Green Iguana Bistro - March 2016
6.38 – 7.5, 7.25, 7, 7, 6.25, 6, 5, 5

A secret group-pick (Chay & Don) found DP8 winding our way through the Livingstonville Valley, feinting turns to Milk Run, Susquehanna Turnpike, Potter Hollow, West Wind, Boner Barn, Middleburgh Diner, before nosing into the church parking lot that also serves Green Iguana in Middleburgh, across from the high school.

GIB advertises its “Artisan Burgers and Sandwiches, American style food with a modern twist, with intimate dining rooms and a Wine and Beer bar.” It is all of that.
          A half-dozen creative appetizers, a handful of salads, ten sandwiches, a dozen burgers with a flair, a half-dozen seafood entrées, a trio of vegetarian fare, another trio of Southwestern, a few a la carte sides, a kiddies menu, a handful of desserts, twenty inexpensive wines, and another twenty bottled beers comprise the menu. Supplement that with a half-dozen specials and we had daunting choices to make.

Final choices:
==> Asian salad: mixed greens, tomato chunks, onion, cukes, sweet red onion, mushrooms, dried tomato slivers, Asian noodles, wasabi ginger sauce, choice of seafood (Deb T: excellent, with salmon, a better meal and deal than the night before at Saloon; Don: with tuna, very good, a very full bowl that was tough to get started, but a downright robust salad)
==> Mac Daddy Burger: with ham, mac & cheese, lettuce, tomato, onion, and Thousand Island (Mark: excellent; fries ordinary)
==> Blue Iguana Burger: with bacon, shredded greens, crumbled bleu cheese, bleu cheese dressing (Joyce: very good; good onion rings but prefers less batter)
==> Fish and chips (Chay: very good)
==> Ship to Shore Burger: with BBQ chicken, BBQ pulled pork, ham, bacon, cheddar, shredded lettuce, tomato, onion, and shrimp to top (Deb K: excellent)
==> Crab cakes with chutney salsa (Lynda: good, although cakes a bit bland – should have asked for lemon and salt; fries ordinary, excellent salsa)
==> Smokehouse Burger: with bacon, onion rings, coleslaw, cheddar, BBQ sauce (Ross: very good, side order of onion rings might have been overkill)

Three appetizers, as we requested, came at the same time as the meal. In retrospect, they should have come at appetizer time.
==> Chicken curry soup special (Deb – very good)
==> Beef vegetable soup special (Don – excellent, good chunks of meat, nice broth)
==> House made pretzel bites, with pretzel mustard and beer cheese (Mark: a bit bland)

The dessert list contained four items.
          Chocolate brownie sundae: a four inches square cake-y brownie, with two scoops of ice cream, drizzled with ganache, although the second got caramel through a slight misunderstanding (Lynda, mostly Ross: very good; Mark and Don split: very satisfying and just enough)
          Otherwise, the apple crisp would have seduced me.

The drink list contained six red wine drinkers, one bottled beer drinker, and one water specialist.
          About 20 wines comprised the list, many of them in the $20-$25 range. Bottles of a pinot noir, a cabernet sauvignon, and a Malbec/Bonarda kept the thirsts quenched. We thought the wines a good value.

Service by Desiree was to be complimented. We felt we were subjecting a 19 year old to a lot of shenanigans but she bore it well – attentive, bouncy, and humoring. Thank you, Desiree, for a nice evening.
          No starters to keep our hands busy made the wait to entrées a bit long, perhaps more than a bit. For a casual restaurant, the time span was more like fine dining – two hours and a quarter – but it was mostly fine for us.
          Water glasses were filled promptly and often, often enough that we were allowed to keep the pitcher of water, to be refilled as necessary.

Ambiance was pleasantly innovative. The former library has been attractively redesigned with at least four side rooms serving as eating areas, one of them with a table for two. We asked for the back room, barely 15x10, just big enough for eight of us.
          Bright salmon floor to ceiling vertical wainscoting on three walls dominated the room that sat two steps below main level, with a blue-green wainscoting on the fourth. A door ajar led outside and let cool air in, with two crank windows at head level facing the eastern darkness. Three recessed lights and one chandelier just above our heads provided adequate lighting. Two paintings and a corner full-height book closet with glass sides gussied up the room.
          We sat three on a side with Chay and Mark on the ends. Sets of a knife and fork, a paper napkin (with a pile brought out later), and shakers filled the table.
          Just within view was the five seat bar, with music from the bar leaching into our space – mostly familiar tunes that we could identify whenever we were quiet, which did not happen until food came.
          The bill came to $75 per couple, including tax, tip, and drinks.
          Although some parts were just ordinary, there was enough creativity and quirkiness that many thought they would return.

Although tonight was not a Lynda and Ross pick, they graciously hosted the pre-session – thank you. A few bowls of munchies, a couple bottles of wine and soda, and Henry’s antics kept us busy. A 25 minute ride, with the glow of an early evening sun at drivers’ face level, accompanied us to GIB.
          Topics ranged from: Lynda & Ross’ month in Florida, guests, and mother’s operation; springtime has sprung; the upcoming cruise for D&D, L&R, and T&J; terrorism threats; wintering in Florida and costs; aches and pains; the Adamses’ new FL abode; Henry amusing us; Henry’s blanket taken away; the Notar cruise in early 2017 – wow; a new job in CT for a RPI grad; a quick skim of generation 2 & 3’s welfare; Easter plans; the 2016 winter that was not a winter – yeay; poor skiing conditions this winter; Deb’s art work; early golfing and cycling; NCAA basketball; the surprise quaintness of GIB interior; the need for Kriss’ censorship; recent birthdays and an upcoming one; summer plans; the scenic ride from Preston Hollow to Middleburgh; and more.
          ... Chalk it up to the isolation and coziness of our room, or springtime, or the light of dusk, or sips of wine, or just us being us, but there were several topics that brought squeals of surprise, disgust, and can-you-top-this ....