July 2004 - Tatiana's (dt)
The Great Save
4.56 - 6.5, 5.5, 5.5, 5, 4, 4, 3, 3 

Running afoul of bad timing that threatened the streak of twenty consecutive months for the DP8 (dinner party of 8), Tom came through in a clutch play (had enough sports metaphors?) and talked all of us to gather at Tatiana’s along the Catskill Creek in Catskill. We spent a generous half hour at the outside bar, on a humid evening along a quiet creek, before we ascended the deck for dinner at 7:45.
    The up side: The fact that we even participated in Dinner #21 on time was an accomplishment. We caught up on our adventures through mid-July – trips to Maine, the Caribbean, work (for some of us), home stuff, etc., filled most of the night. The outside bartender was a former student at Cairo-Durham who is getting a teaching degree, and a few of us might have remembered our early days.
    Enjoying the open air was a treat, on a comfortable night, in the fading twilight, with the toots of several trains crossing the trestle that spans the Catskill Creek, remembering to not remember what outside at 8 pm is usually like a few months either side of July.
    The Italian menu was reasonably lengthy, with many choices going with veal, scallops, and shrimp. A brace of carafes of Chianti lasted the evening, and most of the food was considered good to fine (I heard one grumble beside me, and it wasn’t Deb). The salads, especially with the house dressing, were certainly satisfactory.
    The early conversation centered on being able to enjoy the evening, Judy’s jury duty, and the bats of the Teator house. Somehow, by evening’s end.....
    The anticipation of a summer picnic at the Monteverds in late August was welcome.
    The down side: Although the service was willing and eager to please, it was inexperienced and erratically slow. Then, the declining of dessert may have been a decision a few wanted to revisit but the pressure was to leave the dark-scented deck so a few could get home for work the next day.