Tavern 23 – January 2020 (dt)
6.45 – 7.2, 7, 7, 6.9, 6.5, 6, 6, 5
Pumped in Windham

A cold mid-January drive led to Windham’s Tavern 23, a recent transformation from its past incarnation as Rock’n Mexicana and before that Trails End and before that Windham Arms. Trivia: DP8 dined here when it was Mexicana, and the Quinns were the subs, the very first subs in DP8 history, a long time ago, January 2012.

Tavern 23 touts American comfort food. Perhaps this is 2020 American comfort food, or Windham ski town comfort food but not our grandparents’ comfort food. ‘Tis for the better, I think.

Choices this evening:

            With an exception or two, we were taken aback by the overwhelming average-ness of food, bordering on semi-mediocrity. Someone commented that it was like an AT&T commercial: everything was just OK. A couple of us thought the portions were small, especially for the price. The lobster mac-n-cheese suffered in comparison by the same choice at Catskill’s New York Restaurant. A couple servings came out cold, with Deb K having to send hers back, mostly likely re-nuked. The diced lobster, the ones found, were overcooked. The chicken piece was one of the toughest pieces ever. Maybe it was a fussy night. Or not.
            Fortunately the other courses were better.

            Both deemed very good but a tad expensive.
            And some thought an included small house salad, considering entrée prices, would not have been out of the question.
Cream of asparagus soup, with a spear of asparagus and three croutons, with a thick cream soup was deemed very good by Don and Deb K.

Two wire baskets of Italian bread slices and crisp seeded crackers accompanied three panel ramekin of hummus spread, herbed butter, and olive oil was a satisfying nibbler.

The drinks course was a bit truncated, with two beer drinkers, two wine drinkers, and three or four non-alcholic drinkers/dieters. Even wine by the glass was a dollar or two higher than usual in our travels.

The dessert course of four was one of those narrated affairs. The only taker was Don with the bourbon pecan pie. Filling out the list were two coffees, a white Sambuca, and a Bailey’s Cream.

Service by Dana was, perhaps, the highlight of the evening. She was appropriately everywhere, assertively taking orders and checking back on our satisfaction, friendly, positive, handled Deb’s cold mac-n-cheese with skill.

Ambiance is cold weather comfortable. A fire pit greets arrivals and we might have considered sitting around it with the 65 degrees the weekend before. Fifty degrees cooler and a brisk wind snuffed out those thoughts this evening.

Little had changed since Mexicana days. Large, faux-paneled windows, about 4’ x 8’, three on the east wall and six on the south wall, make for a grandly open feel, probably even more dramatic during daylight. A dark wainscoting was new, topped by a burgundy wall paint. Soundproofing-tile ceilings muffled some of the noise. Lighting came from recessed lighting, assisted by regularly spaced lampshade sconces.
            A hefty dry mortar stone fireplace with gas flame pleasingly dominates the room and invited most of us to stand in front of it for a few seconds. Thirty feet of bar lined the right hand side of entry with fifteen stools. High and low top tables of two and four intersperse the floor. A four foot table was combined with a five foot table for us, a tad long, with four on the banquette and four looking opposite, looking at the wall.
            General noise was a little loud, with a nondescript background PA music not serving much purpose. It was loud enough that the ends did not talk to each other unless an effort was made. (A shorter table with ends occupied might have made a difference.)
The chairs were an expansive, cloth-cushioned, wood frames that proved comfortable. Water glasses and a knife-fork set awaited, and water carafes quickly filled water glasses.

            The time span was about an hour, forty-five—not rushed but certainly a little faster than average, and dessert stretched that a little.
            The final bill came to $90 per couple, a number that fits into our lower average range. However, considering $10 salads, $10 glasses of wine, of which there were few, only one dessert, the price seemed a little expensive. Still, Tavern 23 still felt like a comfortable place to come for a burger and beer on a casual night.

Topics in the car and at the table covered the usual range:
Deb’s cookies business, Valentine’s Day approaching, a wintery day after three weeks of moderate weather, last weekend’s 60 degree weather, no snow on the ground, house-flipping, marathoning, merger of Adirondack school districts (Westport & E’town), greyhounds, real work world (sorry, Julie), early morning walks, travel plans, whereabouts of you other eight (Monteverds, Adamses, Pisano & Burhouse, Mower & Spohler), doings of our children (no grandchildren with K&K gone), Facebook postings, Clem in Florida, a few colds circulating but everyone mostly good, Teator trip to Egypt in April, Karnes trip to Florida soon, Quinn trip later on Viking Ocean, Notar trip to Florida for a few weeks soon, the view of the valley from Point Lookout, upcoming Cairo-Durham Hall of Fame, Bob Piano’s honor, church events, and a bunch more.
            And then up popped (forgive the pun) one of our most unexpected topics in DP8 history. Kriss, we apologize but even you would have not have interrupted, perhaps in awe. Erections. Yup. Enhancement. Pills. Suction pumps. Needles. That elicited some masculine frowns. Vaginal supplements. Don’t ask. All very productive and serious discussion. Mostly.
            See ya in February.