Showcase of Homes Chefs Event 2014

16 Sep

Comforts-of-Home_final-300x202

You know what I’m looking forward to this weekend? Eating a ton of food. How might you ask? At the Saratoga Showcase of Homes Chefs Event!

The Saratoga Showcase of Homes begins Friday, September 19th, and continues every weekend until October 5th.

Kicking off the whole showcase with the Chefs Event is awesome because of course, we get to see some of the incredible homes and beautiful kitchens while eating some great food from local chefs!

Below I’ve listed out all of the chefs participating in the event, as well as which homes they’ll be at on Friday.

My best tip? Begin as early as you can. If you get out of work at 5, try to start visiting the homes at 5:30. The more homes you can hit before the sun goes down, the better, because once you don’t have the sun to guide you and you’re old school like me and don’t have a GPS, you can get a little lost at some of these out of the area homes.

I will say this – when you’re standing in these amazingly built homes, it’ll make you want to start saving for a gourmet kitchen. Always does it to me!

Saratoga Showcase of Homes Chefs Event takes place on Friday, September 19th from 5pm-10pm. Purchase your tickets here.

Classic Homes

Ridgeview Estates
6 Ridgeview Road
Gansevoort, NY 12831

Wishing Well

Wishing Well – Chef Patrick Longton
www.wishingwellrestaurant.com

Food Being Served:
Chicken Pot Pie

Bella Home Builders

Rolling Greens
7 Rolling Green Dr
Wilton, NY 12831

Lakeridge

Lake Ridge – Chef Scott Ringwood
www.lake-ridge.com

Food Being Served:
Pulled Pork Tacos with Chili Slaw

Belmonte Builders

The Mill at Smith Bridge
5 Saw Mill Court
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866

Zest Cooks – Chef Carla Kuchar
www.zestcooks.com

Food Being Served:
Crab Macaroni & Cheese, Tomato Basil Bisque

BCI Construction

The Elms at Saratoga
28 Joseph Street
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866

Jack Dillions

Jack Dillon’s – Chef Tom Dillon
www.jackdillons.com

Food Being Served:
NE Style Cod Cakes on Molasses Bread w/ Tarter Sauce

Polito Homes

Park Grove
21 Joshua Road
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866

15 Church

15 Church – Chef Brady Duhame
www.15churchrestaurant.com

Food Being Served:
Jalapeno Duck w/Ginger Aromatic Emulsion. Dessert – Salted Butter Caramel Crunch

Witt Construction

106 Southard Road
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866

Pasta Pane

Pasta Pana – Chef James Frese
www.dzrestaurants.com

Food Being Served:
Braised Short Ribs with Seasonal Vegetables over Creamy Polenta

Malta Development

Lakeview Landing
27 Yachtsmans Way
Malta, NY 12020

Maestros

Maestro’s at the Van Dam – Chef John LaPosta
www.maestrosatthevandam.com

Food Being Served:
Homemade Ricotta Gnocchi Baked w/house made Ricotta; Eggplant Roulades w/Arugula

Traditional Builders

Stonebridge Estates
6 Stonebridge Dr.
Ballston Lake, NY 12019

Villago Pizzeria and Restaurant

Villago Pizzeria & Ristorante – Chef Sandra Foster
www.villagopizzeria.com

Food Being Served:
Wood-Fired Pizza and Appetizers from Wood-Fired Oven

Back To The Roots Restaurant Week

15 Sep

BTTR Restaurant Week

Restaurant Week’s are all over the place in Saratoga, so when I saw the words ‘Restaurant Week’ in yet another subject line in an email, I rolled my eyes.

But to my surprise, when I opened the email, I noticed that it was a completely different effort than any of the other restaurant weeks, in this case only showcasing restaurants who offer farm-to-table dining.

The Back To The Roots Restaurant Week starts today, September 15th and goes until Sunday September 21st. Participating restaurants include One Caroline Street Bistro, The Mouzon House, and 50 South.

One of the reasons why I’m so excited about this event is that it supports something that I’m very passionate about – the good food movement. As many of you might remember, last year Farm Aid took place at SPAC, and it focused on really highlighting local farmers and the importance of supporting them.

Now a year later, the movement is still going strong, with many local restaurants now working to improve upon their sourcing to help support local farmers while improving the ingredients they’re using at their restaurants.

There’s no pre-fixed menu for this restaurant week, but a portion of every bill from the week will go to Back To The Roots.

To get involved, RSVP on the website, here!

Long Overdue Review of Mingle on the Avenue

12 Sep

This blog post has been a long time coming. Once Mingle opened in May, I had great plans to eat my face off, especially knowing Chef Brian Bowden was heading up the kitchen there.

After his previous position at Javier’s, I fell in love with his style of cooking. He’s creative, stylish, and just plain talented.

But spring ended, and then summer did too, and I was left with a cold chill and a serious desire to walk past Broadway and down Lake Ave towards Mingle.

Now before I start talking about the food, I promise you this is the first of many posts about this restaurant, especially because the other night I wasn’t as hungry as I usually am. I know. That’s totally weird for me.

For starters, the crispy buttermilk oysters were calling my name, with a julienne radish, honey-tabasco sauce, remoulade and caviar ($15)

Fried oysters at Mingle

fried oysters

Something you may or may not know about me… I have a slight obsession with oysters. Fried or raw, they’re basically a must when I’m at a good restaurant.

These oysters fulfilled all criteria I look for with fried oysters. The breading itself was light and crispy, with a really light saltiness that ended with a hint of sweetness from the honey-tabasco sauce. Those julienne radishes added some freshness to the overall dish, and the caviar on top? Well that just escalated the overall flavors from each component of the dish.

Crispy, savory, and the perfect appetizer.

After the oysters, I went for the Noodle Bowl – Ramen noodles, poached egg, corn, scallions, shitakes & baby bok choy with pork belly ($15).

**NOTE – Since the owner recommended I add some kimchi to the noodles, I ordered that right away.

ramen noodle bowl

ramen noodle bowl mingle

Ramen noodle bowl

I guess you could say my love affair with ramen all began during my first trip to Astoria, Queens last November when I tried a real ramen restaurant for the first time.

It pains me to even think that those cheap packages of ramen are even called ramen after having the real deal, and since then I’ve craved it without ever really having the opportunity to have some nearby.

When I saw Mingle had ramen on the menu, my heart fluttered. So then… how was it?

The flavors were intense to say the least. The broth on its own wasn’t like your typical broth. Instead, it was hearty and rich, and then once you cut open the poached egg and let the yolk run out, forget about it. So incredibly flavorful. You totally get that umami experience.

I really liked the different textures you get in one bowl too. You have a crunch from the corn, softness from the poached egg, a chewiness from the pork and a smoothness from the broth.

This ramen allows for so many flavor profiles, which all work wonderfully on their own, but also fit together like a puzzle when you taste them all at the same time.

Is it similar to what I had at the ramen restaurant in the city? No. Is it a damn good effort? Absolutely.

Honestly, I don’t think the folks at Mingle are even trying to imitate the traditional ramen. Instead, I think they’re hoping to put their own unique flair to the dish, which is exactly what they did.

When I’m not craving pho from Good Night Noodle, this is absolutely going to be my go-to fall and winter soup to warm my soul and fill my stomach.

What I really like the most about Mingle is that it’s food you truly can’t get anywhere else in the city of Saratoga. Don’t get me wrong – it’s great to be able to get food that’s easy on your taste buds, but the flavors that are developed in the food here makes your taste buds go wild. How can you not love that?!

If you have yet to visit Mingle, you should definitely make your way over there for a unique experience in Saratoga dining!

2014 Wine and Food Festival Recap

8 Sep

This weekend was full of food and wine, and I can’t complain. I truly enjoyed both the Friday night BBQ, Brews and Blues event that kicked off the Saratoga Wine and Food Festival, followed by the grand tasting that I’ve had the opportunity to attend for the past several years.

Each year is different, but I must say that I think this year topped last years, with more excitement, a better flow of events, and in my opinion, a much better series of food vendors!

I won’t bore you with details about both events, but I will give you some highlights.

At the BBQ, Brews and Blues event, 4 Capital Region chefs faced off with 4 Manhattan based chefs. Druthers took the win for people’s choice, while Angelo’s 677 Prime took the win for judge’s choice, beating out NYC chefs in both categories!

That same evening, I met one of my favorite Food Network stars, Chef Marc Murhpy (see image below). Dream come true. I guess you could say I’m obsessed…

Saturday, I sampled LOTS of wines, and ate a serious amount of great food, from adobo roasted pork tacos from Chef Dominic Colose of The Wine Bar, to roasted beet puree on a housemade potato chip from The Gastropub in Albany. Like I said, the food was awesome, and I left full and very happy.

Before I end this brief article, I’ve gotta give a shoutout to Mr. Adirondack Appliance himself, Tom Thibeault who gave me the opportunity to attend both of these events this year. I’m so grateful to have so many wonderful people in my life. Thank you so much Tom!

Here’s a recap in photos from the weekend:

BBQ Brews and Blues

Judges

677 Prime

677 Prime

Brook Tavern

Food

Blues band

Marc Murphy at Spac

Druthers Wins BBQ Competition

Druthers wins competition

me and marc murphy

dsgsgs

Saratoga Wine and Food Festival

Saratoga Wine and Food Festival

Saratoga Wine and Food Festival

Saratoga Wine and Food Festival

Saratoga Wine and Food Festival

Saratoga Wine and Food Festival

Saratoga Wine and Food Festival

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