New York Restaurant – July 2019 (dt) – #200
6.76 – 7.35, 7.25, 7.25, 7, 6.5, 6.5, 6.5, 6

Although we had visited New York Restaurant in November 2016, the backroom felt like a new restaurant. The old firehouse and its coziness (and noise) disappeared for the evening.

The same New American menu survives, along with the definite Polish flavor—an interesting culinary niche. Entrées for the evening included:

            Most was deemed very good to excellent to delicious, with the exceptions of one so-so steak.
            A couple comments about mediocre presentation came through.

Knowing that a salad was not included, we splurged on appetizers.

All were excellent, with the cauliflower wings presented a new prep for most of us, and an interesting one, and a tasty one. The apps could have been dinner, almost.

The dessert round had almost everyone avoiding eye contact, except for Don who selected the Flourless Chocolate Torte. (It was darn good.) Otherwise, we could have gone home fifteen minutes sooner.

Noticeable by its absence was the customary bread or snack provided by most restaurants. The time between sitting and getting appetizers was filled by talk and drink and wishing there was bread.

Drink choices included a bottle of Cremant du Limoux for a celebratory toast for our 200th, a glass of wine, two bottle of house wine (pinot noir, cabernet sauvignon), and some diet sodas.

Service by Melissa was a mix. It all started on such a good note, with a bubbly & attentive server leading us to the back room, checking about drinks, bouncing back and forth between the main floor, etc. She did a nice job pouring eight glasses for our toast, took our orders smoothly, etc. But then, her visits slowed and, for a while, seemed non-existent. Entrées came out at the 100 minute mark, not her doing, but a check back to see what we needed or to quip that food would soon be on its way might have been expedient. And there was a long gap after entrées. I was afraid to order dessert in case it meant 45 minutes. (I knew was had plenty to talk about, but still….) One note of “pleasant but not attentive” was succinct. Ken’s coffee cup sat empty so long that Deb K arose to serve Ken, just as she often claims she does. ha. Service showed lots of interest the first hour, not so much for the rest.
            We must note that as the dessert order was taken, Melissa entered with a bottle of Nalewka Babuni, a Polish after-dinner honey liqueur, courtesy of the restaurant, as a celebration – a nice touch.

Ambiance was dominated by our sheltered preserve, walled off from the outside world. A 12x20 room, with a 12 foot table occupying most of that space, was arranged by the Karneses. The table was long enough that half the time, one conversation was in progress; the other half, two or three conversations, with one end not hearing the other. We do not often get a room to ourselves so it felt special this evening.

Pacing, as a reader might guess, was drawn out, with our departure coming a quarter-hour shy of three hours, a time span that is almost an hour long that many of our comfort zone. The bill for the evening came to a round $100 per couple.

In a rare move, we had started elsewhere this evening. We started with “Happy Hour” at Crossroads, the offshoot of the original Crossroads of Athens, with the Catskill version located at the former Daily Mail building. A dozen beers, industrial design, long legged tables, open drive-in doors, several TVs, and a view of the Slidin’ Dirty food truck gave a view of the world that was not offered in Catskill 40 years ago.

Of course, the #1 topic was #200. It seems hard to believe that this all started in November 2002. For over 16 years, a cozy band of eight has ventured forth into the culinary world, enjoying company & food & scenery in our eighty mile circle.
            A couple lists were passed around. One was a county-by-county list of all the restaurants we have visited, with each county further listed by the towns we had visited. The second was a chronology from current back to the beginning. And 200 lines makes for a long list.
            We had a chance to reminisce over a few highlights, ponder over places that have closed since our visit, our seven rules, the most expensive dinners, the trip to South Carolina, eateries that we had almost forgotten, the Adamses’ eleven years, the substitutes, and more.

Other topics: the week’s heat wave with the even hotter forecast for the long weekend, Gray Fox Festival and hot weather, Chay’s invitation to Steve Barnes (Albany food blogger) to visit our #200 (circumstances prevented), progress of grandchild-to-be, Teator trip to Philly area, the Notars trip to Asheville area, talk about visiting wineries and tasting fees, bicycling, the Notar pool progress, Deb K posing as a waiter, beer, Otesaga plans, and more that have faded into the ether.