A special time, a special occasion and the eve of a special day requires celebration. The tradition of the wedding rehearsal dinner is alive and well, the experience is personalized and tweeked to suit.
The feeling of a custom made event should be required for all of those preparing to enter into marriage as the needs are as individual as the union itself.
Yes, the location was incredibly convenient from the church...
But, if need be, we certainly could have traveled.
The entrace and walk way were welcoming and well kept. I wanted to go in, wanted to know and see more, to continue, to dine and start making a new memory.
And so, our party of 13 is seated in the upstairs dining room, We are family and friends, longtime relations and new acquaintances joined by a religious man and his wife.
We were given regular menus and the listing of specials.
A cocktail to begin - the Cragsmoorpolitan - not just a dressed up girly martini, but one with meaning for the area. Cragsmoor was once known for its blueberries and so to offer a drink with a nod to the area's history is more than appropriate and so I make my selection.
The bride and her future mother-in-law decide on the Castaway. We are all happy with our decisions.
I offer a toast of happiness and we peruse the dinner choices.
I decide to skip an appetizer as I hope I will instead be leaving room for dessert. However, my older nephew, seated on my left, opts for a fresh Caesar salad.
Conversation ranges from one end of the table to the other and the edge of sitting in the middle allows me to let my attention wander from one topic to another. The young men at the left speak with the religious man about his birthplace (Southeast Asia), the lack of ethnic variety in restaurants in the nearby geography, tattoos, professional athletes in baseball, football and basketball, moving from New York city to the country and the beauty of the area we are currently dining.
My homemade Tagliatelle is not for the whimpy of apetite. The dish is hearty and filling with ample amounts of mushrooms, red bell peppers and topped with a bit of micro greens. Quite a successful plate of which I am forced to take half home in order to leave room for sharing a dessert with my younger nephew.
He orders the cheesecake with caramel sauce on the side (he's not sure what it will taste like). The cheesecake was prepared in an individual mold and so the shape is a pleasing change and makes the portion size a bit more manageable. I am only able to have a few forkfuls before pleading of being absolutely full. He did dip a forkful of cheesecake into the caramel sauce but the verdict is still undetermined.
A lovely local spot to which I am sure we will return, but not without remembering The Rehearsal Dinner.