BY ANDREW SMITH
After considering many eating establishments in the area, I decided to review the very famous Rockland County landmark, The Clarksville Inn on Strawtown Road in West Nyack. It opened in 1840 as a gathering place for locals to enjoy dining and spirits and catch up on the local news banter. It has been visited by famous people not the least of whom were Washington Irving and President Martin Van Buren during his presidency.
I have heard many personal reviews of the place so I decided to try it out myself. It was rather reminiscent of a rathskeller but more antiquey. It was quiet and clean while the waiter was available but not hovering. The menu had some interesting offers. I looked over the salads and found that they had Cobb salad. I am an afficionado of them and always on the lookout for it so I guess it behooves me to explain how it got its name – and it has nothing to do with Cobb County, Georgia as many have said. It all began at the old Brown Derby restaurant in Hollywood. It was owned by a man named Bob Cobb. Late one night a customer came in shortly before closing and at which hour there was nothing much left to serve. So Mr. Cobb put together some odds and ends consisting of greens, bleu cheese, chicken, hard-boiled eggs, and bacon. The customer was very pleased so a tradition was born.
It was one of the best I’ve had. The chicken was nicely grilled and crispy with my favorite honey mustard dressing. It was a goodly-sized portion and would be a meal for many people. For the main course the selections were copious with steaks (which I always find too heavy and filling), countless varieties of wraps, and pastas and chicken in any form imaginable. The flounder was available either pan-fried, francaise, or broiled but I like mine deep fried. So instead I opted for the fried shrimp in a basket. For a beverage I had my traditional seltzer with a lemon wedge.
The atmosphere was quaint and friendly. It was clean, relaxed, and orderly which makes for perfect family dining. There is a room for parties and meetings I found the folksy historical theme preserved and appropriate for the historic building. The entire meal came to $32.24 and was an experience I enjoyed and recommend.