Saturday, August 7, 2010

The Silo Restaurant


Name: The Silo Restaurant
Location: 203 Moran Rd., Greene, NY 13778
Phone: (607) 656-4377
Cuisine: American
Price: $25+ per person

Review:
Last night, Megan and I made the trek out to Greene for The Silo's Friday night seafood buffet extravaganza. It's something we've wanted to do many times over the years, but just couldn't muster the energy to make the roughly 45-minute drive out to literally the middle of nowhere, eight miles east of Greene. We noticed a coupon in Clipper Magazine for $10 off the purchase of two buffets, which provided just enough motivation.

We arrived around 5:00 and were seated quickly. The buffet is divided into roughly four sections. There is a gigantic salad bar with just about anything you'd ever want to put on a salad, in addition to standard fare like cole slaw, applesauce, potato salad, and macaroni salad. They also had some more odd choices like dried cranberries and what quickly became a favorite of mine, pickled watermelon rind. Each of us started with a salad and were pretty happy with what we found. If you go, I highly recommend trying the pickled watermelon rind. It's something you certainly won't find many places, and it has a surprising candy-like sweet and sour taste. I quite liked it. The applesauce was the homemade variety and quite tasty, while the potato salad was the red-skin variety and also good.

The second table on the buffet was a smaller station with chilled shrimp and soup. I elected to have a cup of the New England Clam Chowder and was very pleased with it. Definitely liberal with the clams, while bacon added some smoky flavor.

The third table had snow crab legs and a carving station featuring ham, turkey, and roast beef. These options looked very good, but I was more stoked about sampling the offerings on the fourth table, so I didn't want to fill up on other stuff.

The fourth table is what I would call the "main buffet" and had just about any seafood option you might want, in addition to some meat choices. Some choices on the main buffet that I recall are:

  • Seafood Newburg
  • Crab Cakes
  • Teriyaki Tuna
  • Mahi Mahi
  • Fried Shrimp, Clams, and Oysters
  • Escargot
  • Clams Casino
  • Mussels
  • Meatballs
  • Chicken Marsala
  • "Athens" beef
  • Sides like rice, steamed vegetables, and onion rings

  • I tried to sample just about everything here. The Seafood Newburg was a definite highlight. Featuring crab, shrimp, and fish in a thick sherry cream sauce, I could've eaten a plateful of just that and been happy. My favorite item on this buffet was the Teriyaki Tuna; it was perfectly grilled and totally delicious. I hadn't had fried oysters in a very long time so I made sure to load up on a healthy portion of those. Quite excellent as well. Other items I enjoyed were the "Athens beef" which was essentially beef tenderloin marinaded in lemon juice and topped with a little feta cheese. This was a personal favorite of Megan's. I was excited to have the chance to try Escargot for the first time. Nothing to get too excited about, as it turns out: it really just tasted like butter and garlic.

    Items I didn't care for included the meatballs, which had little taste and reminded me of the frozen meatballs you can buy in the grocery store. The Chicken Marsala didn't really do anything for me, as the chicken was a little dried out and tougher than I would've preferred. Crab cakes are normally a favorite food of mine, but I didn't care for The Silo's version of them. They weren't bad, but were overshadowed by most of the other items on my plate. But that is certainly one of the benefits of a buffet: while you might not like one item; there certainly will be many others you do. And the hit-to-miss ratio at The Silo was quite favorable.

    Ambiance at The Silo is nice, but not extraordinary. During our visit they had a singer who delivered acoustic versions of 1970's soft-rock tunes from artists like John Denver and James Taylor. It was pleasant enough, but perhaps a little intrusive and certainly more appealing to the crowd of geriatrics we dined with than to the two of us. In fact, I'd say that most of the patrons were twice my age, and at 30 years old I'm not exactly a spring chicken. So while there is a nice, quaint atmosphere, it's certainly not the hippest, and I would have a hard time recommending The Silo to folks younger than myself. I might need a trip to the ultra-swanky Lemongrass soon to wash the moth balls out of my system...

    In the end, our trip to The Silo was a mixed bag in my opinion. I really liked the food overall, and there are certainly some options here you can't get anywhere else in the area, like Seafood Newburg, Fried Oysters, Escargot, and pickled watermelon rind. The food was fresh and well-prepared, and the service was friendly and generally quick. At $21.95 per person, the buffet represents pretty good value given the high quality and rarity of the food. On the other hand, it's a 45-minute drive and the stodgy atmosphere honestly didn't do much for me. I could go to Ithaca and eat at some awesome places there after making a drive of similar length, and eat with people my age. I'm glad I tried The Silo once, but I won't be too disappointed if I never make it back there again.

    Grade: B

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