The pumpkins are in place. The wreaths are ready. And the food is good.
It's autumn at the Cooperage Inn, dressed in holiday decorations. Set for Thanksiving, this veteran eatery looks the celebratory part. More important, there are plenty of reasons to dine here other than the merry look of the place.
Cooperage Inn exudes tradition, but isn't bound by it. The old spot even has added small plates to the menu.
Regulars may dive into stuffed duck, chicken potpie and meat loaf. But you'll also find a special of tempura tuna with ponzu sauce and potato-and-onion crusted fluke with caramelized banana. Those small plates include baby back ribs, Maryland crab cakes, and a grilled pork chop with apple chutney. These days, the ice creams are pumpkin and cranberry.
Any day, it's worth visiting, and a fine destination for the whole family. The inn is open every day, except Christmas Day.
Cooperage Inn, 2218 Sound Ave., Baiting Hollow; 631-727-8994.