Friday, June 8, 2012

A Pinch of Perfection and a Dash of Spring

Here in the marketing department at the CVB, we often ask ourselves the question, what is Albany? We aim to represent our historic city in a genuine and positive light, informing visitors of what they can expect when they visit us. We have our most notable attractions, our historic sites and homes, the Hudson River, our signature annual events, and more, but undeniably, what Albany offers is eclectic cuisine. We have multiple options to fit every taste bud and budget. With spring and summer upon us, we have more and more farm-to-table dining options and delectable dishes to sample and savor. 

Trust us, there's nothing fowl about cumin-dusted crispy chicken thighs or seven-spice-dusted duck breast (though we don't recommend trying to say that three times fast!) at tastetaste restaurant is a vibrant take on contemporary fine dining! taste offers a deliciously healthy menu only a man with the training and skills of Executive Chef, Paul J. Ozimek can produce, continuing to meet the high standards of quality and creativity that it has become known for, and create for you a memorable dining experience at every visit. Best of all, they offer a unique atmosphere - a seasonal rooftop patio with a gorgeous view and a ground-level patio with entertainment. 

Hazelnut salmon, shitake-crusted cod, and even a $9 noodle bowlUdon noodle - braised pork belly, soft boiled egg, nori, wild mushroom miso broth at Central Steak, the All-American Steakhouse. Prime Rib, Aged Steaks, Fresh Seafood, $5 kid's meals and Chef Devin Ziemann's cutting-edge takes on steakhouse fare should satisfy all. Central Steak is a fun, friendly place to relax and have a great meal - every night of the week.

Here's fun for the tongue - chimichurri, house frites - the Grilled Hanger Steak at Capital City Gastropub. Looking for a light spring option? Roasted Baby Carrot and Farro salad with arugula, toasted cumin, vinaigrette, Maplebrook Farm feta, farro, and shallots.

Come out of your culinary comfort zone and try something tasty and fresh in our culinary capital city!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Wine. Dine. Fine!

Fine Dining, Fine Wine-ing, and Fine Enjoying!
Example Image - 450 x 248 pixels

If you've already enjoyed Hudson-Chatham's wines in the tasting room on a regular visit, here's a way to experience them on a whole other level - paired to a unique menu created in collaboration with a first-class local chef!  
We take pride in our wines, and we love to talk about what makes them special. So much of that is the experience of sharing them with others over a delicious meal. We started our winery dinners over a year ago as a way to set the stage for the most thorough enjoyment of our wines. It's an evening of talking in-depth with owners Carlo and Dominique about how the wines are made and why; sources of flavor; trying different vintages; comparing and contrasting a white and a red with the same dish. It's a culinary safari - done in style.  
The dinners are limited to 16 guests. A large table is set with fine china, silver, candles and flowers in the tasting room, and dinner is served. We pair the wines with five courses.
The chefs we invite to cook for our guests are exceptional - if we do say so ourselves! Like us, they take tremendous pride in the ingredients they use, the preparation, and the presentation of each of their dishes.
If we've whetted your appetite for a one-of-a-kind gourmet experience, make reservations to attend a dinner soon. More information follows.
See you at the winery!

Kick Off the Summer Wine Dinner with Chef David Robinson 

A former Vice President at a Manhattan ad agency, Chef Robinson started as a passionate home cook. He trained at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, New York (High-Impact Leader Scholar and Dean's List), and studied catering at the Institute for Culinary Education in New York City. He is an owner of Bezalel Gables Fine Catering & Events, the premiere destination for luxuriously handcrafted food from the Hudson Valley and the Berkshires. He was a founding member of Columbia County Bounty, which helped showcase the produce of local farmers across the county. He has cooked for a "who's who" of internationally known politicians, artists, and entertainers. A published writer, Chef Robinson has a library of 1,000 cookbooks and a love of gardening, the Hudson Valley/Berkshires, and the laughter that comes from warm hospitality.

Chef Robinson will be preparing a menu to celebrate the vibrant tastes of late spring/early summer, paired at all stages with Hudson-Chatham's wines.

Date: Saturday, May 26
Time: 6:30 - 9:30 pm
Place: Tasting Room, Hudson-Chatham Winery
Price: $60 per person; $50 per person for Case Club Members
Reservations Required. Email us at or call 518-392-WINE.
So Long to Summer Wine Dinner
Saturday, August 25
The Flavors of Fall Wine Dinner
Saturday, November 10
We will announce the chefs for these Wine Dinners as the dates near.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Century House managing partner receives Community Leader Award

Colin DeMers, managing partner of The Century House in Latham, New York, has received the annual Community Leader Award from the Colonie Chamber of Commerce.
DeMers and the restaurant, banquet facility and inn were recognized for their “Enjoy One, Share One” program, in which for every meal purchased, the business donates the equivalent of one meal to the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York.
So far, the program has supported more than 250,000 donated meals since it was started in June 2009, DeMers said.
“You can still support a charity while helping yourself,” he said.
Century House staff also volunteers once a month at soup kitchens around the Capital Region. DeMers said his establishment underwrites the monthly meal of chicken breast, roasted potatoes, green beans and cake served at the various meal sites.

Albany Barn & Chefs Consortium invite you to Groundbreaking!

View original newsletter by clicking this link:

Albany Barn & Chefs Consortium invite you to Groundbreaking!

Join Albany Barn & Chefs Consortium at Groundbreaking!

...a culinary & visual happening celebrating the start of construction at St Joseph's Academy, future home of The Barn creative arts incubator & community arts center.

Limited space - buy your tickets soon!
Event features:
Food by the Chefs Consortium featuring Rebecca Joyner, Noel Conklin, Ellie Markovitch & Albany's own 2x Chopped™ Champion chef Ric Orlando preparing  his own unique "Slow Food" dishes. Fresh, local ingredients from Albany area  farms & food producers.
Wine & Beer presented by Harmony House Marketplace and Chatham Brewing.
"Lost and Found" - a photo exhibition of St. Joseph's Academy

The Date: June 22nd, 2012
Time: 5:00pm - 9:00pm
Place: 46 N Swan Sreet., Albany, NY 12210

Ticket Information

$25 each ticket
or be a part of the "Hard Hat Committee" for $100 which includes:
  • 2 tickets
  • 2 Albany Barn pint glasses
  • name(s) on event site
  • a 4"x6" St. Joseph's print
  • VIP Event Parking
Purchase advance tickets for Groundbreaking! today.
Visit event site

Craft Beer in the Hudson Valley

At this point, I think we all know that the 64th Annual Tulip Festival is taking place this weekend in Washington Park. It'll be a great time even though the tulips are a bit past peak. The music, the food- it'll all be fun. However, if that just isn't enough fun for the weekend, you should also plan on attending Hudson Valley Hops- a special event at the Albany Institute of History & Art.
beer invite
Yes, this event is at a museum.
No, it is not an exhibit.

Instead, guests will be treated to a celebration of the craft brewing industry that exists today, while also learning about the history of beer making in the Hudson Valley.

Guests can "hop" from table to table sampling the finest local craft brews, enjoy an assortment of food, and talk with area brewers.  A special exhibition of beer-related advertisements, broadsides, and signs from the museum's collection will be on display during the event, as well.

Participating brewers include Albany Pump Station, Brewery Ommegang, Chatham Brewing, LLC, and Keegan Ales.  The event will feature special guest Bill Schaefer of F. & M. Schaefer Brewing Co., who will speak about his family's history of brewing in the region.  Following the tasting, individuals can tour the museum's newest exhibition, Great, Strange, and Rarely SeenIf you haven't been, it's worth it!

The event is $45 for members and $50 for non-members. 
Reservations are required. Please RSVP right away to: (518) 463-4478, ext. 469 or

Downtown Albany's 8th Bi-annual Restaurant Week

Just a few days left to continue taking advantage of Downtown Albany's 8th Bi-annual Restaurant Week - April 21-28, 2012!

Sixteen restaurants and pubs are participating. We're not mathematicians, but we figure that to make the most of this fabulous deal, you'll have to eat dinner twice per evening for eight consecutive days. At the fixed-price of $20.12 per meal, $40.24 per day, at a final cost of $321.92 per week! We think that's a small price to pay for decadence!! Do you have it in you?!? Here's a few of our member restaurants we hope you'll check out that are participating:

·         Victory Café
·         Taste
·         Marché
·         Kelsey's Irish Pub at Hilton Albany
·         Jack's Oyster House
·         The Brown Derby
·         The Bayou Café (New Orleans in Albany!)
·         C.H. Evans Brewing at the Albany Pump Station (award-winning chowder, chili, and ales)

Student Discount: For one night only, students who present a valid student ID will be offered the Restaurant Week menu for only $15.12 at La Serre restaurant and/or V&R Italian Ristorante.

Click here to see what’s cooking on the menus for the week. Questions? Email or call 518.465.2143 x11.

 Albany, an Amazing Discovery!

Getting out of your old dining habit

Dining habit? People have dining habits?


People are naturally creatures of habit. We set the alarm for the same time everyday, we shop at the same stores, and we order the same drink from our favorite coffee shop each morning. And just like the coffee shop or the stores at the mall, we also tend to eat out at the same restaurants.

It's not a bad thing, necessarily. People know what they like and they enjoy experiences that they know will be consistently pleasing. However, it's springtime and it's also time to try something new. We have the perfect opportunity for you.

Announcing Angelo's Restaurant Week: April 2-6!

Enjoy three courses at AperitivoTavalo, or the new Prime Bar + Grill for just $25. Or, for the more upscale experience, you may enjoy three courses at 677 Prime or Prime at Saratoga National for just $45.
As an added bonus, you may enjoy wine pairings for an additional $10.

Cowboy Steak at 677 Prime. Photo by Tomas Malave, courtesy of
Now, we understand this "trying something new" thing can be tough, so we recommend inviting a friend or two to help you along the process. Doesn't that sound like fun- a nice dinner at a reasonable cost with great friends? Make your reservations at

A beautiful dish from Tavalo. Photo courtesy of
Bon Apetit!

EXCLUSIVE UPDATE: Albany Distilling Company

Back in December, we excitedly announced the addition of the Albany Distilling Company to our beloved Quackenbush Square. Since then, we’ve noticed a lot of activity in the area and we eagerly anticipate opening day, which is just a short time away. We checked in with the owners, Matt and John, to get a sneak peak.

The first thing you’ll notice upon approaching the building is the great new sign out front. This is an important addition because without the sign, one would probably think s/he was walking up to a garage. (A few months ago, that statement would be entirely true.) In the past, the building was used to store coal for the old pumping station. We like the industrial look and we’re glad Matt and John kept it consistent throughout the new place.

Enter the building and you’ll immediately be drawn to the beautiful Kothe still and fermentation tank, which arrived in Albany from Germany in January. Installation took place on March 27 and the owners were hoping to start production within two weeks, after completing some test runs to make sure the equipment runs properly.

I got the full tour of the place, which consisted of standing in one spot and turning in a circle. It doesn’t sound like much, but these guys know their stuff and provide you all the details in an interesting and engaging manner. The tour was a blast, and after completing my 360 degree rotation over the course of 30-40 minutes, I felt much more knowledgeable about the distilling process and the plans for the space.

So what’s coming down the pike? Their first product will be a new make (un-aged) whiskey. Matt and John are committed to sourcing their raw materials from local vendors and keeping true to the rum recipes of past Albanians, though they won’t be sourcing their water from the Hudson! They will even continue this tradition in the naming of their products.

Want to learn more about the distilleries of Albany’s past? Check out the New York State Museum where you can see some old rum vats that were dug out of the ground right here at Quackenbush Square!

Uncovered rum vats at Quackenbush Square, Albany.
Photo courtesy of
Also, as part of Heritage Week, the Albany Heritage Area Visitors Center will be hosting a lecture entitled Buried Beneath: Albany’s Industrial Past in Quackenbush Square. Matthew Kirk of Hartgen Archeological Associates, Inc will present an overview of archeological excavations that have been conducted near Quackenbush Square in Albany. Although now considered an integral component of downtown Albany, the site was formerly part of the city's industrial periphery situated outside of the corporation limits. The talk will focus on the commercial development of North Albany during the 17th and 18th centuries - from an early brickyard, to a rum distillery, and later, to a city water pumping station - and the Quackenbush family's connection to the process. The event is free and you can get more information here.

The Albany Distilling Company will age some of the whiskey for six months and will be ready consumption just in time for the holidays! They also hope to begin production of other fine spirits, such as rum and vodka by fall, and gin sometime in 2013.

You can keep updated on all the progress by visiting their Facebook page:, or visiting their website at