Sperry's (Saratoga Springs)
Per Table Hopping, Dale Miller will be focusing on consulting:
I wish a local chef could create fried potatoes with spun sugar like I had in Xian. Memorable. Simple and delicious. I digress . . .
Sperry's Chef Michael Spain was nominated for Rising Star Chefs 2014:
Returned to Sperry's recently.
We started with prosecco and raw oysters du jour. Dipping sauces: cocktail sauce, horseradish and a pomegranate mignonette.
Signature warm popovers with whipped butter were served.
Complimentary goat cheese and red pepper on crisps were served while we waited for our mains.
For my starter I had artichoke fritters with Meyer lemon aioli and greens. I had a spinach and radicchio salad with baby beets, Pollenbert cheese (loved this! made locally in Cohoes), candied pecans, spiced wine vinaigrette for dinner.
SO had the seared tuna loin, Asian red cabbage slaw and wasabi aioli starter. He gave me some of his tuna. Delicious.
He also had fettucini with asparagus, peas, pancetta, parmesan cream. We appreciate that this is available without pancetta and in 2 portion sizes. I had a little taste of this.
She had the Maple Leaf Farms Duck Breast, sweet potato hash, Anna Mae's blueberry jam.
We had espresso, tea and desserts. I had caramel gelato. They had the signature Gateau Marjolaine.
Service was excellent, she was knowledgeable and warm without being intrusive. Atmosphere was cozy, we were in a booth. I've been seated in all 3 dining rooms and like the booths the best, unless the bar is hopping.
I really like all their seafood options and their flexibility with portion sizes, gluten free, etc. I'm now liking Sperry's as much as SO. I need to remind him to bring me here more often :)
Went to Sperry's recently. We didn't have a reservation and they graciously found a table for us. Luckily in the main dining room because the bar and surrounding tables/booths was hopping and crowded by the time we left. Nice to see Fitz. Kenny (Dine, Sperry's) is now at Maestro's. Our server was excellent.
We started with warm popovers.
For appetizers we had the artichoke fritters with Meyer lemon aioli. Good.
I had the grilled quail with sticky plum sauce on a nest of cold Soba noodles. Cooked perfectly, flavorful. Quail can be hit or miss. This was delicious.
SO had seared tuna tartare with Asian guacamole and tropical salsa. I tasted the tuna. He also had the Autumn salad with poached pear and warm cabot cheddar in phyllo with a mustard vinaigrette and a side of parmesan gnocchi. I tasted the salad and gnocchi. Good.
I had the oven roasted salmon with Moroccan chermoula rub, vegetable terrine (more like fresh green beans) and couscous. Salmon was cooked perfectly, rub was flavorful and spicy. Delicious.
A lot more seafood choices than I remembered.
We shared a dessert (something layer cake like with hazlenut meringue, buttercream, etc.) and espresso.
Looking forward to returning.
Went to Sperry's. Fitz is no longer there. It was a weeknight and pretty quiet (even the bar scene). Our server was excellent.
We started with wine and their signature warm popovers and butter.
For appetizers we had the artichoke fritters with Meyer lemon aioli and a 1/2 portion of the Maryland style jumbo lump crab cake w/tangy remick glacage (? icing/glazing). Both were very good.
For mains SO had a 1/2 order of the fettucini with peas, asparagus and crispy pancetta.
We appreciate the option of 1/2 portions.
I had the spiced Maple Leaf Farms duck breast with lavendar honey glaze. It was accompanied with barley (I think), carrots and green beans. The barley was so good I wanted more. The green beans were so fresh. Duck was cooked perfectly. This is the best duck I've had in some time (better than LakeRidge and Epicurean . . .still not as good as Ciano or The Modern Dining Room). The carrot, raisin pecan fritter tasted pastey and cardboard-ish. More barley, less (or no) fritter please :)
SO had the dulce de leche cake. I had a taste. He liked it better than me. We both had espresso.
Sperry has become a new favorite. I really should listen to SO more often. . .
It's been a couple of years now since Dale Miller took over as Executive Chef at Sperry's so we thought it was high time for us to try it. We had not been there in a good number of years. Arriving before 5 without a reservation on a Saturday, we figured we could still score a table. While we sampled two new creations for Fall at the bar, a Pumpkin Pie Martini and a seasonal Mojito with apples and cider ($21 total), bartender Andrew secured us a 5:15 reservation.
The warm popovers were not what I remembered. While flavorful and large, they were much heaver than I recalled. I could do without them. For our appetizers my wife chose the Artichoke Fritters ($10) which we both thought were excellent with the Meyer lemon aioli and balsamic greens. Definitely worth ordering again. I chose the Crispy Thai Pork Belly ($12) with sweet potato silk and soy brown butter glaze. It was more meaty than previous pork bellies I've been served, including once at Dale Miller's prior namesake restaurant, so I'm not sure I can fairly compare it. While I thought it was a nice balance of flavors, it was not outstanding.
With our appetizers and entrees we chose a glass of Molly Dooker "Two Left Feet" ($12) - a Shiraz blend, and a pint of Sam Adams Oktoberfest ($5/16 oz.). My wife's entree was an Oven Roasted Halibut Fillet ($34) served with leek and shiitake compote, a vintage port sauce, and sides of fresh green beans and a bed of piped potatoes. The halibut was perfectly cooked and well balanced with the compote and port sauce.
My entree was a new addition to the Fall menu, a Braised Lamb Shank ($28) with Chermoula rub, Fregola Sarda, and sides of baby carrots and green beans. The shank had a huge amount of meat, tender enough to easily pull away from the bone, and was deliciously flavorful without being gamey.
Too full for desert, we settled for a couple cups of very good coffee ($3 each). Extra credit is offered by me at this point for serving sugar cubes, both white and brown - a weakness of mine.
A final note of alert. While reviewing my receipt during this writing I've noticed an error in what I was charged. I believe it is truly an error because the item for which I was charged, in place of what I ordered, is not even on the Fall menu. I'll give them a call to see how they address the problem.
Full menu not until next week. Three course $30 prix fixe right now. Choice of:
*Sperry's classic chicken liver pate
*Maryland style jumbo lump crab cakes w/ tangy remick glacage
*Artichoke fritters w/Meyer lemon aioli, balsamic greens
*Sperry's Classic pan carmelized chicken breast dijonnaise
*Fettucini w/peas, asparagus, crispy pancetta
*Chef Miller's hangar steak au Poivre w/cognac mustard cream sauce
*Key lime pie
If you stop by they'll give you a copy of the full menu.