Unfortunately, we don't get to Saratoga very often. It isn't the distance, as much as the drive home, that usually prevents us from heading north for an evening out, but, last night we had a driver and off we went in style. The Beekman Street Bistro has been on our list to try for a couple of years and I am so glad we finally had an opportunity, and an occasion, to get there.
The restaurant's location is enough off of the beaten track (not this track, more this one) to not be inundated with horse racing revelers, although trainer Bob Baffert was there to lend a little Saratoga summer flavor to the evening. The space is cozy, well lit and comfortable, and I swear they robbed one of my playlists because the music (Dave Matthews, Etta James, some hip jazz) was eclectic and reminiscent of what we play Saturday nights at McGuire's. The menu was fantastic. It wasn't overwhelming in size, but there was no lack of enticing options and I went all out with four courses.
I started with the Wellfleet little neck clams and they were a perfect launching point for the evening, tender and beautifully paired with crumbled sausage and "chic" peas. Tom was in charge of wine selection and the bottle of Nicolas Feuillatte was the ideal accompaniment to our preliminary courses. He had an order of sardines (an evening special) grilled and simply presented with olive oil and lemon. They required a bit of delicate work in terms of bone avoidance, but the fish was sweet and tender. We shared a salad of arugula with shaved foie gras, another special addition to the evening's menu. The salad was more than adequate for sharing and I enjoyed it, but the foie gras was a bit more subtle than I had anticipated. Nonetheless it was a fine middle course. For my entree, I ordered the duck breast which was served with a perfectly balanced plum sauce (not overly sweet) and, boy, was it amazing with the Willamette Valley Pinot Noir from Auteur that Tom had selected. Other entrees present at the table were the quail and the hangar steak - all were relished. The portion sizes were ideal, satisfying without overwhelming, local ingredients were appropriately credited, and the service was a genuine team effort. For dessert we shared a couple of cheese plates (served with 3 selections and honey in the comb), an ice cream cake, a generous serving of lemon mousse that only could have been improved by a bit more refrigeration, and my choice, panna cotta, which truly was memorable with the syrupy balsamic vinegar drizzle on top.
|Tom, me, Maura, Kay, Jim and Stu|
It was so nice to finally get to the Bistro and to have an experience which was well worth the wait. I think I know where I want to go for my birthday next month - the $75 five-course chef's tasting menu is calling my name. And I definitely need to have the hubby get his hands on some of that fine Oregon wine, it is the perfect pinot for fall and will certainly sweeten the inevitable end of a wonderful summer.