Port of Call – July 2015

6.71 – 7.0 x 4, 6.8, 6.75, 6.5 x 6 (two missing)

A rare Wednesday evening summer gathering of fourteen convened at Port of Call at Catskill’s Point this hot July evening. Typically, the last few years, we have gathered at the Monteverds’ pool but circumstances suggested a change.
          We started at Dock Street Station, the outdoor bar across the street, with one of the most expansive views of the Hudson River—northward to the RVW Bridge and beyond, down river almost to Germantown, and then across the Catskill Creek. We stayed as still as possible in the 90 degree heat and blaring 6 p.m. sun, tried to catch every waft of breeze possible, sipped something cool, and waited for the crew to arrive.
          Forty-five minutes later, we loitered to Port of Call, checked in at the maître d desk before being allowed to take our seats on the end of the deck. Two rows of seven lined the connecting tables, the lowering sun glinting in the eyes of several for about twenty minutes.
          PoC’s menu is classic Hudson River: 10 appetizers (seafood and wings and onion soup), a half dozen salads, lobster, fifteen entrées (seafood and two meats), another half dozen Italian offerings (Frank Guido owns PoC), and burgers and wraps.

Most of the selections were deemed good to excellent, with a few satisfactory.
---> Seafood salad plate of 1/2 lobster, shrimp, salad (Deb K)
---> Scallops (Chay)
---> Panko crusted scallops, rice (Deb T)
---> Mariner Delight – 4 clams, 4 shrimp, stuffed fish, 4 scallops, rice, salad (Don)
---> Meatballs & penne, Caesar salad (Kriss)
---> Fish & chips, house salad (Ken)
---> Zuppa di pesce (Mark)
---> ½ lobster, scallops, clams oreganato over linguine (Joyce)
---> Caesar sald, grilled shrimp, no sesame tainted croutons (Lynda)
---> Fish & chips (Ross)
---> Chicken Caesar salad, calamari w/ marinara (Julie J)
---> Sliced steak w/scallops on rice (Denman)

The Notars and Karneses shared a calamari appetizer. A side salad accompanied entrées for an extra charge—house salad for four dollars, the Caesar for an extra six dollars, and both were sizable enough to be worth the additional.

A dessert menu was offered but we again did not partake.

Ambiance was, well, outdoors. We viewed the restaurant interior on the way in, as they had to count heads before they would seat us. (They have been stood up too many times to take reservations.)
          Our deck position gave a view to Olana, some of the river, and all of the Catskill Creek as it joins the Hudson. The tide was ebbing near dinner’s end and, as one of the poetic types at our table described it, we enjoyed the “swampy scent of exposed river banks.” Still, being able to sit outside with good company is a rarity all of us took time to savor.

Service by Natalia was exemplary—taking food and drink orders for fourteen of us plus the other tables she serviced, delivering, checking back, exhibiting warm hospitality demeanor, all was complimented by DP14. She is a credit to Port of Call.
          Somehow, the topic of separate checks was broached and for the first time, it was done. Bill including food, drink, tip, and tax per couple ranged from $60 - $110.
          Pacing was pleasant. We started 6:45, left just after 9, with a faint darkness that alerted us that summer was half over.

With fourteen present, capturing a broad view is nigh to impossible, and I will leave it at that. The one note was a wish of good health to the upcoming second Monteverdean grandchild. (Since this writing, it has happened! Congrats, Grandma & Grandpa.)

Happy summer to all.