on February 22, 2009
The historic Rondout waterfront in Kingston is the ideal place to spend an evening, and The Steel House, located directly on the water, is the perfect spot for dinner. With parking lots both in front of the building, as well as across the street, and plenty of seating, there is typically no wait here, a definite plus in this bustling area.Upon walking into the Steel House, it immediately becomes clear that this was not always a restaurant. With its sky-high ceilings and brick walls, you can see that in its former life it was a train station. The heavy burgandy velvet curtains and the glow from the brick oven where the pizzas are cooked, visible from the dining room, help to create a warm ambience. You may choose to eat here, or at wrought iron tables on the patio overlooking the water, a choice that is equally warm and relaxing.Although the menu is fairly extensive, with your typical Italian standards, the best bet is to go for one of their brick oven pizzas. The creations are innovative, featuring toppings such as pancetta, prosciutto, sun dried tomatoes, and marinated shrimp. The quality of these pizzas is high. They use good ingredients, and they are perfectly cooked. The portions are large; you will definitely take leftovers home. If you choose to order an entree instead, you will receive a lovely salad with a nice red wine vinaigrette and complementary garlic knots. The knots are hit-or-miss. Sometimes they're amazingly garlicky and buttery, and other times they're dried out. The wine list is short, but decent, with a few inexpensive bottles.The service is efficient, but not rushed, allowing for you to take your time sipping wine on the patio. It is this relaxed atmosphere that brings me back to the Steel House time and time again. The only thing that destroys that ambience is the new live entertainment that they've brought in on Friday nights. The speakers are turned up very loud, and this impedes the ability to have a nice conversation. All in all, if you don't go on a Friday night, you should find this to be a nice, relaxing, affordable night out.
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