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Stuyvesant Plaza - New Restaurant - Anyone Been?

financialdistrictresident Oct 27, 2008 05:47 PM

We discovered a new restaurant in Stuyvesant Plaza on our way to Albany for dinner. We stopped in and were told it was friends and family night. They advised they were not open yet. They must be open by now but I didn't see them listed on the Stuyvesant Plaza website. Creo' is in the old Mangia location (www.creorestaurant.com).

Anyone been? Your thoughts?

Thanks. fdr

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  1. jaylhorner RE: financialdistrictresident Oct 28, 2008 03:14 AM

    Chef and general manager are from McGuires. Good reviews but have not yet been there.

    3 Replies
    1. re: jaylhorner
      financialdistrictresident RE: jaylhorner Oct 28, 2008 04:23 AM

      Thanks jaylhorner. Please report back if you try if before we do. Menu looks interesting.

      1. re: jaylhorner
        financialdistrictresident RE: jaylhorner Dec 3, 2008 04:06 PM

        Tried to make a reservation for Friday night and they only had 6 pm and 8 pm (late for Upstate). Is it the location, price point, new, or that good?

        1. re: financialdistrictresident
          jaylhorner RE: financialdistrictresident Dec 3, 2008 06:23 PM

          Location..new...and good. Also very loud. They took a lot of McGuire's menu, but not so much fish, Also added lighter fare.

      2. jspear RE: financialdistrictresident Dec 4, 2008 09:27 AM

        Have reservations for the 13th, will let you know....

        1. streamwise RE: financialdistrictresident Dec 6, 2008 09:41 PM

          I was there over Thanksgiving. Although it was packed and we loved the atmosphere as well as the excellent service, the food was fairly disappointing. The fried oysters were decent but the lobster/avocado tart was drowned in sweet sauce, overpowering the lobster The only entree we liked was the cioppino, although the seafood it contained was inconsistently cooked: the scallops and squid were perfect, but the shrimp were overcooked and tough. Overcooking the proteins was a theme with the rest of the entrees. We had what was described as a special of 'Osso Bucco', but it was actually just an entire shank, also overcooked and tough, served over lukewarm risotto. The "Johhny Lobster" chicken breast had a nice sauce, but the chicken was also way overcooked. The best thing we had all night was a special of pumpkin bread pudding. The place has potential, but the line cooks need some oversight.

          7 Replies
          1. re: streamwise
            financialdistrictresident RE: streamwise Dec 8, 2008 04:04 AM

            Thanks for the report, streamwise. We attempted to "walk in" after 7 pm on Friday night and were told it would be a 2 hour wait. We ended up at Provence instead. A mellower scene with jazz music and good food.

            1. re: financialdistrictresident
              financialdistrictresident RE: financialdistrictresident Dec 11, 2008 11:49 AM

              Here's a link to another experience at Creo':
              http://alloveralbany.com/archive/2008...

              1. re: financialdistrictresident
                m
                meg944 RE: financialdistrictresident Dec 11, 2008 12:08 PM

                We went there early on and were very pleased with the food and the service - we thought it was quite reasonably priced for the quality. Unfortunately I lost notes on food from the past couple of months, but I do remember that we had a risotto of the day with some sort of seafood that I loved, and an array of small plates. Looking at the on-line menu, I believe our mixed group (foodie and non-) had:
                Grilled polenta, wild mushroom ragu, fresh mozzarella & garlic cream
                Salt & pepper calamari with a kung pao sauce
                Beet & gorgonzola over field greens, toasted pistachio nuts
                pizza with caramelized onions, figs & balsamic reduction
                Veal & wild mushroom meatloaf with yukon gold mashed potatoes
                Duck confit, field greens, grilled asparagus, goat cheese & truffled corn

                and undoubtedly more - maybe some specials. I was quite pleased and would definitely go back.

                1. re: meg944
                  jspear RE: meg944 Dec 16, 2008 04:28 AM

                  Went this last sat. Had great service but the place is loud...we could not hear from one end of a table of 8. Food was great to OK, thought the risoto was bland. Like the small plate option and we really enjoyed the special apps, got them all to share along with two small ones, fried oysters and the chips which as a high point. I had the lamb, done to perfection...great martini menu and the ambience was hard not to like.....we'll go back as well,,,,I think a small group or a two would be really great....

                  1. re: jspear
                    m
                    meg944 RE: jspear Dec 16, 2008 07:31 AM

                    It is definitely a "party" ambience. It was nice for our young-ish group, and sometimes I like this kind of setting for a romantic occasion, oddly enough, as your conversation is less apt to be overheard. I would be less inclined to take my in-laws or the like.

                    1. re: meg944
                      jspear RE: meg944 Dec 16, 2008 07:58 AM

                      Agreed, smaller parties would be better to keep your conversations quiet. I think it suits a younger, hipper crowd as well, although all but one of my group was over 50 and loved the style....

                      1. re: jspear
                        m
                        meg944 RE: jspear Dec 16, 2008 08:23 AM

                        Well, I should have been more clear - I WOULD, for instance, take my dad there. It's more a matter of what atmosphere the diners are looking for rather than age per se (though there is often some correlation.)

                        This is true for the food, too - I thought there was plenty there for less-daring palates (I actually remember passing up things I would have preferred for the greater good of the group,) but it still isn't the sort of place that is likely to wow someone who prefers a more traditional menu. The people in our group who liked it best were those who, like us, want to try a million tastes of a million new things.

          2. m
            meg944 RE: financialdistrictresident Jan 21, 2009 07:24 AM

            By the way, Creo is now offering ½ off its wine list on Sundays (with some minimal restrictions – at least two diners ordering at least two entrees.) We have reservations with some friends this Sunday, just coincidentally, so we’re psyched!

            1 Reply
            1. re: meg944
              financialdistrictresident RE: meg944 Jan 21, 2009 08:57 AM

              Thanks, meg944. I still have not been yet. SO went for lunch. He thought it was pricey for lunch, not sure what they ordered!

            2. m
              meg944 RE: financialdistrictresident Feb 23, 2009 06:17 AM

              We made it back this Sunday with another couple. We had intended to do this earlier but it fell through. The place was surprisingly empty (though perhaps this was in part due to Oscar night.) We had a table in one of the round banquettes – it would definitely be worth requesting one of these if possible in the future. On Sundays now they have half-off anything on the wine list as long as your table orders two entrees. We started with the really lovely Flowers Pinot Noir and later had a pleasant Nobilo S.B. At half-price these wines are about what we would expect to play retail (the Flowers is $85 at full price on the wine list, the Nobilo $28.) We had four small plates and two big ones and it was really too much. I think last time the guys in our party must have eaten much more than their share, as I was stuffed this time. We started with a very nice goat cheese salad special that included dried olives, blueberries and cranberries; a beef carpaccio special (the others raved about this - I found it good but nothing original, and it was the only time the portion seemed a bit small;) the lobster and avocado tart (really very nice, albeit a bit sweet - we also wished the lobster was not fried;) and the pizza with caramelized onions and figs (actually our one disappointment – the figs were great but the onions seemed insufficiently caramelized and it was overall surprisingly bland.) For our entrees, the other couple had a cioppino – they did not share this but I was told it was quite good, and the waitress very kindly had it split for them at no extra charge. Jack had a skate special (I was too full at this point to do more than taste.) I expected it to be quite light but it was actually incredibly rich – it was a filet of skate with a lemon beurre blanc, bits of candied bacon (our friend, who is from the South, said he thought this was “Southern sugar-cured bacon) and shoestring potatoes and onions.

              Service was, overall, good – our server was quite charming but failed to keep our water full (often a problem as we drink a lot of it, but it is one of the ways we judge a truly on-the-ball server.) She had memorized a really long list of specials (so long I really thought they should have printed them out) but did not give prices except when asked, even after I had asked about several things. This is not an issue with her; I assume it is restaurant policy, but we would prefer to have that information.

              Our dinner for four was $210 per-tip, which we thought was very reasonable considering our wine and the fact that we ordered some of the more expensive items. One could easily pay less – I really could imagine just ordering two or three small plates per couple and being quite happy (or on a Sunday, two large plates for four people plus a couple of small.)

              1. financialdistrictresident RE: financialdistrictresident Mar 4, 2009 04:30 AM

                I finally got to Creo' last Friday for lunch. The server at the bar was very good and it was nice to see Steve from Cafe Capriccio there. I tried a few different dishes:

                *Caesar small - they asked if I wanted anchovies which was a good sign. A little too much lemon and needed a little more garlic - a great value at $6!

                *Calamari - cooked propery, had an Asian twist (salty/sweet sauce on bed of crispy noodles). The sauce was a little sweet for me. Not sure if I would order this again.

                *Chicken quesadilla - chicken was a little smokey chipotle. Accompanied with salsa (no flavor, but pretty fresh tomatoes) and sour cream.

                My experience was mixed. I'll probably go back again for lunch and try some more dishes.

                1 Reply
                1. re: financialdistrictresident
                  financialdistrictresident RE: financialdistrictresident Dec 10, 2009 03:55 AM

                  Went to Creo' this week for a late lunch after some Christmas shopping. I had the caesar salad again. At $6 (plus an extra charge for anchovies which I had to ask for) this is a great value! Very good.

                  Wanted to try the fig pizza. Unfortunately they were out of figs and none of the other pizzas appealed to me so I had to get something else. Lucky for me my server sugged the duck cassoulet. It's unusual to find duck cassoulet made with chicken sausage. This was great for me because I only eat poultry and fish. It was very good.

                  Wine list has many bottles under $50. Also Sterling, Phelps, etc. I had a glass of red, a generous pour for my $10.

                  Will definitely go back.

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