The Mr. has one condition, "It has to be someplace we have not been before."
Tough negotiations. I am excited by the prospect of finding something that is not hours away, will not be crowded with lines of waiting families out the door and promises "real" food.
I had bought a gift certificate for my sister and her husband a few Christmas' ago for the Tutillhouse at the Mill but have not eaten there myself and though I never heard their review, it was a nice warm night and I remembered they had outside seating areas as well as a dining room.
Next step, peek at the online menu. Click here for Tutillhouse Menu. I debate about calling for a reservation and decide instead to take the chance and not feel rushed or obligated to a certain time. After a long week, we are not in a hurry to rush back into the car.
We arrive respectfully ahead of the dinner rush and find plenty of room to park.
Cute. Quaint. Charming. Well maintained.
A welcoming entrance.
A bit of history.
Immediately inside the foyer is the bar with a smiling hostess who asks if he would like to sit inside or out. I confirm outside with the Mr. and we are walked through the dining room to a side porch or veranda if you like.
My seated view looking into the dining room.
I thought ahead to bring a long sleeve suit jacket and sitting in the shade by the rushing water, I needed it. The roar of the water as it rushed under us, over worn smooth rocks and back onto itself before whooshing off to join the Wallkill River was a refreshing change to the din of crowded big box chain restaurants.
Simple Side "Center" Piece
A Favorite Cocktail to Start
As readers know, I love a Cosmopolitan. I have taste tested them almost everywhere. While the color was slightly pale, the taste smooth and welcome. A pleasant beginning. I can feel my shoulders drop away from my ears. My breathing slows and I feel the weekend seeping in.
Warm bread. Crusty outside, soft and tender center brought with flavored olive oil or bread. Or.
I try the oil and swear I detect parmesan (not one of my personal favorites) and maybe I'm wrong. Honestly, it is a treat to be given the choice of oil or butter.
The color of the soup may not be what I had envisioned, but what difference does it make if it tastes wonderful? Real chunks of lobster are in the center of the bowl and I happily begin my official tasting of the Tuthillhouse.
I also wanted to share what the dining area looked like...
Our entrees arrive!
How beautiful. How packed with seafood and dense with pasta. Shrimp, clams, mussels, a portion of salmon. A moment of silence. Normally, I would be the one to order this dish but having had an advance glimpse of the menu, I knew I wanted something else entirely.
When we ordered I asked our kind server if I had missed the "fried egg on a burger" listing since I saw it online. She smiled and explained the "Grist Burger" was a lunch special but she asked in the kitchen and it was fine for me to order as dinner. I was a happy customer just for the effort.
I cannot tell you how happy that pool of yolk made me. The egg was absolutely perfect. I like a nice runny yolk, but the white must be cooked. This was egg-ceptional (sorry, couldn't stop myself)!
Here is what the dish looked like before I played with it!
Between the egg and the burger was a layer of red onion and ricotta cheese. The fries were perfectly crisp and salted. Even the pickle was worth mentioning - snappy and dilly!
Sometimes it is as if I have a hollow leg and I really can clear my plate. Tonight was not one of those times. I brought home half of my soup and my fries. I ate the burger without the bun just so I could finish it and that beautiful egg.
We opt to not have dessert and I receive a text message from my sister that I can still stop by my nephew's Little League baseball game. After we settle the bill, we take a little stroll on to another outdoor dining area and look back at where we were sitting:
Even during a state of repair, the Tuthillhouse at the Mill was charming, accommodating, tasty and worth a visit. We were Fed Well and enjoyed the segue from work week to weekend.