stayed with the menu (and I am borrowing heavily from it):
----->2oz rib eye steak, mashed potatoes, grilled squash, roasted garlic butter, caramelized shallot jus (Kriss: well-done, as always; OK)
----->grilled thick cut pork chop, mashed potatoes, Swiss chard, apple cranberry chutney, sherry jus (Tim: more rare than he likes or wanted although very good)
----->slow roasted BBQ baby back ribs, a red-sauce BBQ sauce, mashed potatoes, braised greens, scallion cheddar cornbread (Deb T: very good; Chay: just OK; Ken: good)
----->grilled olive-oil-and-herb-marinated tiger shrimp, potato leek hash, spinach, lemon caper beurre blanc (Judy: very good)
----->house-made fettuccine with Zehr farms mushrooms, shiitake and oyster mushrooms, smoked bacon, sweet English peas, parmesan (Deb K: excellent, delicious mix of flavors, and more than she could finish)
----->pan roasted Scottish salmon, beluga lentils, chunks of grilled zucchini, roasted beet and scallion salad, sweet pea coulis (Don: very good, an adventure of different tastes and texture)
     Everyone who had the mashed potatoes glowed about the taste, probably a cheese component. And, most commented on the flavorful interplay of ingredients of the appetizers and entrées.

The salad-appetizer course tempted everyone, except Don, although he sampled Deb’s.
----->Caesar salad with romaine, parmesan, garlic, anchovies, lemon, croutons (Ken, good)
----->a special – the chicken and spinach soup (Kriss & Tim – very good & excellent)
----->olive oil roasted beets, shaved fennel, asparagus and radish salad, asiago, roasted garlic vinaigrette (Deb T, Deb K, Judy – all excellent, with a nice variety of tastes)
----->baby arugula salad, generous slices of prosciutto, goat cheese, toasted pine nuts, balsamic vinaigrette (Chay, very good)

Dessert or after-dinner drink attracted all:
----->fudge walnut brownie sundae brownie (Don: with mint-chocolate ice cream, an average-good chocolate dessert, Kriss: also mint chocolate ice cream, average-y; Ken: the rebel, with vanilla ice cream, good )
----->apple-cranberry crisp with caramel sauce and vanilla bean ice cream (Deb T: a good, but not outstanding, effort)
----->tres leches cake with whipped cream & strawberries (Deb K: a different pick for her, delicious; Judy: a good dessert but her standard is still Radio Mexico)
----->liquid desserts: Tim enjoyed Frangelica while Chay sipped his Sambuca

Opening the evening was the delivery of two wire baskets of crusty, rustic bread, accompanied by bottles of olive oil to dip, arriving twenty minutes after seating. Excellent bread; why wait so long?
               The drink order was taken – Domaine Haut-Musiel 2007 Tralamont Cotes du Rhone Villages for five of us; we liked the first bottle enough that we repeated the order. Filling out the order was a prosecco split and two diet sodas.

Parts of the service were good. Susan waited our table – pleasant, helpful, personable, efficient. A “manager” oversaw the activity and ably directed where needed. Two other waitstaff delivered bread, bottles of water (plenty of water), and cleared some of the serviceware. When timely, their efforts were capable and reflected well on The Greens. Thank you, Susan.
               However, the pacing seemed casual, to the point of lagging, or worse. Salads and appetizers came in 40 minutes, entrées in 80, drink order in 25. We departed almost three hours later, which is fine on a nice night with good friends but we were antsy at times. It seemed to us that a busy Saturday night had stretched the waitstaff thin and they were doing as well as they could.

 Ambiance, as suggested in the opening, was affected by our placement on the deck. We whisked past the cozy bar area with its dozen stools and several tables, and then waltzed through the 30’x30’ main room, with its two walls of glass looking outside or into the enclosed patio, and we barely noticed the patio with its beams and glass and high ceilings. A dinner set inside surely would have changed our experience.
               Instead, our vista was the fairway of the first hole and, off to the east, a slice of Copake Lake with the slight breeze, boats, ski-doos, and water skiers rippling the lake. As the sun set, the interplay of light and shadow cast a new perspective every ten minutes, while a pond’s fountain in the foreground served as a visual focus.
               Generic casual plastic tables, ringed with nondescript, yet still comfortable, chairs, were centered by a single votive candle that became utilitarian at dark. A hefty, linen-wrapped knife and fork set matched each seat.
               The sunlight ran uncomfortably into a few eyes but that subsided as the sun gradually lowered. The sky descended from robin blue, transforming into cotton candy colors, and, finally, shades of indigo ushered out a long summer’s day. The one downside of the diminishing light was a coolness that necessitated a jacket.
               Piercing the tranquility was the too frequent tumbling of several pairs of feet and throaty communications of kids who were not cute after five minutes. And “Woodstock” parents (sorry, Woodstock) seemed oblivious to the noise and diminution of enjoyment for other customers. We worried that one or more of the urchins would fall into the pond; and then any slight hope of tranquility was shattered by the wailing and sobbing of one girl who may have sprained an ankle. When they moved inside the main dining room, we breathed relief while feeling sorry for the inner room diners. Peacefulness cannot reign when the playground is running around your table.

 The final bill came to $125 per couple, a tad high for some, if one were expecting the typical golf club fare, and overpriced for a couple DP8ers. But, the food, generally, was very good, and we ordered a few appetizers, and salads were a la carte, and we all had dessert or an after-dinner drink.

 The day had started even before arrival at the Karneses’. Six of us had been invited to a graduation party for the son of friends. Partaking of the good food and available drink could have meant a partially sated appetite.
               Deb K set out a platter of celery, carrots, and grapes, and then came a mushroom-onion-pepper tart, which tempted all but only a few of us participated. A tasty appetizer, Deb, or even a meal!
               We sat on the front deck, leaving a rambunctious Kalli inside. The important business at hand was DP8’s recognition of Kriss’ retirement from C-D, and then of Tim’s retirement from his practice. Congratulations to both, for long and productive careers, and best wishes for healthy and worthy years ahead, no matter where the journey goes.
               We guessed, based on a 6 pm departure, that the Karneses were taking us an hour away, and the back seat of our car tried guessing our destination. We guessed wrong, first, when we crossed the Rip Van Winkle Bridge, thought Hudson was too close, settled on Craryville or Hillsdale but the right turn past the Taconic Hills High School led to the right answer. Copake Lake has been on several of Don’s century itineraries.
               The usual topics were quickly overshadowed by the Adamses’ recent, and current, experiences with ID theft, which, at first, looked like a compromised credit card. Good luck with clearing that up ....
               Then, on to the school retirement party for Kriss, her last days of school, comments from students and colleagues, and so on. Since Ken will continue working until January, Kriss can pretend it is summer vacation in September.
               Other topics included the Adamses’ RV repair saga at Alpin Haus; a new niece; Deb T’s cast-less foot which is almost back to normal; summer travel plans; the Adamses frenetic schedule; DP8 summer date next month and inviting our substitutes (agreed upon); Kalli’s progress; the sheep on Weed Rd; the repaving of the Pine Meadow and the source of the Karneses’ influence; grandkids; Kriss’ retirement from acting as group censor (yahoo, we can finally speak freely!); last week’s heat wave; Deb T’s photos of trips and house; Nathan’s addition update; ...; golfing plans; asking the waitstaff to take our group picture; Jennie’s travels to China and elsewhere; the Van Auken house and sale-ability, and more.