Mio Posto For The Win

21 Jul

Saratoga is full of good restaurants, but the great ones always stand out.

Attention to detail, careful preparation and passion for the culinary field all yield significant differences between those good restaurants, and great ones.

One of Saratoga’s great restaurants is Mio Posto, a tiny restaurant on Putnam Street with 8 or so tables. Regardless of size, this Italian-inspired restaurant is family run, and actually feels like you’re going to your grandparents house for dinner.

I mean that in the best way possible too, because to me, there’s nothing more comforting than sitting down for a damn good meal with your family or friends.

The menu consists of a mix between proteins, fish and pasta. The specials board is typically filled with delicious additions for appetizers, entrees and desserts. In fact, there’s no dessert menu – you’re just prompted to look up at the chalk board.

I started with this little beauty, watermelon and goat cheese with a kale salad -

Watermelon Salad

Watermelon Salad

watermelon salad

Watermelon and goat cheese is one of my favorite things to eat. There’s something special about a creamy goat cheese with the fresh, juicy flavors of watermelon that truly feeds two different cravings.

For dinner, as tempted as I was to order the blood orange scallops, Tim beat me to it and I instead ordered the swordfish. I’ll get to the scallops in a bit, I promise.

Swordfish at mio posto

swordfish at mio posto

swordfish at mio posto

The swordfish was as moist as swordfish can be, and had a really great combo of sweet and savory flavors. Honestly, the main reason I chose this dish was because of the lobster risotto.

Do you even need to ask how that was? Amazeballs.

But wait… there’s more.

The seared sea scallops with blood orange burro, lobster risotto and asparagus.

blood orange scallops

Blood orange scallops

There’s a reason this is one of the only menu items that has not changed since the very first time we visited Mio Posto. It’s absolutely perfect.

It truly is flawless, and the next time you dine here, this is what you should and need to get.

So you’d think after all that food we’d be done. But we weren’t. That’s because they have a ricotta cheesecake that I can’t live without.

ricotta cheesecake

ricotta cheesecake

You can tell just by looking at these pictures how light this cheesecake is. It seriously isn’t even difficult to eat after an enormous meal because of how light it is.

While Mio Posto sometimes flies off my radar, it truly is one of my favorite restaurants in Saratoga, and will most likely be one of yours too! Just remember – it’s tiny, so make reservations.

Happy Opening Day 2014

18 Jul

SaratogaRaceCourseEntrance

I cannot believe it’s already Opening Day. As much as I’d like to say I’m ready to put on my dress and my fascinator to go watch the ponies at the Saratoga Race Course, where did June and most of July go? I’d like to know.

Today and tonight is an exciting day for both locals and visitors to Saratoga, and I for one can say today might be one of the biggest days filled with entertainment and fun out of the whole year. Between spending the day at the race course and then spending the evening downtown at the Hat’s Off Festival, not a minute will be wasted today.

I’ll upload some pictures later of Opening Day at the Races, but for now, here’s a little guide for the day and night to celebrate opening day!

During the day -

Gates open at the Saratoga Race Course at 11:00AM

First race post time is at 1:00PM

Taste NY: Craft Beer & Cider – $20 admission at the Saratoga Pavilion, will allow patrons to sample numerous craft beers produced exclusively by New York State breweries. From 12-4pm today. Admission includes 20 sampling tickets

After Parties -

Opening Day Party! The Audiostars at The Horseshoe Inn Bar and Grille

Opening Day Party at Siros

65 Roses The Opening Day Soiree at Fasig Tipton is tonight from 7pm-11:45pm, $190/pp to benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation

Hat’s Off Celebration -

Racing City Chorus performs tonight at 7PM in front of Eddie Bauer

Bluz House Rockers perform tonight at 7PM at Ellsworth Jones Place

MaryLeigh and the Fauves perform tonight starting at 7PM at the Collamer Building Parking Lot

Jes Hudak performs tonight at Caffe Lena from 8PM-10PM

Javier’s Patio Party takes place from 9PM to 1AM, featuring DJ Kris Kul

Better By Morning performs tonight at 7PM at the Post Office

Bob Warren performs tonight at Adirondack Trust at 7PM

El Dorados performs tonight at 7PM on Caroline Street

Sirsy performs tonight on Division Street at 7PM

Marc Berger Trio perform tonight at Ben & Jerry’s at 7PM

Alan Darcy performs tonight at 9:30PM in front of Eddie Bauer

Meatless Monday Recipe: Polenta-Stuffed Swiss Chard

14 Jul

After recently receiving an amazing cookbook called Ripe from Schuyler Pond in Saratoga Springs, it really inspired me to start cooking at home more these past couple of weeks.

For starters, cooking at home helps me relax. For that 45 or hour or however long it takes me to prepare a meal, I can think about nothing but what I’m doing in the kitchen. It’s golden.

The cookbook itself goes through the colors of the rainbow and pairs those colors with different fruits and vegetables that are ripe at various times of the year. Beginning with the color red and moving all the way through purple and blue to white, there are some really fantastic recipes that vary from easy to challenging.

Reading the instructions for the Polenta-Stuffed Chard with Bubbly Parmesan, it looked relatively easy – maybe on the border of intermediate, so I took the plunge. It was also a perfect Meatless Monday recipe!

Polenta-Stuffed Chard

Here are the ingredients:

  • Kosher salt
  • 3/4 cup dry polenta (coarse cornmeal)
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 cup packed grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • Pepper
  • 1 1/4 cups your favorite marinara or tomato sauce, divided
  • 8 very large leaves Swiss chard, swished in cool water

Directions:

Coat a 9 1/2 inch square pan with cooking spray and line the bottom with parchment

In a medium saucepan, bring 3 cups water and 1 tsp salt to a boil. Whisk in the polenta and reduce the heat to a gentle gurgle. Cook until thick, 10 to 15 minutes, whisking occasionally. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter, half the cheese, and a generous pinch of black pepper.

Scrape the polenta into the prepared pan and smooth the top. Cool for 15 minutes at room temperature, then refrigerate until cold, at least 1 hour. (After 1 hour, cover with plastic wrap.) Unmold and cut into eight 4×2-inch rectangles. Wipe the baking pan dry and spread 1/2 cup of the marinara along the bottom.

Preheat the over to 400 degrees F and bring a kettle of water to a boil.

Have several paper towels on hand.

Make a narrow, upside down V-shaped cut about halfway down each chard leaf to remove the thick central steam. Place the leaves in a large bowl and cover with boiling water. Let soften for 6 minutes. Remove to the paper towels and pat dry.

To form the rolls, lay 1 chard leaf on a cutting board. Lay 1 polenta rectangle horizontally along the bottom of the leaf and spoon 1 tsp of marinara on top. Roll the leaf upwards burritolike, encasing the polenta, and transfer to the baking pan seam side down. Repeat, nestling the rolls next to one another. Spoon the remaining sauce on top and sprinkle with the remaining cheese.

Bake for 10 minutes, then slip under the broiler for 1 to 2 minutes to brown the cheese. Serve hot.

The description in the book says “think lasagna, but without the pasta, ricotta, or mozzarella”. As absurd as that sounds, it’s extremely accurate.

A little lighter than lasagna typically is, it offered that comforting and dramatic appeal that pasta-based dishes provide. Maybe not the best choice for a hot summer evening, especially because it requires use of the oven, but it’s definitely a recipe that I’ll be using much more in the fall and winter months.

Ripe by Cheryl Sternman Rule can be purchased at Schuyler Pond at 727 New York 29, Saratoga Springs NY! Schuyler Pond is a home decor, furniture and unique gifts shop, with a stellar cooking and home goods section.

Hangover Cure at Good Morning Cafe

12 Jul

That’s right, I said hangover cure. Not only did I wake up this morning feeling like garbage, but I also realized that at the ripe age of 25 I can no longer hang at the bars past midnight.

Either way, after too many All-In-Shandys from Druthers and a few Coronas, I needed some delicious food to soak up the damage done from the night before.

I headed on over to my absolute favorite breakfast spot in the area and seriously contemplated my options.

Fluffy pancakes dusted with powdered sugar and REAL maple syrup? Argyle Farms greek yogurt with granola? Meat lovers scramble? Sure, they’re all good, viable options, but for me, my perfect hangover meal consists of potatoes, bacon, and eggs. Oh right – and some veggies.

Best option? The harvest spuds topped with two eggs over medium.

Good Morning Cafe

Good Morning Cafe

The potatoes were seasoned with just the perfect herb/salt/pepper ratio, the vegetables were cooked down to a soft, tender texture, and the eggs… well those were just about perfect.

Good Morning Cafe

You see that yolk? You see how orange it is compared to the normal yellow yolks you typically see when you’re cooking at home or at most other breakfast spots? Well it’s so vibrantly orange because the eggs are so fresh. In fact, they were just delivered from the farm to Good Morning Cafe yesterday. That fresh.

This is how eggs are supposed to look, and if you had been fortunate enough to eat this meal this morning like myself, you’d know that this is how eggs should taste like too.

Heaven!

And after devouring the plate – the hangover was over. No hair of the dog, no Advil. Just really really good food did the trick today to get rid of that nasty little hangover.

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