House June 2004 (dt)
There was something familiarthe stone house, wide boards, irregular roomsbespeaking history as few other restaurants can do. Indeed, a dig into the archives confirmed that DP8 first visited Hoffman House in Kingstons Stockade in May 2006. (dteator.com/restaurants/zHoffman)
And again, the menu, although relatively compact, offered an inviting breadth of American cuisine: a dozen appetizers, mostly soup and seafood; several seafood entrées; a half-dozen pasta plates, half of which contained seafood; and a dozen and a half on the land entrées.
Salads came with dinner so that stanched the temptation to sample the appetizer list, with regrets.
==> Grilled boneless leg of lamb, marinated in rosemary & garlic, thinly sliced and topped with garlic butter, served with mint jelly (Lynda)
==> half duck, crisp-roasted & served with chefs sauce du jour (Ross)
==> New York sirloin steak, charcoal grilled, topped with a choice of: sautéed mushrooms & onions or bleu cheese & roasted shallots (Kriss: well-done, Ken: medium-well)
==> Seafood Cioppino: shrimp, clams, mussels & crabmeat sautéed in a lightly spiced red sauce over linguini (Chay)
==> Rigatoni Rossello: sautéed chicken, shrimp & andouille sausage in a spicy roasted garlic chipotle cream sauce (Deb K)
==> Sea scallops Marsala, sautéed mushroom sauce served with butternut squash mashed potatoes (a replacement for the usual angel hair pasta) (Deb T)
==> Tuna, with a ginger-lemon-soy sauce, with a rare center, an evenings special (Don)
Most came with a choice: one of several types of potato or rice or butternut squash mashed potatoes (a favorite of a few this evening).
The vegetable of the evening came served family stylesteamed asparagus drizzled with a cream sauce.
Ill save the reader from the repetition of comments: very good to excellent preparations, interesting and deft blend of flavors and sauces, artfully cooked. No exceptions, just a tableful of satisfied diners.
The salad course consisted of an eight inch plate of mixed greens, a dozen chunks of tomatoes, a few shreds of carrot, and pieces of croutons; several choices of dressings were allowed. We agreed it was a good enough basic salad.
list was a diverse mix of six to eight items that might
exclude some people but not this group.
Service by Jocelyn was excellent. She worked to please any request, informational, promptly done, with eagerness and humor. A second server, Lorraine, filled in-between and proved equally adept. Kens coffee cup was constantly filled, and Jocelyn agreed with Ken that he was a pain in the butt. After the initial filling of water glasses, several quart bottles of iced water were replenished. Food was delivered to the eight of us by multiple servers. The only slip was the delivery of salads by a different server who did not know who ordered what but who ordered this? was turned into a humorous repartee. All were personable without being intrusive, and certainly served Hoffman House well this evening. Thank you to both, especially Jocelyn.
historic-colonial. Entry in the back door (front, if you
are in the parking lot, which we were), steered us past
one period-piece room, through the bar-tavern part with
the several seat bar with the old pull-down cage (a
feature rarely seen), and to the center hall that
afforded a glance into the front two rooms. We turned
right into a hardwood-floor room with about eight
faux-colonial tables. Several ceiling beams support a
wide plank second floor, with some of the boards a foot
and a half wide. The two 12-over-12 windows fronted a
foot-deep window well. Add creamy pastel mortared walls
anchored by a classic fireplace and one began to imagine
it could be 1780 in Kingston.
The drink order consisted of a
bottle of a Chateau St Jean 2012 Pinot Noir and a
Castello di Gabbiano 2011 Chianti Classico, supplemented
by Tanqueray & tonic (Kriss!).
All in all, if the intervening eight years was as good as the two visits we have made, Hoffman House has kept many a happy customer. (A half-point separating our ratings is a rare event!)
Other notes: Chays recent entrée choices seem more adventuresome (my observation); Ken was called a pain in the butt by one of our servers, a badge of honor for Ken; the Thruway between Catskill and Kingston was uneventful although Deb K departed at Saugerties on the way back; and Don took an extra lap around the CVS building near Hoffman before making the correct left hand turn (my apologies for the extra gas consumption); and, thanks, Lynda and Ross complementing DP8 this early summer evening.
The evening started at the
Teators, with the weather sunny and very warm but
not warm enough to keep us from deck-lounging and
enjoying the summer air, Debs gardens, and the view
of the Catskills Escarpment.
Topics on the deck, the ride to, during dinner and/or the ride back was as diverse as ever. Ken being a butt was a humorous side note, the new Monteverd car still in waiting, the nice view from the Teator deck, Chay suffering his second day of retirement, Deb suffering from Chays second day of retirement, next years end-of-year retirement party, this years end-of-year party, past administrators who did not show at the retirement party, life at the East Conesville lake and second home, grandparents protecting a youngster around a lake, a Cooperstown trip, a visit to the Beekman Arms, World Cup reactions, DP8 dates for July and August, Kriss relaxing schedule of breakneck activity every day of the week, Debs Lyme and mosquito bite, others Lyme, conflicting medications, the Adamses whereabouts, sightings of Don on a bike, the Monteverd boys on a bicycle fund-raiser on the Cape, weaseling clues from the Teators about the evenings destination, trying to remember Hoffman after we arrived, the Retired Teachers meeting at the Mullers and the new prescription co-pays, the new Mitsubishi AC/heat pump at the Teators, signs of decline of older friends and relatives, Ken getting the early (and only) finger of the evening, wildlife around our houses, and more present a semi-complete portrait.