Creek Side Restaurant  --  June 2008 (dt)
5.57 - 6.8, 6, 6, 6, 5.5, 5.25, 5, 4

Creek Side owns one of the most river-scenic settings in the county – the first bend of the Catskill Creek off the Hudson River. A strong early-summer lowering sun bathed the east bank – the Uncle Sam Bridge, the Hop-O-Nose buildings, the new condos, finally the Hudson River – and above them the spires of Catskill’s tallest buildings pricked the sky. West-bank decks with outdoor tables allows for a classic, relaxing summer feel, although a cooling evening and a steady breeze chased us inside. The one eyesore is the untidy entrance from West Main Street.
              The early arrivers swung up to the bar, ordered a drink, and awaited the stragglers – .... Tanqueray & tonics (...), Anchor Steam summer ale, a glass of red, a glass of white kept most of us busy until the 6:30 reservation.
               Attached is the dining room. A lower-roofed, length-of-building row of tables next to the windows overlooked the creek, and the main part of the floor nestled under the peaked ceiling. A very worn and rustic round table for eight, tucked into the corner, ventilated by too-busy fans (quickly quieted), was circled by Dinner Party of Eight.
               The menu gave opportunity for appetizers, light food, and dinner entrees. Knowing that dinners came with salads, no one ordered appetizers. Tim ordered a bottle of 2005 Red Truck California Red, a very serviceable wine. A lack of a wine list might signify something.
               Salads arrived – a basic (OK, plainer than plain) middle-sized plate of greens and shreds of carrot. The house vinaigrette was pronounced good, while the other dressings all disappeared without comment. After everyone had consumed the salad, a basket of hot, steamy rolls came out, several of them sitting on top of the butter plates (melted butter on the bottom of the rolls). We are used to the bread/roll plate arriving sooner, if not before the salad.
               Entrees showed a fair range of choices. Kriss thought the strip steak was good and delivered well-done as ordered. However, Tim’s strip steak, ordered medium-rare, came medium-well, and was still deemed good. Ken savored the finger-lickin’-good rack of ribs (five hour prep, according to the menu). Both Deb K and Don enjoyed the halibut special, blackened with a tasty sauce. Deb T and Chay thought the seafood skillet – a combo of mussels, clams, shrimp and scallops – was a bit plain, with a watery sauce, but still a good idea. Chay’s spicier version was accomplished by a sprinkling of pepper flakes. Judy found the shrimp and ravioli mediocre, at best, with an inferior sauce.
               Entrees were accompanied by mashed potatoes, with skins on, and most agreed they were good, even if they could have been warmer. Snow peas were a bit plain but acceptable vegetable accompaniment.
               Waiter Kaitlin was cute and bubbly and cheerful, sweetly apologetic for the several shortcomings. Ken had ordered a full rack but Kaitlin realized a half was cooked and the regular order of a full rack could be ready ten minutes later. Ken took the half, and then the full, which several of us shared. Deb T’s skillet was prepared spicy and a new dinner was re-cooked, making hers ten minutes late.
               To Creek Side’s credit, a drink on the house came to each of the late dinners, and the extra half-rack was not charged. Kaitlin was so sincerely apologetic that we took it as part of the dinner ambience.
               Realizing that a soft ice cream stand was just up the road, we skipped desserts, a short range of choices that probably could have pleased most of us. The bill, including the bar drinks, wine, tax and tip came to $70, a cheap evening for us.
               On the way out, we looked at the creek view, talked about boats and times on the water, and soon skedaddled to Coney Island on the corner of West Bridge and West Main Streets. Sizeable sundaes and cones reminded us of summer as only Tim refrained from the sweet repast. We considered the new condos/restoration underway across the creek. Judy and Tim recognized Steve Hartman of TV fame, introduced themselves, and amiably chatted. Off into the dusk we traveled our separate ways.

The ride in was not the usual. Emergency coordinator Chay was called into service, the first in a long time, with the last minute potential absence of Judy, who was flying to Milwaukee the next day to help Noel and Nancy. On this Tuesday evening, the Teator car was joined by Chay and Judy, whose spouses were finishing the usual Tuesday work day in town. And, thus, our usual pre-dinner ritual was pre-empted in favor of meeting at Creek Side’s bar.
               Conversation centered on Noel and Nancy (bike mishaps), Noel and Mari’s baby shower, ..., the end of school soon approaching, the real-world workers’ lack of sympathy for the end of school soon approaching, ..., the ..., and preliminary plans for the summer. In between, several innuendoes came too fast for Kriss to stop – .... Otherwise, we were oxymoronically well-behaved, and the Teators will have to make up their mind about DP8’s next destination.