The Most Epic Restaurant Backyard in the Catskills
Is the Chicken Run's backyard Windham's best-kept secret? We've been dining inside the restaurant for years without realizing what we were missing: about a dozen Adirondack chairs huddled around a fire pit, plenty of picnic tables, a volleyball court, a giant sand box, cornhole games, a teepee for kids to hang out in, some larger-than-life tribal wood carvings, and a stage that catches the setting sun like a natural spotlight, illuminating a local band on weekend evenings.
The Batavia Kill, a gently rushing stream, runs alongside the leafy yard, and some glorious green mountains make an idyllic backdrop for sipping a beer and eating some crispy fried chicken. As expected, the menu combines chicken in many formats (fried, grilled, rotisserie, nuggets, pot pies, and buffalo wings), plus comfort food, steaks, and soft-serve ice cream. I had a salad of fresh greens topped with juicy rotisserie chicken, buttery avocado, smoky bacon, and a bright and lemony vinaigrette, paired with a Flower Power IPA. The kids scarfed their chicken tenders in effort to party in the backyard ASAP.
The Chicken Run has tons of indoor seating, too. It's the kind of place where you can show up with a party of 9 including 3 kids, and the unfazed hostess will cheerfully lead you to a separate room where the other parties have even more people and children than you do. (It helps to make a reservation for a large party.) With so many kids around, nobody will mind when your child is loudly gagging on a kernel of the free (and delicious!) bottomless popcorn while you're trying to untangle the Wiki Stix (also complementary and handed out to all children at the restaurant) that she has somehow braided into her hair.
The kid at the next table is inevitably doing something weirder! Yay! Let's pretend we lost our feet in the sandbox and then dramatically reveal them!
There's a dance floor in front of the stage, but if you need more space to do your thing, you and your girl can see what's up on the volleyball court.
In short, the service is friendly, the food is solid, families are welcome, and the backyard is amazing. If you're in Windham with a big crew, you've got to hit the Chicken Run.