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sammy

Saratoga Springs

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Just got back from Saratoga Springs (of course we won at the track. Hit the Pick Six Thursday with a bunch of friends for $9100!) and had a few wonderful dining experiences.

Springwater Bistro- This place is simply wonderful. We asked the restaurant to prepare a 5 course tasting menu and they came through with flying colors.

Starter- Cold Pea Soup with house smoked salmon-Like velvet on the tongue, the taste of peas came through loud and clear and the salmon added just the right amount of saltiness.

2nd course- They sent out 2 each of seven different appetizers which included lobster macaroni & cheese (everyone's consensus favorite), oyster pizza, grilled foie gras with duck pate and some sort of incredible fruit chutney, wild mushroom risotto with summer truffles, tuna tartare and thai quail with crispy rice. The service staff did an admirable job of seeing to it that everyone got a taste of just about everything.

3rd course- Grilled Hawaiian Ebbe with brown butter sauce and sweet potato chips. David Britton, the chef, used to be the head chef at the Manele Bay Hotel and still has conncections for impeccable seafood. He told us that he had the fish FedExed to the restaurant just for us.

4th course- Roasted Suckling Pig on a bed of spinach with a wonderful au jus. This was easily the best pork dish I have ever had. First, our waiter presented the whole pig in all its glory on a huge silver platter. It was then returned to the kitchen where it was beautifully sliced for presentation. A few of the people in our party (we were 14) are not to enamored with pork but couldn't believe how wonderful it tasted. The meat was beyond tender.

Dessert- A dessert sampler which included creme brulee, bread pudding, strawberry tart, chocolate bombe, etc.

Next night we decided to eat lighter and had a wonderful selection of appetizers on the patio at Sargo's, the restaurant at the Saratoga National Golf Club. Great atmosphere overlooking the 18th hole with a waterall. Everything was terrific but the standout dish was Shrimp Sargo.

Now we're in detox after three hard days of eating and drinking and luckily cashing a few tickets.


Edited by sammy (log)

"These pretzels are making me thirsty." --Kramer

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Just got back from Saratoga Springs (of  course we won at the track. Hit the Pick Six Thursday with a bunch of friends for $9100!) and had a few wonderful dining experiences.

Congratulations!

Next time you head up to the Spa, try Chez Pierre. It's about 5 miles north of town on Route 9.

Or if you don't mind a 30-minute drive - the Grist Mill in Warrensburg.

The other place I enjoy when I drive up is Eartha's just off off of Union Avenue. It was very good, then the new owners faltered. Now the new, new owners have improved it significantly.


Rich Schulhoff

Opinions are like friends, everyone has some but what matters is how you respect them!

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Some upstate New York suggestions - very reasonable & quite good restaurants to enjoy along with our beauuutiful scenery!!...take a weekend off, depressurize & come on up!....

Symeon's Restaurant - rte. 5A - Yorkville, NY - excellent Greek  and other cuisine..

Piggy Pat's BBQ - Washington Mills, NY & between Little Falls & Middleville, NY - Rte 167(latter not open during winter) - N.C.-style BBQ

I second Symeon's (Thracian Chicken, yum) and Piggy Pat's. Only had Piggy Pat's once but very good compared to good NC bbq places.

Since Eric's suggestions, by and large, aren't fine dining, let me add Tom Cavallo's in New Hartford for wings. Yes, I did say wings. They rock at Cavallo's. I'm sure there are better wings somewhere but I've never eaten them.

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The other place I enjoy when I drive up is Eartha's just off off of Union Avenue. It was very good, then the new owners faltered. Now the new, new owners have improved it significantly.

Believe it or not, one of my friends in on the pick six thursday hit the pick six again Saturday for $1900. It was unbelievable.

We were thinking of trying Eartha's but heard about a bunch of ownership changes so we shied away. We always enjoy Chez Sophie but just didn't have the time this trip.

I forgot to mention that we ate at Il Paradiso on Broadway which is run by a group that spunoff from Don Peppe's in Queens. Pretty good family style Italian but I think overpriced. We had 19 in our group thursday so it's one of the better places to go with such a large group. We ate ourselves into oblivion: baked clams, fried calamari, linguine in white clam sauce, spaghetti with a fresh tomato sauce, chicken scarpiarello, sea bass livornese and veal milanese. Skipped dessert.


"These pretzels are making me thirsty." --Kramer

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We were thinking of trying Eartha's but heard about a bunch of ownership changes so we shied away. We always enjoy Chez Sophie but just didn't have the time this trip.

I forgot to mention that we ate at Il Paradiso on Broadway which is run  by a group that spunoff from Don Peppe's in Queens. Pretty good family style Italian but I think overpriced. We had 19 in our group thursday so it's one of the better places to go with such a large group. We ate ourselves into oblivion: baked clams, fried calamari, linguine in white clam sauce, spaghetti with a fresh tomato sauce, chicken scarpiarello, sea bass livornese and veal milanese. Skipped dessert.

Chez Sophie is excellent.

And I agree with you about Paradiso - good but an overpriced spinoff of Peppe's, La Parma (Williston Park) and Spidini's (Kew Gardens).


Rich Schulhoff

Opinions are like friends, everyone has some but what matters is how you respect them!

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If you get to the track, there is now a freshly made potato chip stand out in the backyard right near the Furlong Frank stand. Just make sure to add your own salt because the chips are served unsalted.

We brought with us food from the Putnam Market on Broadway to enjoy at the track. Picked up some Serrano Ham, a good manchego, olives, mozzarella and a great salami that I forgot the name of. Served with La Brea Roasted Garlic bread and a little olive oil was splendid. We had a scrumptious bottle of Goldwater Sauvignon Blanc. Putnam Market also sells a good Bloody Mary mix that is outrageously priced at $8.95 a bottle but outrageously good. Made for a nice picnic lunch on a beautiful day in a beautiful setting.


Edited by sammy (log)

"These pretzels are making me thirsty." --Kramer

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A previous discussion on great food in NENY can be found here.. Sammy, I applaud your taste in restaurants. I believe the ones you mentioned are the best in Saratoga. Most of the others are somewhat overrated IMO.

Chez Pierre is a decent value, however, their bread is downright awful. I can't fully forgive a French restaurant with lousy bread :raz:

Putnam Market is a fine store. Their wine shop is probably the best in the North Country. I can't go in there anymore, because it is too tempting.


John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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I have such fond memories of my childhood - eating fried chicken at Hattie's.

Is it still around?

Is it still any good?

(Hattie's Chicken Shack is/was its full name I believe)


fanatic...

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Hattie's is still around but it has gone through several changes in ownership and I have no idea if it is still good.

Years ago, people in Saratoga would talk it up quite a bit but I didn't hear one mention of Hattie's this trip.


"These pretzels are making me thirsty." --Kramer

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Only once change of ownership and it's still good (usually). Hattie McDaniel and her husband Bil finally retired several years ago and sold it to a young woman from NYC who had been staying in Saratoga for a few months and had become friendly with them. The new owner worked with Hattie for about six months, IIRC, to learn the original recipes and ensure that they were still prepared the same way.

Changes: spruced up on the inside, they now have a bar with beer, wine and liquor, there's a covered patio in the rear where the bar and some outdoor seating is located and they have live jazz later at night on weekends (sometimes).

Some newer items have been introducedkonto the menu and are good but the mainistays are still excellent, particularly the fried chicken and the collard greens. I did have one piece of chicken that tasted a tad burnt one night and a waitress who was just out to lunch (it was dinner and her mind appeared to be elsewhere). The polite comments I passed along to the owner (not being sarcastic - I was very gentle and discreet in my wording) about the less than satisfactory expereince were met with a shrug of the shoulders. I returned the following season and the experience was just fine so that one night was probably just an unfortunate fluke.

Prices are moderate, it's very busy and they tend to pile all the food up on one small plate but I do really like this place (still...... I miss the way it was when Hattie and Bill were there).

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My mother's 70th birthday is coming up. I am taking her and my sister to the races mid week. My mom likes italian-american food. can anyone recommend any restaurants in the malta/saratoga area.


"Let's do another bad one 'cause I like it when the blood drains from Dave's face"

"Pickle -ickle - ickle"

Warren Zevon

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My favorite Italian restaurant in the Saratoga area is Paradiso on Rte 9 south heading out of town towards Malta. It serves family style, is in an interesting space and has some pretty good food including amazing broiled shrimp and good pastas. Unfortunately, the wine list is mediocre.

Chianti il ristorante is on Rte 9 closer to the center of town. The food is IMO vastly over-rate, but ok. The "scene" is "hip" and somewhat loud. They do not take reservations, which may mean a long wait "in season". while the wine list is extensive, the wines are actually stored in the dining room rather than in a cellar. My feeling about this restaurant is that it is style over substance.

Saratoga is a good restaurant destination, though relatively week on Italian-American. IMO Paradiso is your best bet.

If you are going to be around Saratoga this summer, consider joining us for A Day at The Races eGullet Potluck Picnic.


John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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I heartily concur with the good doctor's opinions about these places and the local scene. Paradiso is very good. Another good basic red-sauce (in a complimentary sense) place in Saratoga is Pennell's-near the harness track. A little simpler than Paradiso, little more family style; a local favorite, though not quite up to Paradiso in quality. Depends on what your mom is after.


Mark A. Bauman

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thanks doc and mark(ot- do you have a brother eric who is a vet?). does anyone have an opionion on waterfront restaurant?

suzi for johnnybird who is fading fast from his arthritis meds


Nothing is better than frying in lard.

Nothing.  Do not quote me on this.

 

Linda Ellerbee

Take Big Bites

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does anyone have an opionion on waterfront restaurant?

Suzi, I'm not quite sure what you are asking. :blink: Are you looking for a waterfront restaurant in the Saratoga area? Ifso, Richard Rodriguez, recently of Springwater Bistro will be opening a restaurant on Saratoga Lake in June. he tells me that it well be casual mediterranean/eclectic. The name will be "Chamelion on the Lake" since the menu will be evolving and changing with the seasons.. I am not personally aware of any other waterfront dining options in the Saratoga area, although there are a number on Lake George and Glen Lake. Unfortunately, there aren't any that make my head swim.


John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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Was at a weekend conference at the Sagamore not too long ago. Doesn't seem quite as good as a few years back. Trillium was great when it opened. Interestingly, the former executive chef now runs the Springwater Bistro-one of Saratoga's best. I believe that Suzi may be referring to the Waterfront Restaurant on Saratoga Lake- a popular restaurant/watering hole. Haven't been there in a number of years, so I can't comment on how it is presently.


Mark A. Bauman

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The Sagamore has been outstanding in the past. In fact as Mark mentioned The Springwater Bistro is a direct descendent via David Britten and Richard Rodriguez, who I mentioned above also worked there. While I haven't eaten there recently myself , reports have been less than enthusiastic.

I suspected that Suzi was referring to a specific place, although I am not familiar with it. Thanks for picking it up, Mark.


John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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I just heard that Chef Larry Shepici has left Sargo's in Saratoga. I do not as yet know what he is up to. He is being replaced by "Peter" formerly of the Sagamore. I will supply additional information as I find out.


John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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Doc,

It's funny as I went to college at Skidmore, and while there I never really thought any restaurant was terrific per se...but then again, I haven't been back in 5 years (except to play occasional gigs at 9 Maple on upright bass) Then again, I was on a college man's budget, and at the time I thought Emeril was amazing....go figure!

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Many new developments in the local dining scene. Dine has new owners; haven't been so don't know what, if any changes, have taken place. Some Broadway establishments (e.g. Wheatfields-and their associated steakhouse-Doc's, as well as Professor Moriarty's and Maestro's) all rumored to be possibly changing hands. even closing. Nothing definite yet. No great losses in terms of "fine dining", but is symptomatic of the "success" of town and rising rents which has forced out other locally-owned businesses, just to be replaced by more corporate, generic entities. David Zecchini, owner of Chianti and Il Forno Toscano will be opening an Italian seafood restaurant in place of his current bar Luna on Maple Ave called "Mare Mare" later this year. Of course, the re-location of Chez Sophie to the Saratoga Hotel has been reported on already.


Mark A. Bauman

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Many new developments in the local dining scene. Dine has new owners; haven't been so don't know what, if any changes, have taken place. Some Broadway establishments (e.g. Wheatfields-and their associated steakhouse-Doc's, as well as Professor Moriarty's and Maestro's) all rumored to be possibly changing hands. even closing. Nothing definite yet. No great losses in terms of "fine dining", but is symptomatic of the "success" of town and rising rents which has forced out other locally-owned businesses, just to be replaced by more corporate, generic entities. David Zecchini, owner of Chianti and Il Forno Toscano will be opening an Italian seafood restaurant in place of his current bar Luna on Maple Ave called "Mare Mare" later this year. Of course, the re-location of Chez Sophie to the Saratoga Hotel has been reported on already.

You are correct, Mark, none of these would be a loss to the fine dining of Saratoga, but it is indicative of other problems. The Chez Sophie move should be very interesting. i believe that they have the presence to pull it off and make sure it works right. The risk is losing something of the personality of the restaurant that helps make it special. I am not expecting anything special from Zecchini with Mare Mare. Why should he start now? I am still waiting for Max London's restaurant to open. My understanding is that financing has been the issue. That would be further indication of the economic issues alluded to above. I would think that if anyone can make a fine dining establishment work in saratoga it ought to be the Londons.


John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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The owner of Scallions on Broadway recently told me they are looking for another location before the end of the year. Due to the jewelry store next door expanding.

I really am wishing the best for her as she is one of the hardest working restaurant owners 'Male or Female' that I've ever met.

Also should disclose we are close friends.


Robert R

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Saw with Max's dad less than an hour ago! Yes, despite their long involvement in the food business, like many ventures, there have been a number of unanticipated surprises along the way- some having to do with the zoning requirements, etc., but $$ is always the problem. I've been hesitant to ask, since it has become a sore subject, and many anticipated opening dates have come and gone. He seems to think they are well on their way- hopefully later this spring/summer. Anxiously awaiting. No, I don't plan to go to David's new place when it opens. It will probably do well, however.


Mark A. Bauman

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The owner of Scallions on Broadway recently told me they are looking for another location before the end of the year. Due to the jewelry store next door expanding.

I really am wishing the best for her as she is one of the hardest working restaurant owners 'Male or Female' that I've ever met.

Also should disclose we are close friends.

That is a shame. I like Scallions. It is nothing fancy, but has good wholesome food. I'm afraid that downtown saratoga is starting to become just another homogenized mall town.

Another loss to downtown Saratoga is Little India whose lease was not being renewed. They had to vacate by the end of this month. That place wa a lunchtime favorite of mine if I was working at Four Winds and finished an early day. I would tend to order samosas and lamb paneer.


John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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