Port of Call #2 - September 2023
Port of Call – Sept 2023

A Monteverd selection steered us to a scenic spot we visited eight years ago – Port of Call, on the Point in Catskill.

A sporadically pleasant day, for a change, turned in our favor at DP8 time. Temps in the low 70s allowed for outdoor seating beside the Catskill Creek near the junction with the Hudson River. Olana peered from the distance and boats came traipsing back to dock, with mermaids on one,  after an afternoon on the water.

            “Selena” seated us and left us with Kari for the evening.

            The menu was classic & casual American riverside. Although there was a wide enough range, the seafood theme dominated: nine of the eleven appetizers, two of the four sandwiches, nine of the fifteen entrées

            DP8 choices included:

  • Grilled Salmon, with balsamic glaze, served with rice blend
  • Shrimp Fresca – a broiled shrimp scampi style, pecorino romano, broccoli & fresh tomatoes tossed in roasted garlic oil with linguini
  • Chicken Parmigiana, served with penne or linguini
  • 4 Cheese Ravioli A ‘la Vodka, with an option to add chicken or shrimp
  • Pan Blackened Sole, with mango salsa served with rice blend
  • Chicken Francese, served with linguini

I would like to tell you that everyone thought their choice was excellent but our minds were buzzing with other thoughts and little comment was made, then. My own observations showed we all thought our food experience was very good to excellent.

            Four salads – the Caesar or House – were ordered as appetizers.

            And a basket of rolls, complemented by a small basket of individual pats of butter in plastic containers started.

            By dessert time, and dusk having faded into darkness, no one had room for a choice from the dessert list, one that ranked better than most for the ten choices it held. And we did not even attempt to visit Coney Island either.

Our drink order was lighter than usual, with four beers and four sodas. Iced water in plastic cups started the evening.

Kari’s service was proficient and quite satisfactory, with a favor from her at the end. (see later)

Ambience was fresh river air, under coverings, with setting light sun in the eyes fading into dusk and then darkness. Deck chairs around two four-place tables allowed a reasonable conversation level. And the noise from other tables and from the speaker music was medium level and non-obstructive.

Final tabs per couple, excluding tip, ranged from $74-$79. (more particular than usual – see later)


            The big one was the absence of Chay and Deb, both suffering from Covid’s onset a week or more ago, with Chay harder hit. For the first time in 239 events, Chay was absent. We sent our best to both, toasted, and continued on.

            Another topic that needs introducing here is Selena. Petite and slim, she was garbed in a single piece suit, made of material thin enough that some of the eyeballs in the group were riveted. Two calls to Ken went unheeded, and then he tried to justify it as normal! ha

            Other topics: Quinns’ grandparenting duties, gardening, closing up of the pools or close to it, flu and Covid shots, a look back at summer and summer weather, Ken getting leaner, plans for fall, heading to FL soon for half the group, other Floridian ex-NYers, river experiences, a sore back that was limiting running, the underwear model, Deb’s cruise with the Adamses and others to South America mid-winter, a nice FB photo of Jen and daughter, Phil & Bunny, the Notars at Disney, Don’s Aunt Grace’s 80th birthday, Clem’s 88th coming up, delectable Sweeter Side FB posts, golfing, Lynda & Ross, Tim & Judy, and a bunch more.

            By 8:30, darkness had settled in, reminding us of what the next six months will hold. Northward we all headed, awaiting October.

OK, OK. There is more to the evening. I took the high road for the main write-up. And then there was the visceral low road:

            DP8 239: Kriss’s pick: Point Lookout Loomed

Kriss, as usual, took responsibility for the quality of the dining experience, even though we have tried to soothe and reassure her that the dining experience and the company are to be enjoyed. However, there were just enough unfavorable elements of our first 15-30 minutes to cast a pall on the evening, or at least the first half hour.

            First, Port of Call took no reservations and reassured Kriss that we would have no problem being seated. Kriss made sure to inform everyone and we were fine. A 6:30 gathering (not counting an extra ten minutes for a few of us who arrived early) went five minutes, and then ten minutes of us sitting on the waiting benches. Shortly after fifteen minutes had passed, Selena signaled a table for eight was available. So far, ok.

            Next, drink orders. One order of a beer, oops, sorry we do not have that. Another one of us ordered a beer, oops, sorry we do not have that. Oh, yeah, we do not have those two and three more. Orders were finally taken. At least, all of us managed to not ask What beers do you have? Maybe Kari should have known to alert us first, and Kriss was fidgeting.

            And, then, we read the menu that said no separate checks for parties of more than six. We asked Kari anyway, who politely repeated the company line that she could not make separate checks for parties larger than six. Argh. We have become accustomed to separate checks so our heads began buzzing, which is why my previous comment about few comments about food could be gathered.

            Then, the near coup de grace. A basket of rolls was delivered, passed around, with one per person. We wanted more and asked. Sorry, that is all the bread we have, but if you want to order garlic bread off the menu, we could.

            Boy, Kriss was near apoplectic. That vessel on the left forehead was jumping! We almost had to tie her down and reassure her that the company was wonderful and the experience was… well… competing (I mean fine) with Point Lookout.

            Later in the evening, a party of twelve sat behind us. They got rolls, and we muttered under our breath.

            One saving grace: At check time, Kari approached our table, suggested that her schedule had lightened enough (we were one of a few tables left at just after 8 pm), and that she could produce separate checks. We almost cheered but made sure to thank Kari for going above and beyond.

            I have no idea what was bothering Kriss! The food was good, the experience was interesting, waterside was delightful, and the company was stellar.