Last Chance Cheese and Antiques Cafe Restaurant Review in Tannersville: Gourmet Food and Dining in Greene County

Off the beaten path: Tannersville’s Last Chance Cafe is equal parts gourmet shop, antiques emporium, and restaurant — oh, and there’s a tavern, too

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s'moresMarshmallows for Campfire S’mores are toasted tableside

Nowadays, the gourmet side includes about 100 cheeses, some of them local, as well as honey, nuts, dried fruits, teas, coffees, and a nostalgic assortment of fudge, licorice, nonpareils, and old-fashioned candy. The menu in the cafe has barely changed since Kashman developed it, still offering homey comfort fare: soups, salads, sandwiches, pastas, a few BBQ and fish dishes, and pub-food classics like French dip and steak frites. And cheese platters, of course. Chicken pot pie and French onion soup are best-sellers year-round, and so is the house invention: the knish-wich, a grilled knish stuffed with corned beef, pastrami or turkey, cole slaw, and melted cheese. Do-it-yourself s’mores have been a mainstay over the decades, too. The bottled beer selection hovers at around 300 choices, and there are wines and cocktails as well.

A few years ago, Kashman’s younger son, Dave, gave up his career in finance in the big city and came home to Tannersville with his wife to raise a family. Dave and his dad gutted the onetime liquor store and deli next to Last Chance, and transformed it into a pub with a classic mosaic-tile floor, a marble bar, and walls hung with prints and blow-ups of vintage postcards illustrating the mountaintop’s history. In June 2010, they debuted as the Last Chance Tavern, a year-round, Friday- and Saturday-night venue for late-night eats with live music, to which the mixed crowd often responds by dancing between the tables.

last chance cafe interiorThe tavern’s Catskills-inspired decor

Offbeat as usual, Kashman connected the tavern to the gourmet shop by a “secret entrance” — doors disguised as shelves of honey and beer that swing open when the tavern revs up for business after 7 p.m. Unlike most taverns, this one is furnished with a grand piano, which broadens the range of musical possibilities. This summer, chamber and jazz musicians will join the roster of rock, blues, and other performers.

On August 17, the Last Chance may be your first chance to see someone play a theremin, the electronic instrument whose tremulous otherworldly tones are produced by the thereminist moving his hands in the air between two high-frequency antennas. Now where else can you nosh on a knish-wich, buy part of the decor, get gourmet goodies and licorice to take home, and watch someone play an instrument without touching it?

Last Chance Cheese and Antiques Cafe
Lunch and dinner Fri.-Sun. Appetizers $8.99-$22.99, entrées $10.99-$26.99, desserts $4.99-$16.99. Tavern open Fri.-Sat. 7 p.m.-midnight

» 10 Can’t Miss Dishes: the fondue at Last Chance Cafe
» Visit Last Chance Cheese and Antiques Cafe in Tannersville, NY
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