Foodies of the Capital Region! Your source for news, events, and reviews of all things food.
CRFoodies is an independently run site with all content created by food loving people in and around the Capital Region. Our reviews are unbiased, and written from individual perspectives, neither swayed nor influenced by any restaurant or purveyor. Comments on the site are moderated, but all non-offensive comments will be approved and displayed. If you are interested in writing reviews for the site, please create an account, and you will have the ability to submit news, events, or reviews.
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- Category: News
- Written by Brian
CRFoodies just recieved an email from the owners of Orange Mango:
Orange Mango is now open and would like to invite you to come in a try our modern Thai Cuisine. We have a happy hour Sunday-Thursday 4-630 with great drink and appetizer specials. We hope to see you soon and thanks from our staff here at Orange Mango!
Orange Mango's menu is similar to Blue Spices, with a few new additions.
Orange Mango is located at the old location of Blue Spice at 1614 Central Ave. in Colonie
- Category: Events
- Written by Kent
Featuring regional “rising star” chefs, artists & performers
Albany, N.Y. – Albany Barn with the Albany Chef’s Food & Wine Festival: Wine & Dine for the Arts will present “FUSION,” a perennial arts and artisan event taking place on Friday, October 18, 2013 at the Washington Park Lake House in Albany, NY at 7:00pm.
Last year’s “FUSION” drew some 350 attendees and featured cuisine by several of the area’s most iconic chefs, including Yono Purnomo and Ric Orlando.
Albany Barn was founded to provide opportunity for emerging artists and artisans. In that spirit, this year’s “FUSION” will instead highlight the culinary styling of six “rising star” chefs from the Capital Region chosen by the Albany Chefs’ Food & Wine Festival:
- Brian Bowden, Executive Chef, Javier’s
- Chris Faraci, Executive Chef, Carmen’s Cafe
- Sarah Fish, Chef/Owner, The Hungry Fish Cafe
- Marla Ortega, Executive Chef/Owner, Illium Cafe & Wine Bar
- Michael Pallozzi, Executive Chef, Carney's Tavern
- Zach Welton, Chef de Cuisine, New World Bistro Bar
Fusion-inspired dishes will be accompanied by signature cocktails prepared with spirits from Albany Distilling Company, craft beer by Druthers Brewing Company and wine selections by Empire Wine. Dessert & Coffee is presented by Chocolate Gecko, The Cookie Factory & Starbucks.
“FUSION” will also feature: pocket performances, fashion and live art installations created by regional artists, as well as custom lighting designs by Nicky Lightz and “music mixology” by Space, Time and Spacetime
The price for a regular ticket is $60 and can be purchased online at www.albanybarn.org/fusion
Special "Catalyst Committee" packages are are available for $125 (single) and $175 (couple) and include admission to the event, name(s) listing on the "FUSION" event site and event program, as well as special edition Albany Barn glassware.
Albany Barn is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to developing a sustainable creative arts incubator and community arts center in Albany, NY. Albany Barn has partnered with the Albany Housing Authority and City of Albany to redevelop St. Joseph’s Academy, a long-vacant former school building in the Arbor Hill neighborhood, into 22 low-cost live/work artist residences, and 15,000+ square feet of multi-tenant creative enterprise space called “The Barn.” Renovation of the St. Joseph’s Academy building are expected to be complete in early 2014. Tenant applications are being accepted now on Albany Barn’s website: www.albanybarn.org/live-a-work-here
Proceeds from "FUSION" will benefit Albany Barn’s "Raise the Barn" campaign, specifically underwriting operations and the purchase of equipment during Albany Barn’s first year in the newly transformed St. Joseph’s Academy.
Major Sponsorship for "FUSION" provided by Albany Housing Authority, Key Bank, Phillips Lytle, LLP, All Over Albany, Elite Venture Media, Fort Orange Press, MHA Innovations, Times Union, and WAMC/Northeast Public Radio.
WHAT: "FUSION" presented byAlbany Barn with Albany Chefs’ Food & Wine Festival: Wine & Dine for the Arts
DATE: Friday, October 18, 2013
WHERE: The Lake House in Washington Park, Albany, NY
TIME: 7 p.m.
Tickets and more information:
- Category: Restaurant Reviews
- Written by Josie
Tesoro Italian Restaurant in Guilderland is located in 20 Mall on Western Avenue. When you walk in, the restaurant is broken up into the bar area to the right, and the formal dining room to the left that curves into an "L" shape.
Brian and I have been to Tesoro on many occasions and have always had a consistent experience. So, this time, we came to review. We started with a fresh Caprese Salad (homemade mozzarella), and homemade Arancini for appetizers. For entrees, I ordered the Veal & Shrimp Oreganato special, and Brian ordered the Homemade Cheese Ravioli special.
Service was fast, efficient, and friendly, which it's always been in times past and we were glad it still remained consistent. The appetizers were out of this world. The Caprese was fresh, light, enjoyable, and artfully done. The arancini had my mouth watering. It was to die for. The risotto was full of flavor, which was only complemented by the house marinara. I enjoyed these arancini more than the ones we had at Johny's. This was the burst of flavor I wished those had had.
Our entrees arrived, and there were mixed reviews but more positive than not. My dish was spectacular. The veal and shrimp were cooked perfectly, and the wine and sherry sauce was delightful. The penne (though not homemade) was cooked to a perfect al dente. My only critique would be that the tomatoes added nothing to the dish. All of the flavors stood up so well, and were so perfect together, that the tomatoes were basically the 3rd wheel to the party.
Brian's homemade ravioli special was done perfectly. The homemade ravioli had wonderful texture, the tomato cream sauce was nice and mild, and the cheese filling (I believe it was ricotta, mozzarella and parmesan) was very tasty. The problem was with the value. For $21.50, the dish had only 7 pieces of ravioli. While this may be debatable for some, Tesoro's Lobster Ravioli is also $21.50 and comes with 7 pieces as well. The Lobster Ravioli, and the Cheese Ravioli, are priced the same, for the same quantity, in the same sauce. I find that to be just ... wrong.
Aside from those critiques, Tesoro is a spectacular dining experience with wonderful food. While we're sure to return again, we'll probably think twice before ordering ravioli.
|Veal & Shrimp Oreganato (Special)
Cheese Ravioli (Special)
- Category: Restaurant Reviews
- Written by Josie
La Empanada Llama is located on Picotte Drive, next to a strip mall, off of Whitehall Rd. in Albany. The space has only just opened, but features the culinary fare seen most often at the Troy Farmer's Market. The space itself is pretty sparsely furnished. Even the drink case had ten items, when its capacity is easily 7 times that. The decor was 'okay,' decorated with llamas of varying heights, and cloth tables. The problem with cloth tables is actually keeping them clean as they're turned. The empty table we sat at had a few food pieces scattered about.
Since La Empanada Llama is most known for their empanadas, I decided to order an assortment of Beef, Mexican, and Cabbage w/Chorizo with a side of Rice and Beans. Brian ordered the Apanado de Pollo dinner. Now, according to the menu, Brian's dinner comes with "a choice of Rice and Beans or White Rice, and a side of Plantains, French Fries, Mashed Potatoes or Chickpeas with Greens." Based on how the menu read, Brian wanted White Rice and Mashed Potatoes. He was told that it's actually Rice, Potatoes, or Fries, and Plantains or Chickpeas. This is not what the menu says, but we adjusted and ordered Plantains. For dessert, we ordered the Nutella Banan, and Dulce de Leche (without coconut) empanadas. To top it off, we also ordered two Chicha Morada soft drinks.
First and foremost, the service was horrible. Our food came out in parts, one empanada here, two more there, a side dish here. It took at least ten minutes of this before Brian even saw his entree. We weren't told that silverware, which is actually wrapped plasticware, was on the counter behind us. The one person actually at the front of the house was prone to vanishing for long periods of time, on top of having to multi task with the phone, customers walking in, and servicing other tables, which delayed service overall even more. Also, all of our food came in ready-to-go containers.
My savory empanadas were very underwhelming. The actual empanada shell itself was perfection. It had amazing texture and chew, and was cooked flawlessly. The fillings, however, I found to be on the bland side or just not done well at all. The beef empanada, with rice, corn and raisins inside was just bland. I had maybe one wonderful bite out of the entire thing. The Mexican empanada, with guacamole, beef, and refried beans inside had so much refried beans that the main inside texture was just mush. The cabbage and chorizo empanada had spice, but very little flavor outside of that. I was expecting so much flavor, and felt as if the fillings were dulled down instead.
By contrast, Brian's chicken was immensely flavorful. The two chicken breats were marinated so well, flattened, lightly breaded, crispy on the outside and so juicy and tender on the inside. This was the flavor I was searching for with the empanadas. It was hiding in the chicken! That chicken was jam packed with awesome. Likewise, our dessert empanadas were to die for. The dulce de leche was warm, creamy, and sweet. The Nutella had the perfect blend of chocolate to hazlenut flavor with the soft cooked bananas mixed throughout.
If I were to recommend La Empanada Llama, I'd say order take-out. You get the same containers, and better service. I wouldn't order the savory empanadas, because (outside of the shell), there's really no flavor. The perfection of the Apanado de Pollo has me intrigued as to how their other meal entrees would taste, and I would definitely order the dessert empanadas again.
|Apanado de Pollo
Rice & Beans