October 2004 - New World Home Cooking (dt)
5.50 - 7, 6.5, 5.5, 5, 5, 4 (2 absent) 

With a double cross from Bill Lawrence, we did not go to Ravena, but instead, followed the Karnes lead vehicle south on Rt 32. No, despite the misleading directionals, we were not going to Fernwood on a Sunday night. No El Rancho either. We turned right on 212, and we guessed the few likely spots in that direction; a left turn took us to New World Home Cooking Co. just before Woodstock.
   Upside: The place was,.. well,… interesting, maybe groovy, and probably cool. The concept is new wave, new age, Woodstocky, slow food, clean food, hip menu, more vegetarian, etc. Sometimes, that can be good, and sometimes, well, suspect. This was interesting-good, perhaps a notch below our top ratings, but a worthy visit and enterprise.
   The entrees selected were two baby back ribs, one Ropo Viejo (Cuban pot roast), one salad with shrimp, one double pork chop and an ahi tuna. A variety of spices, black beans, brown rice, squash, and spinach dotted some of our plates. All were declared good, although four of the plates were deemed warm, not hot. Fortunately, Deb K’s was hot (the plate!). Also, despite our temptations, Tim did not order the tapas menu.
   Our libations included two bottles of Benzinger Reserved Merlot (good to excellent rating from the four drinkers), a mango drink, and a margarita (see below). No after dinner drinks were asked for.
   The ambience was an eclecticism born of wild, natural, contemporary, and bright. Bright swirls of oranges, yellows, reds covered the table tops. Wall hangings and paintings were semi-minimalist, semi-scenic, and the four foot hanging by our table was a peasant woman working naturally in her kitchen with natural foods. (Did I say “nature”?) The music resonated of native Central or South American with a mix of Randy Newman. (Did I say, eclectic? It was party-like, light-hearted and jovial, never intrusive.)
   Swishing you in the face as you entered was a noisy dining room squeezed against an active bar. Fortunately, the room beyond was spacious and a round table (our favorite, I think), in a corner awaited us, with banks of tall windows separating the darkness on two sides of us.
   Deserts were requested by only two: a bowl of raspberries with fresh cream for Judy (I think I heard a moan, rather low and sensual sounding, but then again, I am not a fine arbiter of such sounds.) and a wheat free, gluten-something chocolate cake with raspberry sauce. The raspberry sauce made the brick-like, very dense (it was ok) cake reasonably palatable.
   Service was efficient, friendly, informative, with a few different young men clearing or delivering dishes. Most notable was the busboy who balanced one tray while picking up another full round tray with wrist strength. (Tom and Tim, do you think the ogling from the women meant anything else?) And the final bill was in our middle range.
    Downside: DP8 was DP6 for this evening, with the Monteverds needing to yield to other interests. DP6 had an enjoyable time but we definitely would have preferred to be DP8. Second, not that we can do anything about it, but it’s getting darker earlier, and we needed jackets, a reminder that the “w” word is soon upon us. Another small spot on the evening was Judy’s $11 Margarita that none of us liked. Fortunately, it was returned graciously.