Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Revisiting Capriccio

This past weekend I went to Capriccio with my family. I won't write a full review since I already wrote one a while ago, but I'll give you some pictures and share some highlights. Overall the experience was slightly less magical than the first time we went - mainly due to brighter lights and an obnoxious guy at the bar - but the food was still excellent. I had also been under the impression that Sunday nights were family-style nights? A couple huge dishes for the table? That wasn't the case this past Sunday but we still enjoyed ordering our own meals.

The Wood Roasted Vegetable Antipasto and the Live (meaning they just cut the lettuce) Caesar salad were the perfect appetizers for a party of five. I am particularly in love with the spreads that came with the antipasto, black olive, white bean, and a goat cheese pesto...yum. 

My mom said this was one of the best pork chops she ever had...that's saying a lot...

I got the same dish I got the last time, the Stuffed Eggplant, and there was a disappointing amount of sauce. You can even see in the picture from my last review the difference - but other than the lack of tomatoey goodness the dish was still pretty amazing. 

This was the only dish ordered that was a total flop. My sister was so disappointed with her meal that I tried the meat (yes, my vegetarian self took a bite) just to see what was wrong. Even though I'm no expert on Beef Scallopine, I could tell that the meat was leathery and flavorless - probably not what it was supposed to be. 

When you go to a fancy restaurant like Capriccio you don't always think about ordering pizza. But you should - they're amazing. 

This was one of the specials, Ahi Tuna with pea shoots and potato salad. You can't tell from the picture but there is a LOT of tuna on this plate. There was a delicate combination of flavors from the pea shoots and potatoes that brought out the tuna very nicely. I hope this special was a hit and maybe they put it on the menu? Maybe?

So this is the first repeat in restaurants on Savoring Saratoga so far, and I figured some pictures and comments instead of a full review? What do you think? Obviously you don't always have the same experience at the same restaurant, and this way you get sort of an ongoing review type deal. Keep those restaurants on their toes! And as always - let me know if there are any restaurants you want to see reviewed or if you have any stories from the restaurants on Savoring Saratoga...I love hearing from you!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Wishing Well

The Wishing Well is in a simple, unassuming house on Saratoga Road, just a couple of minutes from downtown Saratoga. When we walked in the front door though, the restaurant was anything but simple. The Wishing Well has that classic and distinguished feel, definitely a fancy restaurant for a fancy occasion (we were celebrating a birthday that night!) We walked past the bar, through a larger dining room, and were seated at an intimate table next to the fireplace in a smaller room near the back. Even though the restaurant itself is pretty big, each room makes you cozy and welcome.

We started off our meal with a particularly amazing appetizer: Crispy Tempura Asparagus with a spicy aioli.

This was one of the highlights of the meal. The asparagus was tender and the tempura was light and crispy, such a nice combination of textures. Not to mention the aioli which had a great kick to it and  complimented the smoother flavor of the asparagus perfectly. Not only was this appetizer delicious, but there was a LOT of it. When (not if, but when) you get this appetizer you can certainly share it between two people at least, maybe even three or four. 

Both of our meals came with a salad, nothing super exciting, but a nice way to ease into the main course. 

Gotta love the classic glass salad plates.

After the salads came our entrees, mine being the Mediterranean Shrimp Scampi with artichoke hearts, basil, capers, and tomatoes. 

The shrimp were huge and the artichoke hearts and capers were holding this dish up to it's Mediterranean standards. I loved all of the flavors in this meal, you could taste each and every ingredient, yum! What was unusual about this scampi though was it's lack of pasta. Not that I was still hungry at the end of the meal by any means, but I think I would have liked some pasta or rice under the shrimp.

Both meals came with vegetable side dishes, which helped with my starch craving, but I don't really think mashed potatoes really match my dish, do you? 

My date ordered a very impressive meal for his birthday dinner: lobster baked with a cornbread crab stuffing. 


This was pretty fantastic. The cornbread crab stuffing was to die for and the lobster was steamed to perfection. You really can't beat lobster dipped in butter, it's just too good. A funny side story - this was his first time ordering a full out lobster and for those of you who have never ordered one before, there is a lot of work involved. Cracking, pulling, teasing...all to get to that delicious lobster meat. Anyways - halfway through eating one of the claws, my date pulled a little too hard and half the claw went flying...straight into the fireplace! It was amazing, straight out of a movie. We decided (with the input of the neighboring table) that the combination of it still being in the claw and the five second rule made it still edible. And it was worth the rescue mission, no lobster left behind! 

At first we weren't going to have any dessert, we were way too full. But then the owner stopped by our table to see how we were doing. I love it when that happens, it really shows how much they care about their restaurant and about their customers' experience. Anyway - we were talking to him and learning about the history of the restaurant and such when I "accidentally" let it slip that it was my date's birthday. Oops. Lucky for us, this showed up a couple minutes later.

So that blue thing sticking out on the left is a birthday candle, but his birthday wish was made before I had time to take a picture. How beautiful is that eclair! Unfortunately I couldn't have any because of my ever-annoying chocolate allergy, but I could live vicariously for a little bit. This is the perfect dessert for anyone who thinks they are too full for something sweet. Eclairs are light and airy with amazing cream filling and fit nicely into that separate stomach that everyone has for dessert. Nicely done Wishing Well.

I would highly recommend the Wishing Well for any celebration or even just a fancy family dinner. It is certainly on the pricier side, but you can always go on one of their specials nights - just check out my page for weekly specials to check out some of the stuff they offer during the week. Their website also talks about a Sunday date night special that looks pretty amazing, I'll have to check that out soon. I feel like the Wishing Well has some great stories behind it, have you celebrated any special occasions there? Have any good stories or memories you want to share? What about your favorite meal there?

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Country Corner

Country Corner is one of those Saratoga classics that I will never get tired of. I went with two friends the other day and could not have been more excited when we had our choice of tables - we went during the week and normally when I go over the weekend there is at least a 20 minute wait. When we sat down I to to admire all of the antique knick knacks and the country farm feel of the restaurant, I love the feel of the place. That day the dining room was filled with families, groups of friends, and a few business lunches. Country Corner's got that atmosphere definitely appeals to every crowd.

The menu is just as versatile, though I have to say I'm always torn between two breakfast choices: huevos rancheros and some sort of eggs benedict. This day however I was really feeling the Heuvos, I wanted something hearty, filling and comforting.

This dish has got it all - two fried eggs over refried beans on a tortilla with cheddar cheese and scallions. Load that up with some sour cream and salsa and you've got one of my favorite breakfasts ever. The only thing that would put this over the top would be a couple slices of jalapenos, but I can understand how some customers might not be into that. I guess I just like a little extra kick.

My friend commented that I never put any pictures of myself on my blog. I have to say, I normally like pictures of the food to talk for itself, but for him I'll post this one slightly goofy picture.

Can you tell how excited I am for breakfast?

My friends got two other classic Country Corner dishes, the Bountiful Breakfast Bowl and the Breakfast Sandwich. 

The Classic Breakfast Sandwich is a build-your-own type of sandwich. You can choose your breakfast meat, type of cheese, and type of bread. Here's what my friend's looked like:

One egg with cheese and sausage on a bagel. Not to mention those perfectly cooked home fries on the side. Classic. Simple. Tasty. 

The Bountiful Breakfast Bowl is just what it sounds like - bountiful with all things breakfast. 

This huge breakfast has scrambled eggs, scallions, cheddar cheese, bacon and tomatoes all over hash browns with a biscuit on the side. Wow. And for that biscuit on the side, our waitress brought some of Country Corner's famous home made jam. 

I can't remember what these exact flavors were, but trust me when I say that every flavor they make is delicious, you can taste the home made love. And of course breakfast is not complete with a cup of coffee. I have to say, that tiny little cup never quite does it for me, but someone is always coming around with a pot asking if you want a refill. The waitresses at Country Corner are so friendly, even on crazy busy weekends they are always smiling and checking up on you, making sure your food gets out on time. 

If you haven't been to Country Corner yet, check it out next time you are in the mood for brunch. If you're worried about getting a table you can always go during the week. It's busy during the weekend but it's worth the wait, it satisfies that craving for hearty comfort food that you just have to have after a long week. 

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Saratoga Springs Food Tours

Who out there loves food AND Saratoga? I know I do! Myself and some other local bloggers were invited to experience something truly special, a food tour of Saratoga. The Saratoga Springs Food Tours start every Saturday at the Farmer's Market throughout the summer. We met up with our tour guide Joe and worked our way through the Farmer's Market, meeting different local vendors and learning about the history of the market. I don't want to give away too much information from the tour, but here are some pictures to give you a general idea of how much fun we had.

First we learned about the history of the Saratoga chips and got to try some amazing tapenade.

Then we got to meet the man with the famous cow hat from the market...if you're a regular you know who I'm talking about! We learned about Argyle cheese and tried their famous Greek yogurt, yum!

I found out there are a million more flavors of Saratoga Peanut Butter than I thought...

And got to learn a little bit about the history behind Anna Mae's famous jam...

Of course a tour of Saratoga would not be complete without visiting one of it's famous springs. Not quite as tasty as the bottled Saratoga water that Joe handed us at the beginning of the tour...I had no idea that the structure was a gift from Lake Ave Elementary, did you?

Then we headed to the Olde Bryan Inn where we sat down for some appetizers and a history lesson. This was one of my favorite parts of the tour, I loved hearing about Saratoga's history and how so much of the city's current culture and food reflect it's past. That's why food tours are so great - food and history - what better way to explore a city. 

Then the tour headed over to Broadway and made a stop at the olive oil store, one of my favorites. Even though I'd been there many times before, I still learned something new about...and discovered a new favorite combination...strawberry balsamic and basil olive oil...tastes like summer. 

Our second to last stop was at Saratoga Salsa and Spice. I wrote about Saratoga Olive Oil and Saratoga Salsa and Spice a while ago when I wrote about giving the gift of Saratoga. Both stores have already packaged gift sets but sometimes it's just more fun to pick things out yourself. That and it gives you a great excuse to sample as much as you can! 

I hadn't been in to get "sauced" in a while, the new renovations look amazing! Here we learned about different kinds of peppers, units of heat, and the delicate process of making amazing salsa (I'll give you a hint: consistency is everything)

After heating things up with some salsa and spice, we ended our tour with gelato to cool down a bit. Here we learned about the differences between gelato and ice cream and got to see some family history on the walls...aren't those frames beautiful!

The tour ended on such a sweet note and was a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon. People typically think of food tours as something you would do in a city you are unfamiliar with, but I found myself re-familiarizing myself with Saratoga and consequently re-falling in love with the city. Next time you have an out of town visitor, or simply want to learn more about Saratoga in a tasty way, give Joe a holler at Saratoga Springs Food Tours, you won't be disappointed. 

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Seven Horse Pub

This past Saturday night I was in the mood for some classic pub food, something comforting, and we decided to try out the Seven Horse Pub on Phila. I had been there before for drinks, but never for dinner so I was pretty excited. We met up with some friends (running about ten minutes late as usual) and found them already settled in a cozy corner table. The dining room upstairs was reserved for a private party, but I liked eating downstairs, there was a casual, neighborhood feel that was very welcoming.

Our friends had already been given menus and water and when we sat down someone came around to get our drink orders, but never brought us menus (even though we asked). So after doing the awkward passing menus back and forth dance we were able to figure out what we wanted to order. Of course I had to start with a cup of their famous Sea Hog chowder, voted this year's People's Choice AND Best Off Broadway chowder!

It came with a piece of fried cornbread (wow!) and I asked for it without the pulled pork on top, though I'm sure it would have tasted great with it. This chowder lived up to it's awards, it was thick and flavorful and warmed me right up. I could really taste the saffron and lobster, such a great combination! It was very filling though and in retrospect I should have just gotten a bowl as a main course since by the time my meal came I was pretty much full from the chowder.

But that night my eyes were bigger than my stomach and I ordered a cup of chowder and an order of fish tacos.

These tacos came with a spicy slaw, fresh salsa and Mexican crema. As with most tacos, these were difficult to eat without them exploding after the first bite. But that didn't make them any less delicious. I loved that the fish wasn't deep fried, a lot of times that takes a lot of the flavor away if there's more breading than fish. Everything was going fine until I took a big bite of what felt like an entire hot chili pepper. I'm pretty sure my mouth was on fire for a good five minutes, and all the crema and beer in the world couldn't help me. Long story short - the fish tacos were great, just be warned they are very much on the spicy side!

One of my friends decided she was also in a comfort-food mood and ordered the grilled cheese and tomato soup combo. She joked that she had the taste of a five year old, but once she got her meal she got the most sophisticated grilled cheese and tomato soup I've ever seen.

Sorry it's not the best shot, but aren't those adorable little grilled cheeses! (bet you didn't know food could be adorable, did you?) And there was something about that tomato soup that was just amazing. It was hearty and savory and was perfect for dunking the grilled cheese. Yum. Next time I go it'll be tough to decide between the chowder and the tomato soup.

The next entree ordered was the Eggplant Rollatini.

This was a huge serving of rollatini, fried eggplant with ricotta and marinara over spaghetti. The sauce was as good as the tomato soup, but the eggplant was way too fried for my taste. I always like, for either eggplant parmesean or eggplant rollatini, to have the eggplant on the softer/less fried side. Preferably soft enough so you wouldn't need that big steak knife that this rollatini came with. Even though it was not the most delicate dish, the flavors were still fresh and punchy. 

The last dish ordered was the Bacon-Pepper Jack Burger with curly fries. 

What could be better than salty bacon with pepper jack and crispy onions, honestly, look at that burger. The curly fries were fairly standard, meaning addictive and well seasoned, but the burger really stole the show. Needless to say, my date was one satisfied customer. 

By the time we were finishing up our meals (8ish) the pub had definitely taken the turn from restaurant to bar. The families that were there with little ones were starting to head out and the drinking tables were starting to outweigh the eating tables and there could definitely have been a nice transition from dinner to Saturday night drinks. After this meal though I was ready for a night in and we called it an early night. I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised and impressed by the Seven Horse Pub and it will be at the top of my list next time I'm craving some casual, quality dining. Check it out, let me know what you think!

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


The other day my friend and I decided to check out Karavalli's buffet lunch. I was definitely tempted by the price, all you can eat buffet for ten dollars! I had been to Karavalli's before for dinner and had had good experiences so I was looking forward to get my fill of Indian food.

For those of you who have never been to an Indian buffet before, here's more or less what you can expect:

There were a fair amount of vegetarian options, so though not everything was labeled I was still able to get a healthy sized plate of food. I'm not sure the name of everything I got (sorry, I was so hungry I forgot to take notes!), but here's what our plates looked like:

These plates make me think about how they tell you that a colorful plate is a healthy plate, did you ever hear that as a kid? I love buffets because you get to try a little bit of everything, this is a great way to introduce someone to Indian food if they are feeling adventurous. We had attentive waiters who brought us piping hot naan to have with our lunch, which was good because I needed something to scoop up all of those delicious sauces (if you saw on my Little India post, I love those sauces but still have no idea what they are). I have to say though, the naan was the only thing that was hot. I was pretty disappointed with the general lack of heat, both for temperature and spice. Buffets should always be hot and fresh, that's what those heating pans are for after all! And while the food that we got was fresh tasting, it was pretty much room temperature.

But then again, it was ten dollars for all you can eat. So while I would have preferred a little more intensity, the quality to cost ratio was about right and I still went up for seconds. If you are in a rush or are particularly hungry for Indian food and think you need multiple plates to satiate your craving, check out Karavalli's lunch buffet. Maybe one day I'll figure out the ingredients to those delicious Indian sauces, and after that I'll look into the bowels of goodies that are always at the door...anyone know what these treats are? Desserts? Condiments? Snacks? Do you have a favorite?

As always - I love hearing your feedback! Let me know if you hear of any great specials or if there are any restaurants you would like to see reviewed. Can't wait to hear from you!