For chowhounds seeking a really different kind of place to break bread, consider the Morrison Mansion in Middletown, NY. Specifically, this venue is used as the setting for very intimate concerts sponsored by Friends of Music, Inc., a non-profit organization (see the schedule of upcoming concerts at web site is friendsofmusic.net.)
About 60 people can fit in the performance room, which is an exquisitely detailed sitting room of the Mansion, which now serves as offices for the Orange County Community College, most of the time. Steve Coccia, a professor at OCCC, runs the shows. The restored building features ornate wooden trim, plaster ceilings, a large (original) Tiffany window, etc. -- in short, a real turn-of-the-century mansion.
But, you ask, Where does the food come in? Many of the shows are held on weekend afternoons, and patrons are invited to come 1 hour before showtime to share food (and wine, if you choose), in a buffet pot luck meal. In my experience, the food has been very good. (Note: Evening shows generally do not include the food part.)
Though not in someone's home, this venue is roughly similar to the "house concerts" that have become popular around the country in recent years. Performers past and upcoming include Tom Rush, Richard Shindell, Janis Ian, Paul Winter, Aztec Two Step, Livingston Taylor, and dozens of others. Tickets to many shows this Fall are still available, and you can join FOM and/or get on their mailing list (e or snail).
A truly unique way to dine. And, for dinner afterwards, there are some decent places to eat in the surrounding community... More on that later.
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