The White Wolf Restaurant & Lounge in Napanoch was first introduced to me as the site of my sister's wedding reception and we later returned to celebrate one of her birthdays. After receiving a Christmas gift certificate, most of the family and I returned for a post-holiday meal and armed with my cell phone camera, I prepared for a Fed Well blogger review.
I should mention we were seated promptly and the young lady who was our server was also quick to greet us and take our drink order. Yes, a standard Cosmopolitan. The restaurant offered a beer and wine list but I am starting to look for specialty cocktails when dining out, especially when the location offers a separate bar or lounge.
A linen wrapped bread basket was placed on the table with individually wrapped servings of butter. I have to admit, I was skeptical. As soon as I touched the warm and crusty seeded roll my mind started to change. The inside was soft and warm throughout so the cold butter could spread and yes, it tasted amazingly fresh. These first food impressions make all the difference.
One of the Mr.'s favorites is French Onion Soup and so far, only one Hudson Valley Restaurant's preparation was so removed from his traditional expectation that he will never order it at that particular establishment again. However, the experience shook his faith enough to make him a bit cautious when dining in unfamiliar territory. Luckily, the White Wolf's classic treatment of the onion, broth, bread and cheese has helped restore his faith and expectations about French Onion in a crock. I was able to sample a spoonful as well and found it to be a rich broth and overall good representation of a standard.
The only other soup options were a potato vegetable or a creamy tomato and since neither of these choices are a favorite of our older son, he instead had a salad which was included with his meal.
Our son's girlfriend and I order the White Wolf Burger which is of course prepared to ordered doneness as well as customized by toppings. We both agree on lettuce and tomato, but for her raw onion and for me, BACON. We also both skip the cheese. The seeded bun is toasted just crisp enough without falling apart or having the inside charred on a grill. Yum. The fries are lightly seasoned and crisp. Perfect anti-holiday, anti-fancy food (though those options are also available on the menu. In fact, the offerings range from cuisine to pub grub.)
One of the evening specials, "Complete Dinner" including the French Onion soup and choice of an ice cream sundae or apple pie for dessert, was the Wiener Schnitzel the Mr. ordered. I know, for those of you who have read about his dinner choices in the past they are typically a chicken dish and high on the list for him is Chicken Marsala. He felt the need to break out of his culinary comfort zone. Honestly, I was nervous until I saw the plate arrive. The portion was a healthy size and yes, I interrupted by sticking my fork in there and having a bite as well. It was delicious. The meat was pounded thin, the breading was delicate, nothing was greasy and the sauce was flavorful. While potato pancakes may have made him happier than the included mashed, the potatoes were good as well.
So what did our son select? A full rack of ribs. I had told a story during dinner about a restaurant the Mr. and I went to for New Year's Eve and that I had ordered what reminded me of the Flintstones in the form of a huge bone in piece of meat I could only describe as Brontosaurus, but now wonder if maybe these ribs weren't the same ones that were placed on the tray at the Drive-in for Fred to enjoy.
He has a "grown ass" man appetite and even with leaving a few french fries and the cole slaw behind, he struggled with the last rib and a half. My forkful sample was tender and the sauce sweet.
We were checked on throughout the meal, drinks were refilled as needed and the other diners included a few young families. One story we shared included how the Mr. would tease our young sons about their being a restroom attendant in the men's room at some restaurants. Though it was true once when they were small and we went some place near Disney World, if the Mr. used the restroom during a meal he would return and share his experience about having the soap dispensed for him and hands dried until one of the boys used the same facility and returned to the table to say, "No one was in there." I told of the most elaborate restroom experience being at Le Cirque where white gloved attendants opened the door in-between users to ensure the area was in acceptable condition for the next, um, guest.
Conversations sometimes simply take on their own path and that is what makes each family meal experience as unique as the menu. We are Fed Well and thank my Mommy for the gift certificate.
In preparing to write this post, I was happily surprised to see that Fed Well is the #1 ranked blog for the Middletown area by Urban Spoon and would like to thank every reader and supporter. This also leaves me feeling Fed Well.