Miss Lucy’s Kitchen – Saugerties (dt)
6.89 – 8, 7.7, 7.5, 7.25, 6.75, 6, 5

A rare individual repeat pick headed southward into Saugerties, found a scarce municipal-lot parking spot, and sauntered across the road to Miss Lucy’s Kitchen, visited in November 2005. The ten years absence had effaced any strong memory of that evening.

The menu is rather compact—with a dozen appetizers, only eight entrées, and eight desserts— but the range seemed wide enough to allow most of us a couple good choices. It should be noted that a few thought quite differently. (thank you, MLK, for the online menu)
Entrée Selections:
==> Pan Seared Scallops, with Ramp Risotto, Truffle Oil & Balsamic Reduction (Deb T: wonderful, seared just right, largest scallops ever; Lynda: excellent; Chay: good but too small a portion for too big a price)
==> Blackened Montauk Yellowfin Tuna, with Steamed Basmati Rice & Creole Remoulade (Ross: some of the best he has had)
==> Northwind Farm Pan Roasted Half Chicken, with Jalapeño Cornbread Pudding & Herbed Demiglace (Deb K: good but ordinary and pricey, veggies ordinary, excellent bread)
==> House Made Pappardelle, with Braised Rabbit Ragout, Leeks, Cherry Tomatoes & Wilted Greens (Don: totally excellent, a light but rich sauce, tasty meat; Mark: very good, portion was small)

Appetizers drew more attention than usual, with no salad included in the meal. Chosen this evening:
==> Mixed Green Salad with House Vinaigrette (Deb T: good basic salad; Ross & Lynda shared: a good salad; Chay: good)
==> Vegan Asparagus Bisque (Don: delightfully rich and tender at same time, a definite asparagus taste, and two small asparagus for garnish)
==> Roasted Beet Salad with Frisée, Bacon, Pickled Onions, & Granny Smith Apples (share: Deb K: very good, liked the apple slices; and Mark: good, needed more beets)

And a full range of desserts beckoned.
==> Pear, Ginger & Dried Cherry Crisp with Vanilla Bean Ice Cream (Deb T & Lynda share: visually creative bowl, good range of flavors, a winner)
==> Swedish Hazelnut Tart with Candied Clementine Ice Cream (share: Don: good hazelnut flavor, wanting a little more punch; and Deb K: so-so with another unidentified flavor throwing off the palate)
==> Malt Layer Cake with Chocolate Frosting & Rocky Road Ice Cream (share: Don: a good cake with good chocolate, not top 10 but still very good; and Deb K: favorite part of the meal)
==> Chocolate Peanut Brittle Parfait with Sea Salt Caramel Coffee & Vanilla Bean (Ross: very good, hoping for more ice cream)
==> Sambuca: Chay enjoyed his usual, although black would have been even better

The drink order consisted with a typical red—a good Chateau d’Aigueville Cotes du Rhone—and an infrequent choice of rosé—Moulin de Gassac Guilhem, a sign that Lynda is at the table.

Service was… wow. Quick, quicker than almost any place we have ever visited. In fact, we spent more time deciding wines that it took for our appetizers to appear, about five minutes after ordering. And the entrées came at the 35 minute mark, and desserts appearing just over the hour mark. We were out the door in less than 90 minutes, and we arrived home in the last throes of a late April dusk. wow
          At the same time, surprisingly, we did not feel rushed. Our notes from ten years ago painted the opposite story, with long delays.
          Dressed-in-black server Jessica was prompt, visible when needed, not clingy, pleasant but not overly so, and fit mostly in the background. Helping her was Manuel who delivered the dishes in a focused, efficient manner. Delivery got interesting when the table next to us, when filled and backed up almost to Ross’s back, forced Manuel to circle that table to get to my end. Our table was a bit tight in the corner.
          We were both impressed by pacing and, at the same time, perhaps, a little disoriented, pleasantly so, though.
          Water was filled a few times, as was needed. And the Ken’s coffee test was once again not utilized.

Ambiance is classic early 20th century and motif driven at the same time.
          The early century part is the classic tin ceiling that leaves one gazing upward longer than is good for walking the length of the room. And the foot wide old board flooring feels solid and country-strong. Wainscoting of a stressed country green layered the bottom third of the walls while a cream yellow filled the upper layer.
          The kitchen motif applies throughout, with aprons covering the wall at our end of the table, with aprons in the front windows, kitchen utensils hanging from walls, a few cut-out pigs in the appropriate places. It is a visually eye-catching interior.
          The front is a classic, old-village-front glass facade with an inset lobby thus allowing the person inside to peer through the glass wall and the busy-ness that has become recent-day Saugerties.

          Upon entering, on the left, is an appropriately small dark bar, ten stools long around the L, with a glass mirror reflecting both the liquor bottles and also the width of the room. A tall blonde tended bar. ...
          At the rear, an open door frame enters the kitchen, and a large empty window allows those sitting at the table just in front (us) to peer inside at the dishwashers and cooks, an interesting view.

Our table was a curiosity piece, fashioned with twelve foot long boards, four inches wide, covered with settings of white linen napkin wrapped around a fork and knife, a water glass, and a minor centerpiece. Wine glasses appropriate for red, and then rosé, were brought upon our order.
          Two wire baskets of country bread, almost sliced through, requiring a vigorous pull to detach, appeared with two shallow saucers of softened butter.

The restaurant would look both full at times, and then not full. We had wanted a 7 pm reservation, was told that was not possible, accepted the 6:30 slot, and watched the ebb and flow of the crowd that would fill every table at times. We were left wondering what 9 pm would look like.
          The final bill, including all, came to $118 per couple. Half of us considered this fair and not surprising for food and service at this level but the other half of us felt strongly that entrées were overpriced for the amount of food offered.

The evening had started at the Teators. Plates and bowls of crackers and cheese and salsa and baby carrots and dip, along with pizza bites from the Freehold Pizza and Grill, comprised the the pre-session’s noshing. Turkish Delight from the Spice Market in Istanbul was available for testing.
          Beer and a cabernet sauvignon slaked the thirsts, and we started our catch-up on news.
          Starting at the house, continuing in the car ride to and fro and at Miss Lucy’s, we heard a lot of news. Topics included: the recently concluded Istanbul-Venice cruise of Don, Deb, Lynda, and Ross, with Ross not being pickpocketed; an absent wife scrapbooking; a son’s job in the nuclear industry; golf games at all levels of deterioration (well, there was some hope, it being April); mowing grass; the awful weather during the cruisers’ absence; the whereabouts and well-being of the Adamses and Monteverds; summer plans; and more.