Friday, May 18, 2007

Savoury, Sweet & Sour News

Fans of the tragically deceased Freehold Country Inn can rejoice. Benjamin and Terri Buel, who sold that esteemed hostelry, have opened, on Route 32 in Greenville, across from the drive-in cinema, the Mountain View Brasserie (“American cuisine with a French twist”). Many of the old staff members, including chef (and partner) Max Suhner, are back in harness. ( ; 966-5522). As for the Country Inn, it’s about to be auctioned. The buyer, Zofia Ghoshal of Preston Hollow, evidently never got the money she was expecting to receive to cover the acquisition. The mortgage holder (M. Hiller & Son Retirement Trust) has received a court order for a June 7 auction in the county courthouse. Amount of lien is, gulp, $1.4 million. The original 2006 loan was for $1.25 million, at interest rates of 14 (as in fourteen) and then, after a short interval, 24 (TWENTY-FOUR) per cent. Meanwhile: *Stewart House in Athens is now open seven nights a week. Its interior makeover has been completed, along with the menu makeover; and they fully vindicate owner Owen Lipstein’s bet on the judgment of manager Reggie Young. Thursday night’s prix fixe dinners still are winners. *The FirehouseTavern in Catskill seems likely to change hands soon, and with minimal down time. Building owner and creditor Mike Sanders has accepted an offer. But there may be difficulties over (among possibilities) conformity with relevant health codes. If these are overcome, the new operators will do a modest scrub-over, saving big alterations for winter. The relaxed, bistro-like ambience will be retained.

ACHIEVERS DEPT. *Brigit (Roadfoodie) Binns of Athens has graciously consented to compose, for the Williams-Sonoma people, her 18th book. This one will roll out, sprinkle, bake and spin the subject of pizza. BB’s 17th tome, to be launched with much fanfare in October, is The Relaxed Kitchen. And we hereby make space for the whole sub-title: How to Entertain with Casual Elegance and Never Lose Your Mind, Incinerate the SoufflĂ©, or Murder the Guests. *Casey Biggs, while plotting to make GreeneLand the performing arts capital of the world (well, anyhow, a big draw), has contracted to direct, for the John Houseman-founded Acting Company, the Orson Welles play “Moby Dick Rehearsed,” to be road-tested prior to a May 2008 opening in Gotham. He lives quite close to Ms Binns. *Bethany Slater of Freehold will sound off, in Ithica on June 15th, at the convention of the International Double Reed Society. As reported in The Daily Mail, she will be one of five Gillet International Oboe Competition finalists. She’s the highly accomplished 24-year-old daughter of Ellsworth (“Unk”) Slater, the supermarketeer and backer of good local causes. *John Lees of Leeds, according to art critic Benjamin Genocchio (in last Sunday’s New York Times), is “one of the most accomplished expressionist painters of his generation.” He stars in a new exhibition at the Fiacco Gallery in Hudson. *Lt. Shane Oravsky, having graduated from Catskill High School (in 2000), from Valley Forge Military Academy, from the United States Military Academy, and from combat diving and air assault programs, has lately completed, at Fort Benning GA, the Ranger Course. This training for small units engaged in “close combat direct fire battle” conditions, according to the Army’s description, goes for 61 straight days and for 19 hours, on average, each day. “Fatigue, hunger,, the necessity for quick, sound decisions,” plus “Frequent and unexpected contact [with hostiles], reduced sleep, difficult terrain, and the constant pressure of operating within restrictive time limits all create [an] atmosphere of stress.” The latest batch of trainees numbered 450; 190 survived. Shane is still a distinctly modest, mild-mannered individual. *Raymond Beecher of Coxsackie, who may be the world’s liveliest and busiest nonagenarian, was crowned last Tuesday by GreeneLand’s legislators—well, plaqued anyhow—as Senior Citizen of the Year.

IMMINENT Friday (5/18) night, Saturday & Sunday. Catskill Mountain Music Festival at Irish Cultural Centre, Route 145, East Durham. 30 live bands playing a variety of styles. Some information may be tapped at Saturday. Forestry Heritage Field Day and dedication at the Cornell Co-operative Extension’s new Acra headquarters, Route 23. 9am to 3pm. Tours of new quarters. Dedication of Siuslaw Model Forest. Talks on history of New York State forests and on agroforestry opportunities: regeneration and production of northern hardwoods; sugar maple trees, and sap-tapping; ginseng…. Deer exclusion. Logs inoculated with mushrooms. Goldenseal. Bob Beyfuss’s portable sawmill. (518 622-9820). Coxsackie Cuisine. Food-laden fund-raiser for Heermance Library, with gourmet dinners offered at home by seven hosts . Information: Vicki Ecker, 731-2145 Funktional “ art show opens at Wilder Gallery (375 Main St, Catskill) from 5 pm. Jazz at BRIK in Catskill. Dick Oatts (alto sax) and David Berkman (piano) talk from 7pm, play from 8pm. $10 admission. Richard Pryor Jr (yes; the late comedian's son) performs the Bill Gulino band, from 8:30pm at Stella’s Lounge. Sunday. Star-studded symposium, from 1pm, on renowned 19th century artist Asher B. Durand, for Thomas Cole National Historic Site in Catskill and Olana State Historic Site and Olana Partnership. Linda Ferber of the New-York Historical Society; Franklin Kelly, senior curator of American Art at the National Gallery in Washington D C; Kenneth Myers, curator of American Art at the Detroit Institute of the Arts; Evelyn Trebilcock, curator of Olana. Viewing of Durand pictures opens at 10am. The symposium takes place next door to Cedar Grove, at Temple Beth Israel, 218 Spring St, Catskill.

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