The family was excited about trying a new Uzbek restaurant, Cafe Vostochniy Palace, in the neighboring town of Hawley, especially after we looked at the google images for Uzbek cuisine!
In fact the food we were offered at the Vostochniy Palace bore only a faint resemblance to the rich and interesting cuisine of Uzbekistan. This supports one of my beliefs; not everybody who opens a restaurant can necessarily cook. The only thing we liked in this restaurant was the tea cup.
First of all, not everything on the menu was available. In fact, of the 5 items we ordered, 3 were not available. This doesn’t really bother us because it used to happen a lot in West Africa and we adjusted by always asking before ordering if they had everything on the menu. If only we had known. Secondly, the descriptions of their plates were whimsical; schnitzel was called schnitzel and two other meats that were schnitzels were called something else. Thirdly, everything was dry and the chicken schnitzel cold, as in pre-breaded meat taken from the refrigerator and plunked on a plate without the accompanying side of mashed potatoes. Fourthly, appetizers, mains (cooked or not) arrived all together, just shoveled onto the plates and plunked down in front of us unattractively. Ugly. I have other pictures but I really can’t be bothered. So there. We need never discuss this restaurant again.
Vadim had given me some bones to make soup with and when we got back from the restaurant, I thought I would roast them and use them to make a pho stock.
As the bones were slow roasting, Jessie constantly sniffed the air and whined hungrily, so I just gave her the bones when they had cooled. She was grateful.
After that, I called our neighbors Skip and Caroline and invited them to share wine, blueberries, cheese and conversation. The smartest thing I did all day 🙂