Chianti Il Ristorante's energetic and whimsical Executive Chef Fabrizio Bazzani leads you on a culinary journey through the beautiful northern Italian regions of Piemonte and Valle d'Aosta with his new Autumn-inspired Cooking School. Spend an evening with family, friends, exciting wines, hand-crafted cuisine and a menu that never disappoints.
10/04/11, Piemonte & Valle d'Aosta Cooking Class - Chianti Ristorante 10/25/11, Piemonte & Valle d'Aosta Cooking Class - Chianti Ristorante
With a laugh that fills the room and countless stories about wine, cooking and the old country Mamma is everyone's Italian grandmother. Tie those apron strings, roll-up your sleeves and join her this Fall at Forno Bistro or Pasta Pane for a hands-on class about Pasta & Ravioli Making or Authentic Italian Sauces.
10/15/11, Pasta & Ravioli Cooking Class - Forno Bistro 11/05/11, Italian Sauces Cooking Class - Forno Bistro 11/07/11, Pasta & Ravioli Cooking Class - Pasta Pane 11/12/11, Pasta & Ravioli Cooking Class - Forno Bistro
On October 17th Two Hands Owner and Co-Founder Michael Twelftree will be on hand as we pair five of his hand-crafted wines with five inspired hand-crafted courses from Executive Chef Fabrizio Bazzani. Since its founding in 2000, Two Hands Wines has received unprecedented acclaim, including eight consecutive Wine Spectator Top 100 listings.
10/17/11, Two Hands Wine Dinner - Chianti Il Ristorante
Well I've been busy and neglecting the ol' blog. Here we go with some catch up and some thoughts:
I am hoping to make the Lip Dub video premier event at SPAC, especially because I missed the event itself. You can read more about this premier, which will occur on September 27th, on Saratoga Seen here.
Speaking of local newspaper blogs, what's up with the Saratogian's City Desk blog? There hasn't been an update since August 18th. I should note that Suzanna K. Lourie is doing an admirable job keeping the "In the Biz" blog, with accompanying articles, going.
Margarita and I had another nice dinner at Capriccio Saratoga. They released a new fall menu, which has their great beans and greens on it. You can link the menu via Table Hopping here.
Breaking news: Borders is still closed. I put in a call to the Buffalo company that owns the building, but the person that I was put through to did not return my call. Is that a general disrespect of bloggers or just a sign that he had nothing good to report? Yes and yes, probably.
I haven't been able to confirm this yet but I think PJ's Barbecue is closing for the season this Saturday or Sunday September 10-11. If anyone knows for sure - please comment on here. Whenever they shut down, it will be the last seasonal closing for what was formerly known as a summertime eatery. As I reported (first) on here, PJ's will be opening year round starting in the fall of 2012.
Well, track season is over and I actually talked to someone about skiing today. That is so sad. Before I determine whether Gore has raced their prices for this coming season, let me share a few more Saratoga thoughts.
As I mentioned previously, I was in India for about 9 days, plus a couple of unplanned travel days caused by Hurricane Irene. It took me some time to get adjusted when I came back, and I totally missed the Saratoga Lib Dub project. It looked like it was a lot of fun, and I'm sorry I missed it. Next year.
Give NYRA some credit for moving the Woodward Stakes to Saratoga a few years back. Whatdoyaknow - there is racing in Saratoga after Travers Day after all! Rachel Alexandra emphasized that two years ago, and while Havre de Grace's victory didn't quite match Rachel's pioneering Woodward effort in 2009, it was still damn exciting anyway. If Havre de Grace does win Horse of the Year, I would say she won it at Saratoga in early September. Maybe many other prominent older horses will point to the Woodward in future years and perhaps it can even rival the Travers in attendance.
Speaking of Saratoga stakes races, I can't say enough that the NBC/Versus telecasts were nothing less than terrific. Can you say home run?
I hate seeing any changes at our beloved Saratoga Race Course, but it's hard to argue with NYRA's plans to remove the Carousel. The place is usually empty, at least on the second floor, so it's essentially wasted space. Onward and upward.
With that being said, I miss the old-fashioned (read: authentic) lemonade stands - the replacement ones that were there this year from the Centerplate Company should be sued for false advertising. It appears that they simply add some lemon concentrate to some sugared water and throw in some squeezed lemons to make it look good. Yuck. BTW, I also miss the U.S. Post Office that they used to have at the track. I almost never used it, but it was kind of quirky and cool.
Back to NYRA, good for Charles Hayward to hold firm on keeping Saratoga to 40 days and not killing the Golden Goose.
Sushi Thai Garden finally figured out to separate the cold sushi from the hot meal in their take-out orders. In the past, by the time I got home, I would have cold entrees and hot sushi. Double-Yuck.
Speaking of Asian Restaurants, I had family in town this past weekend and we went to Duo Japanese Restaurant and Lounge Saturday after the track for dinner. The place wasn't dead but it wasn't too busy either - more like a Wednesday during May rather than a Saturday during track season. They had a piano player in the dining room which was a nice touch and the food was excellent. The service had a few misses, including taking too long to get the food out of the kitchen which made the otherwise deliciously prepared entrees sort of warm rather than hot. That's a shame. The place has potential but don't these restauranteurs strive for greatness in such a competive environment?
Finally, Mika Boorem is following me on Twitter! Who is Mika Boorem? She is the uhhhh rather attractive blonde actress running around half dressed in the movie Virgin Alexander, filmed mostly of course here in Saratoga Springs. She must think I'm hot! She must think I'm a witty and brilliant writer. She must have caught a few of my stupid entries on here about Virgin Alexander. I haven't had this much social media star power since Jim Tedisco friended me on Facebook. Sorry Mika, but I'm married.
OK, that's it for now. If anyone wants a date with Mika, you can reach her via my Twitter account.
Forgive me if what I am reporting here is old news. I was in India for 9 days plus my return was delayed by Hurricane Irene by a couple of days, so I've really been out of the loop, or on the other side of the world I guess. But I was walking past Grey Gelding earlier this evening and it was all dark and I saw a "For Rent" sign on the window and a notice that the place closed. I guess that is not a total surprise, because I reported a while back that there was an ad on Craig's List for a Saratoga Broadway Restaurant for sale and a few people surmised it might be the Grey Gelding. OK I just found this posting from yesterday on the Table Hopping blog. I will comment on this further in a subsequent posting.
I am listing a few stories here about restauranteurs who have establishments here and are opening places outside of Saratoga Springs. You may have heard about a few of them, but just in case, I am listing them below:
Angelo Mazzone, who owns several restaurants and catering operations in Saratoga Springs and elsewhere in the Capital Region, will be opening a lower price steakhouse in Clifton Park. The Times Union Table Hopping blog has the story here.
Marrello Restaurants & Catering, which owns Jacob and Anthony's Restaurant in the Hampton Inn as well as a few Bellini's locations, is converting their former Houlihan's location in Crossgates Mall in Albany to the J&A Prep Kitchen. Read more here from Table Hopping. BTW, Cheryl Clark from the T-U reviewed Jacob and Anthony's last month and it wasn't a great review.
I reported on this last month but in case you missed it, Jeff Shen, owner of the Pacific Grill in Saratoga and the Shanghai Grill in Latham, will be opening an Asian restaurant in the former Filet 7 West location off exit 6 of the Northway. Read the, you guessed it, Table Hopping blog here.
Finally, I was the first to report back in February that Siro's would be taking over The Lodge restaurant location as well as opening a NYC location. That NYC portion of the news was corroborated by the report from DNAinfo.com, a Manhattan news web site, that reported in April that Jeff Kantrowitz, the lead investor of the Siro's group, stated that the NYC location, on Second Avenue between 47th and 48th Streets, would be "open in two months". Flash forward to September, and there appears to be no progress at that location. I don't know if the plan was delayed, scrapped, or moved to a new location, but I was in NYC recently and checked out the announced address and nobody I talked to in that building knows anything about Siro's. On the plus side, they did open The Lodge location here in Saratoga so that was good.