Saturday, August 11, 2012

back to the BLUE MINGO-Cooperstown cool cuisine (8-10-12)

After a year we have returned to Cooperstown, NY for the Glimmerglass Festival and we enjoyed the BLUE MINGO Restaurant & Grill so much that we chose it for two of our three dinners here this weekend.
Friday, we arrived after a long delay in the drive, and since I had a 730pm curtain, dinner was a bit hectic. But our patient and soft spoken server Patrick handled it with aplomb.
We all noticed the abundance of flies on the terrace, but figured this was better than mosquitoes; perhaps we were wrong. We had to admit by meals' end, that shooing these little buggers away was near exhausting.
Will started with the crisp and tasty LOBSTER SPRING ROLLS (there were three large ones) with a sweet and sour dipping sauce. We thought that Samuel might try these (with his new found interest in shrimp), but he would have none of it. My TUNA NACHOS could have easily fed two people as the huge oval plate (which did not sit well in the large round table plates that The Blue Mingo uses (it wobbled all over) was loaded with piles of crispy fried wontons covered with seared tuna drizzled with wasabi cream. There were scallions, pieces of pickled ginger and yummy gobs of seaweed salad as well as small dipping bowls of wasabi cream and ponzu sauce. Each bite could contain different ingredients and hence the dish changed; it was lots of fun, if a bit too large for one.
Will ordered up a glass of Raymond Chardonnay to go with his Jumbo Lump CRAB CAKES Entree which came with shoestring fries, spinach and Chipotle ketchup, which he promptly declared as too spicy and asked for tartar sauce. The cakes were nice and moist and huge and loaded with crab, but it's so hard for us to appreciate a simple crabcake when coming from DC.
Samuel's FILLET FRITES was a gorgeous huge filet cooked medium rare with a light Bordelaise sauce over hand cut truffle steak fries; who wouldn't like that. He promptly devoured all the fries and 80% of the steak, leaving only some wilted greens on the side.
My Seared DUCK BREAST also included a leg and while I asked for it between rare and medium came quite rare, meaning a bit difficult to cut, although quite tasty; I learned my lesson. The accompanying Leek Cherry Corn Bread Pudding was a superb side, if the spinach was a bit bland (I used freshly ground salt and pepper at the table to dash it up).
We were so ahead of time, we decided to grab dessert and Will chose the Key Lime Graham Whipped Cream thingie in a glass, which was way too much cream for my taste. He said it was good, but that he had to use the single lime and ask for extras to give it a bit more lime flavor.
I, as always, chose the local cheese plate made of a light but tangy goat, Softy Farm Leonardsville semi-soft and a Young Tam rinded but mild blue.
These were all just right and the presentation gets 4 stars with superb poached figs, apple splices, candied pecans, bread, frizzled onions and the most heavenly candied jalapenos.
We all look forward to returning Sunday with our opera client, but hope the flies abate.