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Liberty - December 22

Frank Kurpil - Community Correspondent
Posted 12/21/20

Hello Everyone: It's Fran with my last column for 2020. It is a memorable year for our family with the addition of three new great-grand-babies. Enjoying our extended families is one of the pleasures …

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Liberty - December 22


Hello Everyone: It's Fran with my last column for 2020. It is a memorable year for our family with the addition of three new great-grand-babies. Enjoying our extended families is one of the pleasures of growing old, I'd say.

Welcoming new babies, I have to mention two of my friends. Jeremy and Chantelle Gorelick have two little boys now, and my Air Force friend, former co-worker in real-estate, Sonja Trappe, is expecting a little girl in the new year. There is no greater joy than a healthy new baby.

COVID-19: Our great joy this year that I just mentioned was a blessing but the virus has been a nightmare for those families who have lost loved ones. Businesses also are still struggling and we pray they will recover soon when things get back to normal. Our grandson, Gene Burns, Pharmacist and owner of Riverside Remedies in Callicoon, I'm sure has been affected.

When I spoke to Dale Vandenberg at Hillside Florist while placing an order, I imagined his business might welcome more orders this Holiday season. What a perfect, easy order gift. Joseph, the floral designer there does such a gorgeous job.

So, as we await this great white Christmas, I have to also include my friends of other faiths. Happy Kwanza which ends January 1st, and a Happy Hanukkah. My best to all, good health, peace and a great New Year.

Casa Di Longobardi: A great new Restaurant in Swan Lake. Our daughter, Christina and son-in-law, Donnie Jones, treated us to dinner… no, it was an Italian feast.

Castrese Longobardi, the Chef, is a long-time friend since I sold him his property over 20 years ago. He and his wife, Lori have opened an Italian restaurant, in Swan Lake. As soon as you go inside you are greeted with true Italian warmth.

It brought tears to my eyes as I felt like I was with my Dad at one of the Italian restaurants in Brooklyn that he often took us to, the Italian culture and tradition, so memorable in my early years. Lori was very alert to covid regulations, the Christmas tree was beautiful and I started with a glass of vino....off to a great evening.

Seeing Castrese with his heavy Italian accent and chatting is always like meeting family. So much for my emotions. The most important topic is the food. My son-in-law, had stromboli and said it was the best he has ever eaten. He works for Tobyhanna Army Depot, and travels the world, so that sounds like I have to get stromboli next time.

From the garlic bread to all the entrees, it was all so delicious. I had chicken parm with a side of Longobardi pasta. Portions were huge, more than we could eat, and when leaving with the leftovers, I was gifted with a hot loaf of just made bread, Longobardi special, wrapped around Italian salami, prosuitto, and mozarella. That was a treat for several days. So good, to heck with the diet till the new year.

They have great pizza also and there were several pick-ups while we were there. So let's spread the word, help this new business and experience true Italian hospitality. I was reliving my DeFilippis years while enjoying the food and the ambiance. As my friends at Trading Post say: “It's worth the trip from anywhere”.

Parksville: I know that our great town Supervisor, Frank DeMayo put emphasis on our Hamlets and Parksville is showing signs of improvement. The riverside little Main Street has a new owner in one of the buildings that was recently sold. My contact, Harriet Dorfman, tells me that two women from the city, plan an antiques and pottery store. She also said that the DEAD END was being sold. She said, “Tom will be there”… So maybe that means that the beautiful Caltabalotta singing voice will still be singing.

Serendipity: I'm sure our local folks remember a very charming restaurant run by the super-restauranteer, Sue Garizas, and the BOCES school. It was a beloved place, next to the Liberty Museum. High school students from area schools were bussed in to learn the business, from preparing the food, to setting the tables with a bit of class, welcoming patrons, serving and cleaning up. When BOCES closed it, many regulars were very disappointed.

Serendipity Returns: This is an inspiring story that I am so happy to have heard from the owner, Anthony Williams and his Chef, Yuleika DeJesus. They have just opened a new restaurant in the Mall at 187 Mill St., next to the laundromat.

I chatted with Yuleika who exuberantly told me how she had studied at the Liberty Serendipity when in Fallsburg School and was so inspired and truly wanted to pursue the business. So she went on to College to become a Chef.

Now, since her daughters are a bit older, she has realized her dream. The menu card is very well presented and smartly emphasizes protein and sides. How about slow braised steak w/carmelized onions; sauteed shrimp w/garlic, white wine and parsley; Chicken cutlet grilled/crispy.

Many other choices plus great sides: yellow rice & beans, gooey mac & cheese, roasted corn w/feta. Empanadas, only $3, plus tacos. Oh, I'm getting hungry reading all the choices. Kiddies menu - $5. All very reasonable prices.

My son, Mike had stopped in there while waiting for Chinese next-door. Yulieka was very welcoming and even gave him a great soup to try. He was impressed that the menu included healthy green beans and braised red cabbage, so know he will be going there again. He's avoiding the fast food these days.

Open Monday to Friday from 3pm - 11pm. They deliver. So we welcome this new Serendipity and wish Yuleika and Anthony the best. I thank them for this inspiring story and hope to get there soon to meet them in person. Give them a call: 845-866-4891....Serendipity.

Bye for now. Will be back in the New Year, Good Lord willing. Be safe, enjoy the Holidays. God bless all.


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