Garden Bistro 24 / Slingerlands – June 2017 (dt)
6.44 – 7.2, 7, 7, 6.5, 6.3, 6, 6, 5.5

Approaching the Slingerlands roundabouts could have meant several options. Ours, this evening, was roundabout straight, roundabout left, and curlicue into GB24. (In November 2011, we had visited the first GB24 when it was located on Central Avenue, and since relocated to Rt 7 in Latham.)

The menu has not changed much in structure – somewhat limited length, in keeping with bistro fare, and, for some, a tad expensive.

We started with the app/salad course. With no included salad, we gauged satisfaction potential. Splitting a large salad seemed like the best idea; as it turned out, even a half of a large felt large.
            The Monteverds split a Caesar salad, true to form. We other three couples each split the Merabec salad, a very satisfying salad of crisp lettuce mix tossed with fresh grapes, dried cherries, toasted walnuts, apples, avocado and crumbled blue cheese. The Teator choice of dressing was a zingy maple mustard vinaigrette; a half-dozen other choices awaited the other two salads. We agreed at evening’s end the salads were the hit of the culinary outing.

A GB24 claim to fame is the Prince Edward Island mussels, with frites. A choice of six broths awaited, along with a couple bowls each for empty shells. Choices at our table included:
the special: onions and tomatoes and basil and more: Deb loved it; Chay was put off by a spice
coconut lemongrass: Mark thought it excellent
            Other choices included Provencal, Basil Lemon Butter, white wine and shallot, and saffron tomato. If you want mussels, come to GB24.
            A handful of other entrées awaited, leaving some in the crowd feeling the choice was limited.

Only two of us dared to look at the dessert menu, with even these two passing. We were looking like senior citizens who had left our appetites at home, with the excuse that the salad was quite filling, and it was.

At about the ten minute mark, two baskets of creamy biscuits arrived, with accompanying ramekins of softened dill butter. (Ha! They were the culprit!)

Drink order included a bottle of red—Trappolini Cenereto Lazio, a pink lemonade, a rare beer order for one of the women, and a couple waters. A lighter order than usual, in keeping with our subdued appetites.

Service from Colleen was mostly good throughout. Orders, info requests, change of menu items were handled with aplomb. A few of us thought service a tad slow for a Thursday night. Even Ken’s coffee refills lingered a bit.
            Water glasses were filled, with a tall bottle of water left behind for refills.

Ambiance was enjoyable, having two quite different choices.
            Given the mid-70s early evening, we wander outdoors to the pavered patio. A copious canopy gave not only shade but also a different “room.” The view was of Vista Park, so the steady flow of traffic fifty feet away was a major source of “amusement;” with my back to it, I did not notice much; the others facing it commented on it.
            Casual chic metal tables accompanied with metal & wood chairs composed the dozen or so canopied eating spaces. A couple small pink vases with pink-purple flowers centered the tables while linen wrapped a three piece utensil set. Relaxing.

On the way back to the cars, we traipsed through the restaurant. Dining there would have given a very different feel. A partitioned room contained a narrow side, with its room length bar, with a row of high tables; the wider side featured a row of booths, a middle area of stand-alone tables, and the outer wall of banquette seating. Although we saw about forty diners, the large number of available seats meant numerous empty ones. High ceilings, granite lookalike table tops, dark wood framing and finish exuded a fresh and pleasing face.

Pacing was in the two hour range, close to our average, but that reflected the calling for the bill upon dessert menu delivery. And we left early enough to enjoy the last few minutes of the latest sunsets of the year. (Normally, we would have been pleased with the pacing; perhaps it is knowing sunlight length declines for six months invisibly infected our sense of one-ness with the universe.)

The bill came to $86 per couple, a bit less than Don had forecast but he did not know that only one bottle of wine would be served, and that desserts would be eschewed.

The evening had started at the Teator house – our shorter sessions in effect. Low 80s allowed us to sit on the deck, lazing back to chat and nosh. A plate of cheese and crackers, and a dish of baby carrots were disinterestedly nibbled. One wine drinker, one beer drinker, and three soda drinkers took care of the drinking.
            Conversation on the deck, in the cars, and at the restaurant included: graduation parties, DP8 dates for the summer, Deb’s gardens and vegetables, the view of the Escarpment, a plug for the leak in the Notar pool, fawns, sheep on Weed Rd, gardening around the houses and the time it takes, how easy Florida is, the Uzzilia 50th anniversary party in a couple nights, the doings of our children – a topic that comes up every meeting, differences between kids, Kriss meeting her old boyfriend from Walton, what Z would have said about such a meeting, what we wouldn’t give to have Z back, which led to Ken is a jewel, or was it Ken’s jewels, which might have led to other comments before the summer laze hit again, romantic interests, the Notars golfing at Burden Lake, the comparison with other golf courses, fine dining in Saratoga, catch-up news on Lynda & Ross and Tim & Judy and Den, and catch-up news on Den, next Greenville local history meeting in July with guest Den Mower, a review of the Karnes end-of-year party, long daylight of the year, Brussel sprouts (Kriss, of course), anchovies and Caesar salads, our parents’ generation cooking vegetables to death, early bird specials, DP8 summer schedule, July events, and others lost in the dying light of peak summer twilight.