An Unfortunate Incident
Driving along Route 28 to Margaretville, J* and I passed a pretty little restaurant called the Peekamoose. The Catskills Mountains seem to be overrun with these adorable , punning destinations like the Inn Between and infinite loop names like Pakatakaka… . We former Midwesterners and now wannabe Manhattanites giggled a bit at these names while trying to differentiate ourselves from the amusement of city “tourists.” Nonetheless, a foodie friend from the city highly recommended Peekamoose, and we discovered that famous NYC chef Devin Mills (formerly of Le Bernadin, Gramercy Tavern, Guastavino’s, and Ruddy and Dean) now cooks at Peekamoose, which he owns with this wife.
So on Sunday night, we drove back to the Peekamoose. We strolled in around 9pm (late because we went on a 3-hour hike that day) in casual wear. The people dining and those congregating in sharp-dressed circles around the bar were obviously from the city. Peekamoose, isolated on a country road, had an oddly trendy feel, rather than achieving a comfortable, country atmosphere. I pulled at my loose, linen skirt as we struggled to track down a hostess. When we finally located her and asked for a table, she paused and asked us whether we had a reservation. Well, no, we weren’t aware that we needed a reservation. This is precisely the reason to get away from the city.
She paused, “Oh. Well, it’s going to be a very long wait.” We were slightly puzzled and asked how long. “At least 30 minutes.” First of all, that’s not a very long wait for a great meal. And secondly, why the pretentious warning? Was this a case of age discrimination (J* and I being rather young and not so impeccably dressed)? She finally conceded that we could be seated immediately if we agreed to sit outside. We agreed, relieved, and were led to the large patio. Sitting down at the table in the far corner, we realized that we were the only diners out there. The isolation was creepy and the servers hardly realized we were there.
Aware of the meal prices (with ala carte sides), we ordered tap water. We were not warned. We both took a big gulp of the water (dehydrated and hurting from the hike) and almost spit it out. “Oh, we hit a sulfur patch. How about some wine?” No, we wanted water, drinkable water, and we didn’t want to pay for it. Bottled water was not offered as amends for the horrendous taste lurking in our mouths. We could purchase anything of course. “We are also out of the rabbit and the trout.”
As we sat and contemplated the menu with a cup of tea, we talked quietly about the bad vibe we had encountered thus far. After a sever did not return for a good 10-15 minutes, we simply left. Unfortunately, rank water and pretension are the extent of my review of Peekamoose.