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Taste [Albany]

Has anyone been to Taste?

www.tastealbany.com

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  1. Almost 3 months ago. With that said, I'll add that we had a pleasant experience on a Saturday with dinner for four prepared by the chef who replaced Dale Miller - Chef Paul J. Ozimek.

    Taste offers size options when selecting many items from the menu. This applies to both appetizers and entrees.

    For our appetizers we chose to share Chorizo-Filled Dates w/ pancetta chip; Roasted Baby Beet Salad w/ arugula, goat cheese, and passion fruit vinaigrette; and Shrimp & Grits Andouille w/ vidalia onions, and roasted tomatoes. The dates were a real pleaser. The shrimp, grits and andouille could have used a bit more spicing. The salad looked attractive with multi colored beets and seemed average in flavor.

    The chosen entrees were Pomegranate Glazed Bison Short Ribs with Warm Radicchio Slaw; Guinness Brined Kobe Flank Steak with Roasted Shallots and Brussels; a Butter Poached Maine Lobster of the chef's choice of preparation; and an entree from the "Trio of taste" section of the menu entitled MooMoo Platter - Crispy Veal Sweetbread Nugget, Chorizo Filled Veal Roulade, and Veal Osso Bucco.

    I didn't pay full attention to the description of the chef's preparation of the lobster, but it was quite unique since it arrived with a strawberry foam. The meat had been removed from the claws, knuckles and tail so there was no mess to deal with. Since this was not my selection as my entree, only an offered taste of the foam left an impression on my memory. I seem to recall my taste of the lobster as being typical lobster. Properly cooked but apparently not memorable for me.

    My choice of the bison short ribs was a good one. Flavorful and tender, easily removed from the bone.

    The companion who chose the kobe flank steak thought there was a bit more fat than desired on the cut. The taste that I tried had no indication of fat and all of us were in agreement that the meat was full of flavor.

    The veal trio of sweetbread, chorizo/veal roulade, and osso buco was a wonderful medley of tastes (no pun intended).

    I don't recall the desserts that were shared other than the one that made the strongest impression on me. A fantastic restaurant-made rum ice cream!

    A woman who was later identified as the owner of the restaurant was most helpful in assisting our party in choosing an appropriate wine. Service over-all was excellent, from our waiter who sought out answers to any esoteric question we posed, to the staff who kept the water glasses filled and cleared the table. An additional nice touch was a visit from Chef Ozimek at the end of dinner to ask how everything was and to answer any further questions.

    Before I forget, our complements to the bartender. Pre-dinner drinks were properly prepared by an attentive and pleasant gentleman.

    Finally, I have to say if you are celebrating a special occasion such as an anniversary or birthday, there is no need to worry about ruining a classy evening with staff gathering about your table to sing. Recognition is provided in an unobtrusive fashion by having the appropriate greeting scripted on your dessert plate. Another nice touch!

    2 Replies
    1. re: Roger K

      Thanks so much, Roger K.

      The strawberry foam sounds interesting. Chef Ozimek may have adopted the style of the previous chef, Dale Miller, who usually visits diners. A practice Chef Miller has continued at Sperry's.

      We'll probably find our way to Taste soon. Especially once track season starts and we avoid S. Springs.

      1. re: financialdistrictresident

        More on Taste:

        "Had a good meal at Taste last week. Some very attractive appetizers on the menu, I remember thinking next visit I'd try four or five of them instead of a main course."

        Permalink | Reply

        By eclecticsynergy on Jun 27, 2011 05:53PM

        We plan to check out Taste once Track Season begins on 7/22. . .

    2. Didn't get there during Track Season . . .Anyone been recently?

      Most recent post on Yelp was in October. A post about lunch, not much detail about the food on another ("meatloaf", "chicken breast"):

      http://www.yelp.com/biz/taste-albany

      1. Has anyone been this year? Should it be on our list of where to eat (outside Toga) during Track Season?

        Only a few reviews on Yelp this year (and I prefer to hear from hounds):

        http://www.yelp.com/biz/taste-albany

        Thanks for your help.

        1. Anyone been since Executive Chef Mark Graham took over the kitchen?

          http://tastealbany.com/about-the-chef/

          Restaurant Week Menu:

          http://tastealbany.com/wp-content/upl...

          1 Reply
          1. re: financialdistrictresident

            Got to Taste recently. A talented family . . . Chef Graham's father sings in the lounge a few times a month. Valet parking removes the aggravation of parking in downtown Albany. Service was excellent. Now on to the food:

            SMALL PLATES

            Salsify and truffle soup. Delicious.

            SO had the rabbit foie gras terrine, port gelee, watercress pesto (I tasted it, very good), fig honey vinaigrette.

            MEAT

            SO had the venison osso bucco with hunter sauce: exotic mushrooms, tomato, dried blueberries, shallots, demi. Nothing was left including the marrow.

            FOWL

            I had the duck (smaller portion and I still took some home) with winter vegetables (the 2 pieces of carrot were hard and I could barely cut them with my knife), dried fruit, balsamic-orange glaze. Duck was cooked perfectly. It was very good, but not like butter (to be fair I've only had duck "like butter" twice and once was at The Modern Dining Room). I loved the sauce.

            It was nice to eat a meal that was perfectly seasoned. SO always needs more pepper, but otherwise everything was seasoned just right.

            DESSERT

            SO got a flourless chocolate cake with accompaniments and espresso.

            We will need to head to Albany more often.

            Like the choice of portion sizes. Menu had many GF choices.
            Wish they were on www.opentable.com.

          2. Doing some introductory stuff with their new chef. In today's Albany Times Union (October 14)

            http://blog.timesunion.com/tablehoppi...

            1 Reply
            1. re: trakman

              Thanks, trakman :)

            2. Returned to Taste recently. Sat in the lounge. As reported by the TU, Taste took over the jazz slate from 74 State:

              http://blog.timesunion.com/tablehoppi...

              The lounge seating has changed. There are now only a few high top tables when you enter the bar area. The remaining tables seat 2-4. Unfortunately we didn't know this when we made our reservation and the lounge was fully reserved. The hostess had a cancellation and moved us over to a regular table closer to the performance area just in time for our mains. It should also be noted that the newer chairs are much more comfortable and tables less wiggly than their predeccessors.

              We started with signature cocktails. Rye, orange juice, bitters. Very good.

              Now on to the food:

              SOUP & SALADS

              I had the Spring Pea Green & Savory Fruit Salad - very good. Fresh. Delicate. Different. Not sure if a "black radish" is actually "black", mine weren't. I don't know if I've ever had stone fruit before. Fruit was similar to nectarines.

              SMALL PLATES

              They were out of a few small plates. We have no issues when a restaurant runs out of a dish. We like fresh. So we'll have to go back soon since SO really wanted to try the Heather Ridge Farm Chicken Meatballs.

              SO had the Foies Gras Creme Brulee, Pancetta Challah, Ommegang Three Philosophers Syrup. I had a little taste of the foie brulee and it was delicious.

              BREAD COURSE - at some point we had three small, warm, white rolls with creamy butter. Butter was the right temperature. Rolls were crispy on the outside, soft on the inside.

              FOWL/GAME

              SO had Wannabea Farm Rabbit. We appreciate the choice of portion sizes. Prosciutto wrapped roulade, cranberry beans, fava beans, Shimeji mushroom, dandelion greens. SO was very happy.

              We especially like the use of beans and grains in Chef Graham's dishes.

              I had Duck Breast, Spring peas and leeks, mushrooms. Romesco and chocolate-porcini demi (not sure exactly what sauce I had since my server found out the dish had a veal demi). The larger portion. And I ate the entire portion! This duck breast was some of the best I've ever had. Thinly sliced, tender and properly cooked. We appreciate our server's attention to my dietary restrictions and Chef Graham and the kitchen's flexibility.

              Service was excellent. Our server checked on dishes several times for me (I only eat poultry and fish) and this was greatly appreciated. Pacing was a little slow between apps and our mains. We just relaxed and enjoyed the music and our wine.

              We had espresso and passed on dessert. Dessert is not their strong card, at least based on the choices the night we were there.

              Taste is also accomodating to GF diners. This is not an issue for us. Again, we appreciate their flexibility.

              1. I was at Taste recently and really enjoyed it, except for the dessert.

                I started with the "Bella Terra Primavera", which was forest mushrooms, beets, carrots, long beans, dandelion greens and pearl barley. It was one of the most original, fresh salads I have ever had and it was wonderful. I found myself wondering why I can't find a salad that fresh and original in Los Angeles where I live. Perhaps the produce is better in upstate New York.

                For the main, I had the monkfish with artichoke, sunchokes, ramps and asparagus. It was quite good.

                The only downer were the cookies that I ordered to take back to my hotel. Just didn't like them at all.

                I was also surprised by the wine by the glass list. Not very imaginative -- a lot of mediocre plonk from California and Argentina. Not a single New York made wine, which I found surprising given the great wines that are coming out of New York. I settled for a glass of pinot gris from Oregon, which wasn't bad. Since I was by myself, I didn't peruse the wine by the bottle list.

                I was so impressed by Taste that afterwards I looked up executive chef Mark Graham and saw that he had cooked with a number of famous chefs in California, including Bradley Ogden, Gary Danko and even Wolfgang Puck. That (and innate talent) would explain the world class cooking. What a delight to stumble upon this restaurant.

                P.S. I desperately wanted the foie gras, since it has been banned in California, but alas they were out of it.