BINGHAMTON PRESS REVIEW,
( DINING OUT): BARSTOW HOUSE in NICHOLS is WORTH THE DRIVE
For our anniversary, I took my husband, Jason, to Barstow House in Nichols. The place came highly recommended, and after our experience, I concur with their opinion. The restaurant is housed in a historic brick house with a lovely manicured front lawn. The interior is as quaint as it is elegant, with plank flooring, track lighting, lace curtains and brass fixtures. After we were seated in a cozy booth next to a window, we perused their simple but well-thought-out wine list, and their extensive Italian/American menu. The menu has more than 10 appetizers and 30 entrees, including pasta, veal, chicken, beef and pizza. There is a kids menu as well, and each kids dinner comes with a choice of tossed salad, applesauce or cottage cheese. At my request, Jason ordered their drink special, a homemade sangria ($6), which came with chunks of various fruits, including melon, peach, strawberry, pineapple and cherry. It was an excellent drink for the summer. For an appetizer, we decided on the shooters ($4.95), which are hot cherry peppers stuffed with Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and proscuitto, and marinated in the house dressing. It was a delicious way to wake up the taste buds in preparation for the meal ahead. I will also note that a couple sitting next to us ordered the bruschetta ($5.95), and it looked delicious. For an entree, Jason ordered the pasta primavera with chicken ($15.95), which comes in hot, medium or mild. Jason went with the medium and was not disappointed. There were plenty of vegetables, including cauliflower, broccoli, red bell pepper, peas in the pod and zucchini served over the al dente penne and topped with fresh Parmesan cheese. Along with the chicken were slices of garlic and a very light and spicy sauce that Jason appreciated. I ordered the steak au poivre ($22.95), which was a pan-broiled rib eye steak covered with a peppercorn and Dijon sauce. I ordered a side of sauteed mushrooms ($2) as well. The meat was tender and the sauce was wonderful, especially with the rosemary mashed potatoes that were a side dish option (along with pasta or baked potato). The dinner also came with a choice of vegetable, and I went with the sautéed medley, which was crispy and buttery. Both of our dinners came with a salad of mixed greens, Roma tomatoes, radish slices, red bell pepper and red onion. We each added crumbly gorgonzola blue cheese ($2 each), which was nice. The Italian dressing came in a little decanter, which is a nice touch. For dessert, I ordered the vanilla orange blossom cheese cake ($4.75). It was excellent — creamy with a wonderful citrus flavor. Jason had the tiramisu ($4.75) and said it was the best he’s ever had. I managed to get one bite, and I could understand his opinion. It was exceptionally light and tasty. The dinners are cooked to order, but we were never left for long periods of time in between courses. With a full restaurant, we were able to have a nice conversation without raising our voices. In all, dinner at Barstow House was a delicious and romantic dining experience. Dining Out appears every other Wednesday in the Binghamton Press & Sun Bulletin