Mountain View Brasserie #5 -- February 2012 (dt)
7.28 - 7.7, 7.5, 7.5, 7.25, 7.25, 7, 7, 7

DP8’s support-local date brought us to Greenville’s Mountain View Brasserie for the fifth time. And, for the fifth time, MVB proved yet again why it is on our very short list of favorites – quality and consistency in food, service, ambience and value.
               The past four reviews (Aug ’07, Jan ’09, Feb ’10, Feb ’11) tell much the same story as this one so allow this account to be briefer.
               Terry’s gracious welcome at the entryway presages a worthy evening, and is soon followed by her pronouncement of specials, an event in itself.
               Arriving at the table within five minutes of seating were two trays of French bread and crisps, along with ramekins of softened butter.
               Newcomers Julie and Den started with the tomato-mozzarella-pesto appetizer, shared with the table. (Smart political move! and a good appetizer)
               Included in the meal is salad or soup. Five selected the greens salad and a choice of dressing, two opted for the Caesar salad, and one (Don) the tomato-basil bisque (and I am not usually a tomato soup consumer!). All were competent and worthy.
               It was a steak-heavy night, with two strip steaks (Kriss, Julie), three orders of 12 oz prime rib (Deb K, Chay, Ken-“a most excellent end cut, Chay”), one 16 oz prime rib (Dennis). The ranges of orders from medium-rare to well-done were not only grilled perfectly but also visual masterpieces of steak finishes.
               The other choices were the pork chop (Deb T) and the grilled veal tenderloins (Don).
               All came with the au gratin potato and a side of ratatouille – except for Dennis, who asked for and got a baked potato, leading a few others to wonder why he was special and then realizing they could have asked too (not that you are not special, Den!).
               Dessert lured, and ensnared, most of us – the warm chocolate cake with a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream with dollops of whipped cream and chocolate shavings (Kriss, Don & Deb, Julie); Key Lime pie (Ken); cherry cheese cake (Dennis); white chocolate bread pudding with caramel (Deb K); and rounding out the list was black Sambuca (Chay, and joined by Dennis). All were excellent to outstanding.

               Once again, for the fifth time, we expected, and then MVB delivered. Kudos to Terry, Max, and staff.
Service, again for the five-peat, was excellent. Becky, a favorite former student of the C-D teachers, was attentive, receptive, pleasant, practically ubiquitous – thanks, Becky, for pampering us. Meanwhile Ruchi filled water glasses that dared to hit the half level. The level of competence is a testament to Terry’s training.
               The ambience continues, with the pastel shades of the French effect. I will skimp on details; go back and read past reviews for more. However, bearing repeating, DP8 enjoys the efforts and details that show so much of Terry’s hand.
               Drinks included a bottle of Ala Nera 2010 Nero D’Avola that served five of us well enough that we ordered a second. (The markup seemed considerably less than usual.) Two diet sodas and one coffee finished the drinks list.
               The final bill, with tax, tip, and drinks – $104 per couple – again, for this quality, is a value.
               Ken’s coffee was generously supplied (hometown advantage of knowing Ken’s coffee habits).

DP8 enjoyed the evening’s start at the Monteverds’, on a windy, cool day in another otherwise amazing winter that has seen very little snow cover and only minor spans of cold temperatures.
                Ken and Kriss had prepared trays of cashews and M&Ms; crackers; and grapes, pineapple chunks, cantaloupe chunks, and two cheeses. Ken delivered drinks – diet soda, white zin, Sam Adams beer, and a red wine he discovered in Slingerlands – a Heitz Cellars Grignolino (good pick, Ken, and an adventuresome one that I liked!).
               The first topic was the joining of the group, for the evening, of Dennis Mower and Julie Johnson, the second month of guest substitutes for the Adamses who are cavorting somewhere in the Texas dunes. Happy travels, Tim and Judy.
               Another topic, during dinner, repeated a dozen or more times, always in jest (right?), was, after two orders of prime rib end cut, the discovery that only one end cut existed. After a brief skirmish of who would yield to the other, Ken gave in and accepted, leaving Chay to “only” prime rib. Banter of the “most excellent end cut” flew across the ends of the table, with a bit of faux whining and feigned slight, good for a slew of laughs.
               Other topics, before and during dinner, ranged a bunch – the Monteverd new living room furniture that was succumbing after only nine months; news from Tim and Judy; the price of gas jumping 20 in a month; Deb T’s postponed foot surgery; Deb’s pocketbooks; school snow days, or lack thereof; other school administrative matters; Kriss’s Clark “jugs” (nice one, Dennis!); ill health or death of classmates; the possible rating of the substitute DP8ers; Julie’s job; jumping off bridges; “the” phone call (bridge); 79 school days left (Kriss is not counting!); an active Kalli; the grown-up kittens; talk of garnet mines; high school baseball soon-to-be season; work for the real world people; arranging a new March DP8 date; and more

A look back at DP8 history now shows five visits to MVB and four visits to the Freehold Country Inn, making nine visits to the Buel-Suhner collaboration, exceeded only by the eleven visits to the Karneses’ events. The next most visited establishment (only one) has seen DP8’s shadow three times.