Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Tour de Albany

I just realized I promised all sorts of back posts that I indicated were just waiting in the queue. Well, they were in the queue in my head...and then my week got away from me. My birthday celebration earlier this month led me on quite the culinary tour of Albany. While I don't often play the role of critic here, I do have some observations to share. First the tour, then the observations.

We started at 74 State for drinks on a Thursday, which was a colleague's birthday, and a smaller group of us wandered down to Jack's for dinner afterwards. The next evening led us to Cafe Capriccio for apps and some tunes from the lovely Julia Donnaruma. Western One and I were up bright and early on that Saturday (my actual birthday) and headed off to the Biergarten for some EPL action and my birthday boot.

Yes, that is a boot with coffee, and I have witnesses that can verify I had it in my hands before noon. That's about as badass as I get at this age. Home for a rest and off to Dale Miller for Dinner. I needed a detox from the food and booze, but my friend Hammer (sorry, buddy, you'll always be hammer) and I hit up The Brown Derby the next Friday to enjoy a joint birthday celebration.

You read that right: Jack's, Capriccio and Dale Miller in 3 days. And Brown Derby a week later. I'm not sure what I think I am (besides poor).

I have to say, my meal at Brown Derby was stunning from beginning to end. (check out our pretty desserts!) Kudos to the folks there that have revamped the menu. Appetizers and wine in the bar at Capriccio is probably one of my favorite ways to spend an evening, and it didn't disappoint, nor did Dale Miller (we ate at the bar and watched the Breeder's Cup, way more our style than the dining room). The bison short ribs, if not necessarily rave-worthy, was a well-rounded, very good dish. In another category, beer, soccer, mac and cheese and ping pong at the Biergarten was a perfect way to ease into 30+) At the bottom of this list, sadly because it is an institution, is Jack's. Way at the bottom. The oysters were great, but everything else was ... meh. The stunningly-overcooked tuna appetizer was beyond meh and just full-on wrong. It makes me a little sad to say it, but it's true.

And now, after my stunning display of opulence, I'm back to my own kitchen for a while. Neither my wallet nor my waistline can maintain that pace.

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