Reservoir Inn – May 2017 (dt)
7.02 – 7.25, 7.2, 7, 7, 7, 7, 6.9, 6.8

Mark’s lead-car wound and zigged along the Sawkill’s curves, had the follow-car scratching our heads with the two turnarounds and several brakings at intersections, and traipsed through scenic Centerville and Zena and other illustrious hamlets before nosing in at the Reservoir Inn, a short throw from the Ashokan Reservoir.

Reservoir Inn’s menu covers a wide range, capably prepared to satisfy a gamut of palates of locals and travelers: a dozen appetizers, half-dozen salads, ten pasta dishes, several each of chicken & veal & meat & sandwiches & pizza choices, and ten seafood dishes.
Selections at our table:

            All were deemed worthy to excellent, with only a minor miss or two (dry & bland rice topped the list).

An accompanying salad was included with the entrée. A six inch plate of a handful of mixed greens, a few shreds of carrots, a tomato chunk, a thick half-dollar cucumber slice, and a choice of four dressings was a sufficient starter salad/app.
            Within minutes of seating, a large wicker basket of linen-wrapped, seed-crusted bread arrived, with foiled pats of butter to accompany.

Mark selected two bottles of Hahn 2015 Monterey Pinot Noir for six of us, and sodas sufficed for the other two. Water around was requested.

The dessert menu, with a fair range of choices, beckoned:

            Most were considered a pleasing finish, although the banana cream people thought Judy should be thankful she missed a so-so dessert. The usual Sambuca drinkers did not partake, nor did the two dieters.

Service by Celina and accomplice was competent, efficient, non-obtrusive, and perhaps a little brusque but considered part of character. Water glasses were filled, Ken’s coffee was regularly topped, an additional bread basket found its way to the table, and plates and utensils were appropriately cleared. (The debate when to clear is still not settled: when most are done, or all are done?)
            Pacing flowed well enough except for a lengthy distance between salads and entrées, perhaps 45 minutes. In the end, an evening’s total of two hours fifteen was a comfortable pace.
            On the way out, we overheard the bartender detail the specials of the evening, something we missed.

The restaurant itself was a visual treat with gobs of history dangling everywhere. From the outside, the Inn looked like a former stay for travelers, converted into today’s business. Entry took us through a recent addition of a sun room that accommodates nearly a hundred diners. We wound through the bar that is semi-sheltered from the three dining rooms. Along the way, one espied the narrow front room, probably a covered porch once upon a time that got enclosed and is now a cozy spot with a view to the outside.
            We made one last turn into our spot, a 25 x 35 room. The laid-up stone mortared walls on three sides, ten feet tall, dominate the ambiance, even more so with another few feet of timbered upper walls. The peaked ceiling continued the wood theme with pine siding. Windows and other openings have 8 x 8 beam headers, lending a strength from the 19th century. Several dozen rural and agricultural implements hang from every wall, ceiling, and even the cross-beam that ran overhead, holding a walk-behind tiller. A stained glass and a dozen framed photographs of the area added more texture. It was a cozy room imbued with its colonial patina.
            Two laminate top tables were joined, ringed by standard chairs, with Mark and Chay at the ends. A white bread plate held a linened combo of two forks and a knife while a center-table votive candle awaited lighting.
            Lighting came from the several windows for the 90 minutes of fading evening. With onset of darkness, four eight-limbed chandeliers and four recessed ceiling lights gave adequate illumination.
            Our experience called for another visit with an extension ride around and over the Reservoir.

The bill at evening’s end came to $83 per couple – a modest price for food, two bottles of wine, and dessert for most. The average entrée price was $20-$22, somewhat less than the area might suggest, although this also might explain the Inn’s apparent popularity. And, from top to bottom, our scores was one of the most consistent DP8 scores ever.

We started the evening at the Notars where a bowl of gruyere & roasted garlic casserole & thin pretzel crisps complemented a veggie dish with a center ramekin of dip. An ideal light appetizer. And Mark served a Ravines Meritage, beer, and soda.

Discussion at the Notars, at the Inn, and on the rides to and fro included: the Karneses’ trip to St. Louis and gobs of details, yardwork, garden work, wet yards, losing golf balls on the fairway puddles at Sunny Hill, retired teachers meeting earlier in day, health insurance, Kriss’s birthday the same day as DP8, the return of the Monteverds to bring DP8 to full strength for the first since Christmas, new lambs on Weed Road, dieting while DP8 goes out, a pain in the back, travel westward to see Mom, the scenic ride to West Hurley, Mark’s driving abilities (according to one backseat passenger), the upcoming retirement party, the Notars’ first restaurant selection as permanent DP8ers, Don’s cycling during wet and cold – or not, Naples’ stories, Naples ice cream store, the Monteverd winter and company, the doings of our children and grandchildren, Judy Lampman, Kriss offering to share a dessert with Ken and the reciprocating incredulous raised eyebrow, Shutterfly vs photo album, the whereabouts of the Adamses & Den & Lynda & Ross, a summer visitor perhaps, the much different ride back home on the Thruway in the dark, summer plans, the upcoming Teator cruise, when is the special of the night not a special, seldom seen back roads to our south, and nothing about politics. There is always more but this is what stuck to the flypaper in my memory bank.