Monday, March 31, 2014

Easter Bake Sale offers Delicious Treats for a Good Cause!

Easter is just a few weeks away and the St. Sophia Greek Orthodox Church Philoptochos Easter Bake Sale is here to help you with your dining needs. Offers include Easter Bread for $6 and 12-Piece Boxes of Baklava for $10.

Orders can be made in April and picked up at the church at 440 Whitehall Road in Albany on Palm Sunday, April 13. Orders can be made by calling Jan Gallas at 459-2041 or Dora Mokhiber at 489-6679.

Proceeds from the Philoptochos Easter Bake Sale will go to benefit the Homeless Action Committee, Habitat for Humanity, Capital Rescue Mission, and the Breast Cancer Walk. Place your order before it's too late!

For more information, please visit:

Downtown Albany's Restaurant Week Just Got Bigger!

The Downtown Albany Business Improvement District (BID) has announced additional programming to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of Restaurant Week in downtown Albany. The 10-day celebration kicks off on Wednesday, April 2, 2014 and runs nightly through Friday, April 11, 2014. Throughout the event different entertainment options, giveaways, and discounts will be offered to make your time in Downtown Albany even more enjoyable.

Program highlights include:
  • Free Anniversary concert in Tricentennial Park featuring Melonious Thunk 5:30pm-8pm on Friday, April 4th.
  • Multiple ticket give-a-ways for shows at Capital Repertory Theatre and the Palace Theatre.
  • 30 tickets to be given away from each participating restaurant to see the Albany Devils at the Times Union Center.
Why go home after work? If you work downtown, stay downtown. Downtown Employees are invited to bring their 2014 Restaurant Week receipt to the BID office between 9am-5pm from April 2 - 10, 2014 to receive a FREE Downtown t-shirt and be entered to win tickets to:
  • America’s Test Kitchen Live! (3 pairs)
  • Family Feud Live! (1 pair)
  • Bruce Springsteen (1 pair)
The drawings will be held Thursday, April 10, 2014 at Noon. That's not all. A variety of discounts will also be offered so you can pair a delicious dinner Downtown with world class entertainment and exciting events. Entertainment discount offers include:

  • Save 10% on tickets to see Gypsy: A Musical Fable at Capital Repertory Theatre April 2 - 12, 2014 when you bring your Restaurant Week receipt to the Box Office.
  • Take $10 off premier $45 tickets to America’s Test Kitchen Live! With Christopher Kimball on Sunday, April 13, 2014 at the Palace Theatre when you mention the "Restaurant Week Discount” in person at the Box Office.
  • Ask your Restaurant Week server for a FREE pair of tickets to see the Albany Devils at the Times Union Center on April 19, 2014 while supplies last.
For more information on offers and events click here. You can find out about all of the participating restaurants and see their menus by clicking here. Select restaurants will be extending Restaurant Week through April 12, 2014. See individual menus for details.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Original Recovery Room Recieves Facelift!

          The Original Recovery Room located at the Hilton Garden Inn Albany Medical Center on 62 New Scotland Ave in Downtown Albany has received a facelift. The base restaurant of the now popular chain reopened on March 6th after a $250,000 renovation project.
            BBL Hospitality stood by their original sports-themed persona while simultaneously improving the overall guest experience and adapting to changing trends.  The fresh new property layout is more conducive to large parties and events.  The layout allows for a new lounge area, more mingle space and increased flexibility.  All furniture and fixtures have been replaced with new, more comfortable and accommodating pieces.  The original furniture has been donated the Troy Albany Youth Hockey Association.
             The new d├ęcor has been updated from professional and college teams to a new sports memorabilia collection focused on the local area sports community, ranging from high school and college sports to semi-pro leagues.
            To add to the experience, audio visual technology has been updated and improved to provide an unrivaled sports viewing experience.  A new state of the art system has been installed including the Capital District’s first set of 90” LED screens.  The number of television feeds has increased allowing for more channels and viewing options for our wide range of sports fans and sporting event requests. 
            The restaurants food and beverage menu options have also been expanded. New items have been created to accommodate growing dietary needs including a new vegan item, boneless meatless wings by Gardein.  A new drink menu has also been introduced with fresh & creative cocktails.  Additional draft lines have been added to increase beer capacity and strengthen the focus on locally produced craft beers.
            The Recovery Room at Hilton Garden Inn Albany Medical Center is open seven days a week. Hours are as follows: Monday through Thursday: 11a.m. to 11p.m., Friday and Saturday: 11a.m. to midnight, and Sunday: Noon to 10 p.m.
You can see the Recovery Room menu, find out about special promotions, and more on their website or by calling (518) 396-3800.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Hudson Valley Hops Returns to Albany Institute

The Albany Institute of History and Art and will present the third annual Hudson Valley Hops on April 12. The event celebrates the history of brewing in Albany and today's craft beer industry in the Hudson Valley. There will be an exhibition of historic local brewery artifacts, a series of talks by beer historians and brewery experts, local craft beers, good food, and a commemorative glass for participants.

Participating breweries include: Adirondack Brewery, Brown's Brewing Company, Chatham Brewing LLC, C.H. Evans Brewing, Druthers, Old Saratoga Brewing Company, Ommegang Brewery.

The event will be held at the Albany Institute from 4pm to 7pm. Addmission is $25 for Albany Institute members and $30 for the general public.You can reserve tickets online or call (518) 463-4478 for more information.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Colonie Restaurant Week to be Held March 24-30!

It's that time of year again, when the snow finally begins to melt, the sun comes out, the birds chirp, and wonderful restaurant week opportunities pop up around the Capital Region. 17 popular Colonie eateries will participate in the upcoming Colonie Restaurant Week, taking place from March 24-March 30.

Colonie Restaurant Week is a week-long event highlighting the delicious and unique eateries in and around Colonie, N.Y. The week begins on Monday, March 24 and runs in participating restaurants until Sunday, March 30. Each restaurant will prepare a special 3-course meal for only $20.14.

Century House Restaurant, Grandma's Pies & Restaurant, Market Restaurant at the Albany Marriott, Portofino's Italian Ristorante, Reel Seafood Co, and Tala Bistro are among the many popular restaurants participating. You can find more information including menus and phone numbers, and addresses by clicking here.

Following this great event the Downtown Albany Business Improvement District will host the 10th Anniversary Downtown Albany Restaurant Week from April 2-11.

Mazzone's Hospitality to host Angelo's Restaurant Week

Mazzone's Hospitality will once again host Angelo's Restaurant Week featuring a slew of great dining opportunities at some of the area's most popular restaurants.The 5-day event will run from April 7-11 at six restaurants.

Special offers include three-course meals at Aperitivo Bistro, Angelo's Tavolo, Angelo's Prime Bar + Grill, and Tala Bistro for only $25 a person. A three-course meal special will also be offered at Angelo's 677 Prime and Prime at Saratoga National for $45 a person.

You can click here to find the Angelo's Restaurant Week menus for all six restaurants. Reservations are strongly recommended.

Friday, March 14, 2014

677 Prime Offers New Tasting Menu

Downtown Albany culinary favorite, Angelo's 677 Prime, will introduce a new six course tasting menu with a theme on early spring. You can find the entire new menu on Steve Barnes Table Hopping Blog. The tasting is available nightly at $75 per person.

Angelo's 677 Prime is part of Mazzone Hospitality which owns, runs, and or caters a variety of venues including 90 State State Street, Hall of Springs, Key Hall at Proctors, Prime Bar and Grill, Tala American Bistro, and more.

International Center to Host International Food Tasting

The International Center of the Capital Region will host Tastes of the World on Thursday, March 27 at the Lind, WAMC's Performing Arts Center. The international food tasting event will be held from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Tastes of the World will be an entertaining evening where guests enjoy fabulous selections of international food samples prepared by top Capital Region chefs and restaurants complimented by well known NYS vintners and microbrews. The evening will be hosted by Steve Barnes Senior Writer and Table Hopping Blogger from the Times Union and Honorary Chair David Swawite, President/CEO of Omni Development.

There evening will include sample-sized portions of global food from providers including the Century House, the Chocolate Gecko, Flavors of India, La Empanada Llama, Normanside Country Club, R&G Cheesemakers, Terra International Cuisine, the Turkish Cultural Center, and Yono's.

Tickets to Tastes of the World at the Linda are available for $50. The Linda is located at 339 Central Avenue in Albany. The International Center, based in New York's Capital of Albany, helps the Capital Region engage with the world and promote international understanding.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Goose Island 312 Urban Pale Ale Release Party Tonight at the Hollow!

The Hollow Bar + Kitchen will host the only Goose Island 312 Urban Pale Ale Release Party in the Capital Region tonight at 6 p.m. The night will feature 312 Urban Pale Ale and its sister ale, 312 Urban Wheat Ale all the way from Chicago.

The Hollow will offer free samples to bar and dinner patrons, specials on mini flights and a 'Pairing Plate' menu incorporating both ales into the dishes.  The night will also include fun giveaways from Saratoga Eagle craft beer representatives including prizes, t-shirts, hats and more from Goose Island Beer Co.!

The evening will also include offerings such as the popular Two Hearted Clams with the 312 Urban Pale Ale.  $8 Pairing Plates include shrimp and roasted vegetable skewers or shrimp and seasonal vegetables grilled in goose island 312 Urban Wheat Ale Vinaigrette, served over a bed of arugula.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Vertical Tastings at the Hudson-Chatham Winery

The Hudson-Chatham Winery will host a series of events entitled Vertical Tastings. Each session will offer tastings of a particular wine through the years. This will give wine lovers the chance to learn more about Hudson-Chatham wines. You'll be able to see how they're aging and what you can expect from future vintages!

Each vertical tasting will feature several different vintages of the same variety offered by the vineyard.

Each tasting will offer a minimum of five vintages of the wine being poured, from barrel samples of the upcoming 2013 vintages to those we've cellared from our earliest vintages.

Guests will be invited to compare the difference between aged and "young" wines, as well as the unique flavors created in each vintage by different growing conditions. This tasting event illustrates how the characteristics of wine change with age.

Each vertical tasting will be enhanced with food pairings created by Blima's Catering. PLEASE NOTE: Attendance is limited to 20 guests for each tasting date. Book now to ensure your place!

The events are as follows:

Event 1: Saturday, March 15, 2014 -
We will be tasting the Chelois, doing a barrel sample of the 2013 vintage and tastings of the 2012 (to be officially released on March 21), 2011, 2010, and 2008 vintages.

Event 2: Saturday, April 5, 2014 -
We will be tasting the Empire Reserve, with a barrel sample of the 2012 vintage and tastings of the 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, and 2007 vintages.

Event 3: Saturday, May 3, 2014 -
We will be tasting the Merlot, with a barrel sample of the 2012 vintage and tastings of the 2011; 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, and 2006 vintages.

All tastings will be held from 1:00 to 3:00 pm and Full Vertical Tasting with accompanying foods is $25 per person. Reservations can be made by e-mailing: E-mail reservations should contain a phone number and number of seats that you're reserving. Seats are sold on a first-come, first served basis.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Capital Region Living Best of Food & Drink 2014 Announced!

It's that time of year again, when the "Best of" Awards and accolades will be announced by local papers and magazines.  The Capital Region Living Magazines Best of the Capital Region: Food and Drink Issue 2014 is filled with great eateries in the top spots.

We're lucky enough to have a variety of great restaurants as partners. Many of which were chosen for this years honors including: The Standard Restaurant & Lounge, Grandma’s Country Restaurant, Goold Orchards, Reel Seafood Company, New World Bistro Bar, and Albany Pump Station. Other winning partners include Yono's, Aneglo's 677 Prime, Jack's Oyster House, Wolf’s 111 Restaurant & Games, and dp, An American Brasserie.

Many of these restaurants received multiple honors from more than 50 categories! You can find out who all the winners are by clicking here. Then make plans and head out to try one of these great establishments.

A slew of the aforementioned eateries will take part in the 10th Anniversary Downtown Albany Restaurant Week kicking off April 2 and running nightly through April 11. 10 days for 10 years. Make your reservations before you're shut out of a delicious meal and an outstanding price.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Nine Pin Cider Opens; New Amber Rum at Albany Distilling

There’s been quite a buzz brewing in Albany with the recent opening of New York State’s first licensed farm cidery, Nine Pin Cider Works. On Friday, the owners hosted a ribbon cutting and open house to celebrate the launch of this new facility and four varieties, including one made with blueberries and another using apples exclusively from apples grown on the owner’s property.
The four varieties of apple cider served at the Nine Pin Open House
Photo from Nine Pin's Facebook page.
One of the questions I heard throughout the open house: where did the name Nine Pin come from? The answer, from their website (and also printed on their bottles): “1770. A revolutionary spirit echoes through the Hudson Valley. But Rip Van Winkle, beloved ne’er-do-well, meanders through the Catskill mountains. He follows the distant rolling thunder, finding not a storm, but the ghosts of Henry Hudson’s sailors playing ninepins, the Dutch form of bowling. After partaking in the game and in a keg of hard cider, Rip Van Winkle falls asleep, waking years later to find he’s skipped the entire Revolution.”
You can't see it, but a copy of Rip Wan Winkle is in the background. It all makes sense now.
Photo from Nine Pin's Facebook page.
With the mystery solved, guests were free to mingle about the facility enjoying each other’s company and snacks to complement the cider. It seemed less like a ribbon cutting event and more like a gathering of friendly folks who enjoy local, quality products.

Nine Pin is open on Thursdays and Fridays from 4 – 9 pm, Saturdays from 1 – 9 pm, and by appointment.
The new Quackenbush Still House Albany Amber Rum.
You can almost taste the smooth vanilla and caramel now, can't you?
Photo from Albany Distilling's Facebook page.

If you’re in the area and feel up for a second distillery tour, feel free to stop by the Albany Distilling Company to sample their new Quackenbush Still House Albany Amber Rum. The guys (and their friendly cat, Cooper) decided to take their original Quackenbush Still House Rum recipe and age it for nine months in the oak barrels they used to age their Ironweed Bourbon. The result is an incredibly different, yet equally delicious, product as their un-aged version. From their Facebook page: “…it picked up the delicate vanilla and caramel from the oak and added a touch of smokiness to the long, creamy, butterscotch finish.”

The Albany Distilling Company is open Tuesdays from 4-8pm, Saturdays from 12 – 8 pm, and by appointment. It is located at Quackenbush Square next to the C.H. Evans Brewing Company at the Albany Pump Station, a microbrewery and restaurant that serves as a great spot to enjoy a meal after all the tastings!