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Friday, December 26, 2008

THE LANDMARK INN is a place to remember

Rt. 94
Warwick, New York 10990
845 986-5444

Thursday nights are great because my two golfing buddies, Mary and Beth, and I play year-round. In good weather we play a round of golf, repair to the 19th hole, and then Rob and Mike join us for dinner; once the weather turns colder, we “play around” and just meet for dinner at Warwick, New York’s Landmark Inn, and it’s a weekly delight. We skip restaurant seating and head for the bar which has a regular Thursday night crowd. It’s hellos all around and lots of hugging and kissing—as if we hadn’t seen each other in years! Warm and friendly and happy.

The Landmark Inn is a 227 year old Inn retaining the charm befitting its age. Walk along the covered porchway and enter into a dark wood paneled entryway with floors of wide planks. It’s pleasant and welcoming, dark and warm. We like the bar for its informality and its ambiance, but the restaurant is terrific. The food is excellent, and we’re able to order from either the bar menu or the restaurant menu.

Good food and good service are the order of the evening. There’s a popcorn popper. Just grab a big bowl and fill it. Order your drinks and begin. Don’t hurry; you’ll never be rushed, and if the kitchen can fulfill your wish, it will. This is a comfort food place, and there’s a steady flow of customers throughout the evening.

This evening, amazingly, all five of us order the same item--a scrumptious, juicy, huge, cheeseburger (we differ on types of cheese and degrees of done-ness). Each of us asks for it in a different way, from still mooing to medium, and each receives exactly as requested. These burgers are too big for a mundane hamburger roll. They come on super-sized Kaiser rolls. I ask if we can have sweet potato fries rather than french fries, and that’s what we get—but not those crisp overdone sweet potato fries. These are wedges, lightly done on the outside but still soft and very sweet potato-y on the inside. No piddly portion here. We receive a stack of potatoes, a huge half sour pickle, lettuce, tomato and purple onion slices.

The Landmark’s hamburgers spoil you. You’re loath to order one elsewhere because the chances are it won’t measure up to this gastronomical extravaganza.

Our group isn’t usually so similar. We’ve had marvelous cannelloni, crab cakes, chicken breasts with melted provolone, a spectacular turkey club with potato salad, half of which usually accompanies me home, and a host of other choices. The menu is varied, and no one leaves hungry. It’s a compliment to the chef that we’ve settled into a comfortable repetition.

Coffee rounds out the evening, and after two enjoyable hours, we part. There’s always someone else to take our table, yet it is never too noisy nor too crowded.

If you happen to be in the Warwick area, this is a place you might wish to try. You won’t be disappointed. Make sure you look through both menus before you decide between the bar and the restaurant. Either way, enjoy.
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