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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Tuthillhouse at the Mill in Gardiner, NY

Friday night.  The end of a busy work week.  The Mr. and I both get up at 5 a.m. during the week and sleeping in now means 6 or 7.  Friday nights, we are tired.  I have lost my focus and drive and lately, horror of horrors, I am less enthusiastic about cooking even the simplest of meals on a Friday night.  By default, we decide to go out on a dinner date.

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.

The foyer.

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.

Lobster Bisque
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.
French Onion Soup
Yes, the Mr.'s favorite soup.  He is an expert on French Onion soup in the way I am with a Cosmopolitan.  His second place choice is a classic chicken noodle with Manhattan Clam Chowder as third.  He is also fairly seasonal in that if it is really warm out he will likely only have a salad.  

Between courses, I have time to take a few pictures of the surrounding beauty.  No narration necessary.  The water was rushing directly underneath us...

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.

TuthillHouse at the Mill on Urbanspoon

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