Dock Brown’s at Brown’s Beach

18 Aug

The summer might be beginning to wind down, but that doesn’t mean that a view of the sunset on Saratoga Lake gets any less beautiful as the seasons change.

Dock Brown’s at Brown’s Beach has been open since mid-July, and if nothing else, you should absolutely visit just based on the view it has.

Dock Brown's

Unlike any other restaurant in Saratoga and around Saratoga Lake, Dock Brown’s has a beautiful porch that makes you feel like you’re on an island overlooking the water.

The menu, consisting of mostly quick and easy items such as burgers, sandwiches, and quesadillas, makes this the perfect spot for a relaxing and comfortable dinner.

Dock Brown's at Brown's Beach

I was lucky enough to get a tasting menu earlier in the season, where Chef Michael Swift showed off his talents with dishes that were a bit more upscale than what appears on the menu, but definitely gave me a taste of what he’s capable of. In case you were wondering, he’s great. Very talented chef, and while he might be young, he is a powerhouse when it comes to the craft.

Since then, I’ve revisited Dock Brown’s, getting my hands on the vegetable quesadillas.

Vegetable quesadilla

The vegetable quesadillas were filled with peppers and onions, accompanied by manchego, mozzarella and cheddar cheese. The three cheeses created a tangy and stringy filling, and slightly overwhelmed the peppers and onions. Because the onions were cooked down so much though, they added a nice sweetness to the quesadilla, which complimented the tang of the three cheeses.

The french fries are also worth mentioning, as they’re crispy and crunchy, with probably more breading than actual potato. Some days these are my favorite types of fries, and others I just want that potato. Anyway – these weren’t overly salty, seemed to be just about right as far as sodium goes.

After dinner I was pressured into indulging in dessert, and of course I went for the most chocolatey-peanut buttery thing I could find.

Chocolate Peanut Butter Dream Pie

Motherload. This had it all – candied peanuts, hot fudge, cookie crumble, ice cream, etc. Too sweet? No way. The ice cream and hot fudge were milky and melted in your mouth, and then the candied peanuts added a crunch with a bit a saltiness to round it all out.

I must admit, my eyes have been on the lobster roll from the very beginning, and I’m not sure why I haven’t ordered it yet. Next time I go, that’ll be what I get. If you’re looking to have a lavish dinner, Dock Brown’s isn’t the place for you. If you’re looking for a place to go where you can feel totally comfortable and enjoy good food with a killer view, then you should get over to Dock Brown’s asap!

Have you been to Dock Brown’s yet? If so – what’s your favorite thing on the menu there?!

Travers 1864 Restaurant Week 2014

17 Aug

It’s that time again – Travers 1864 Restaurant Week is here, filling up the busy days before the annual Travers Race takes place this coming Saturday, August 23rd at Saratoga Race Course.

Going on it’s fifth year, this Restaurant Week spans throughout the greater Capital Region, with more than 30 restaurants and eateries participating.

Just in case you’re not sure what this week entails, you’ll be able to enjoy a three-course meal at participating Capital Region restaurants for the prix-fixe cost of $18.64, which is the year of the inaugural running of the Travers, the oldest major stakes race in the country for 3-year-olds.

This year, the Travers 1864 Restaurant Week starts Sunday, August 17th and runs through Thursday, August 21st.

The list of participating restaurants is listed below!

  • Angelo’s Prime Bar and Grill
  • Angelo’s Tavolo
  • Aperitivo Bistro
  • Bangkok Bistro Thai Restaurant
  • Bellini’s Italian Eatery
  • Buca Di Beppo
  • Cafe Nola
  • Cella Bistro
  • Charlton Tavern
  • Cliff’s Country Inn
  • Cornell’s Restaurant
  • D Line Pub
  • Dunham’s Bay Resort
  • Grandma’s Pie & Restaurant
  • Jack’s Oyster House
  • La Serre
  • Marriott
  • More Perreca’s
  • Paolo Lombardi’s Ristorante
  • Pasta Pane
  • Peaches Cafe
  • Ralph’s Tavern
  • Ravenous
  • Ravenswood Pub
  • Tesoro Italian Restaurant
  • The Ripe Tomato
  • The Water’s Edge Lighthouse
  • Tops American Grill
  • Valentino’s
  • Van Dyck
  • Wheatfield’s

Reviewing Thursday Little Big Meals at Fresh Market

14 Aug

I must admit, I’m a sucker for supermarket flyers. I’m always trying to find good deals when I’m cooking at home, especially since I’m spending the majority of my money on meals out every week.

Since Fresh Market opened in Saratoga back in May, I’ve gotten to know their weekly flyers better than any other local store. My favorite item to check out is their $20 family of four meals, where they basically give you all of the ingredients to prepare a meal, from tacos to hamburgers, for a family of four.

When I saw the August flyer come out, I was very excited to see the featured Thursday Little Big Meal was stir fry.

Included in the meal was:

  • Your choice of 16 oz sirloin steak strips, 24 oz chicken breast strips, or 1lb peeled/deveined shrimp
  • 1 pre-packaged stir fry kit
  • 1 12 oz salted or unsalted pre-packaged dry roasted peanuts
  • Your choice of organic soba or udon noodles or nishiki premium rice
  • Your choice of simmer sauce
  • Your choice of flavor pound cake

Not kidding, it was a lot of ingredients.

The Fresh Market Stir Fry

The vegetables might not look that huge in the picture, but there were SO many in that package.

Vegetable Stir Fry

Piled high, as you can see. I put all of the veggies in a large saute pan with about 2 tablespoons of olive oil. After I put the lid on, the vegetables cooked down and absorbed the flavors of one another.

When they were just about done, I threw in the shrimp, 3 tbsp soy sauce, and salt and pepper.

Like a ninja, I was also cooking the udon noodles, which only take 4 minutes to cook in a pot of boiling water.

When both finished simultaneously, I dropped the noodles into the stir fried vegetables and shrimp and tossed it all up.

To complete the dish, I added some chopped peanuts, and voila!

Shrimp and Vegetable Stir Fry

I mean… how good does that look? Yeah, it tasted great too.

While I didn’t use all of the items I was given in my brown bag of ingredients, the good news is I have them left for another meal!

For $20, this is an absolutely fantastic deal. It also could not have been much easier to prepare, as it took me about 15 minutes from start to finish.

Find their monthly meal deals on their website, or sign up for their weekly flyer!

Weekend Getaway to Astoria, Queens

11 Aug

Don’t get me wrong – I love summer in Saratoga just as much as the next guy. But sometimes during the six weeks of racing season, it’s nice to get away and enjoy the atmosphere and most importantly the cuisines of other areas.

That’s why this weekend I spent my days walking around Astoria, Queens visiting my brother and sister-in-law, eating all different foods and celebrating different cultures that help to make my job even more enjoyable.

What I love most about traveling outside of Saratoga is that it’s like a breath of fresh air when it comes to creativity and inspiration. Everyone has their own niche down here, as they have to in order to survive. With thousands of restaurants lining every street in New York City, the food baby I currently have from everything I’ve eaten is pretty much in its third trimester at this point.

Here’s a look in pictures at my weekend, and the different cuisines I had the pleasure of consuming in Queens, Brooklyn and Manhattan:

King of Falafel in Astoria

Falafel in Astoria, Queens

Grapefruit mimosa

Oysters

Oysters

Ashley and Brianne

Shandy

Truffle Panini

Truffle Panini

Green Juice

Yogurt Marinated Wings at The Sparrow

Fries from The Sparrow in Astoria, Queens

Croissant at Sparrow

Eggrolls at New Apolo in Brooklyn

Juice Generation

The Meatball Shop

The Meatball Shop Sliders

The Meatball Shop Ice Cream Sandwich

Brandon, Ashley and Brianne

In closing, I love it here. It makes me happy.

If I lived here full-time, I think my stomach would grow significantly, regardless of the amount of walking you do.

But whenever you get the opportunity to get away, even just for a day or two – do it. Try new things, explore different cuisines. It’ll make your palate, and your life, that much better.

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