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Jul 11, 2006 10:45 PM

Monticello & surrounding area

Being a Borscht Belt visitor for the past 30 summers, I have rarely ventured too far off the bungalow colony to find good eats, but lately I have stumbled across some excellent places.
For Italian, Liberty has a place called Picolla Paresse??? or something like that, which could be tops even in NYC (I know sounds crazy, but it was that good).
Also, in Jeffersonville I found and Italian deli that makes hero's that dwarf those I find in from my Italian neighbors in Brooklyn.
I'm curious to find other hidden treasures lurking around the next bend.

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  1. Frankie and Johnnie's, same family as the old El Monaco.

    The Front Porch.

    The Fat Lady Cafe.

    1. Busters BBQ in / on White Lake is very good. Every meal includes the hot and cold salad bar which has all homemade dishes. Also the Clubhouse at the Villa Roma hotel in Calicoon is good. I'm not sure if it's open to the public at the moment because the hotel had a fire.

      1. Well, tried out the Fat Lady. Gotta say, not overly impressed. Had the stuffed fish with seafood over mashed potatoes. It was adequate but not worth the $20 or so price tag. In fact, whole menu seemed overpriced. I go upstate to get away from city prices. Still, it's got a great location on White Lake and is probably best for lunch, not dinner, which my wife and I had.

        Thanks for the suggestion on Busters, maybe I'll try it this week. I luv BBQ

        1. I guess not too many people go to the catskills on this board. But for those needing a second opinion on Buster's BBQ -- it definitely hits the spot. The all-you-can eat fixins bar and entree come out to less than 20 bucks a head. Food was good and filling

          1. I've been working a lot in Napanoch, Ulster County, and usually stay local in Ellenville where my favorite is Lock 31 on Main Street (turn at the Getty gas station). Their burger is great, salads good, and their nachos are more like chile con or sin carne that you need to eat with a fork but very satisfying. The other day I had a raspberry-blueberry crumb pie that was quite good. But I digress.

            I really wanted to tell you about Yiasou Cafe on the outskirts of Liberty (1980 State Route 52 on the other side of Route 17 from downtown Liberty, in a little center called Country Square next to a car dealer). It often has a line out the door for the Greek-themed food they serve inside and out. They bake their own heavy, crusty peasant bread that they bring you to start. I had a calimari Greek salad, fresh ingredients and properly dressed with some marinara to dip the calamari, but too much iceberg lettuce for my taste. I opted to try a dessert since they had some very interesting and innovative-sounding ones. Mine had kataifi, a pudding, and different nuts and cream, and it was heavenly. The cappuccino was also just right. Many people were eating huge plates of salmon and pastas that would serve two. The staff was friendly and efficient. It's modern and bright and not at all historic, but it was the busiest spot in town last week when I was there. With the main-dish salad (which I couldn't finish), soda, free bread, the cap and dessert, my bill came to a bit over $20, but in most cases an entrée will serve two.