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Capriccio Saratoga

financialdistrictresident Jul 14, 2011 04:55 AM

Anyone been yet?

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/777616

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/717695

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

  1. financialdistrictresident Jul 14, 2011 04:48 PM

    Stopped by. Not many changes to the inside. They had the window open and you could see "the" pizza oven. There is a patio on the side of the building for outdoor dining. Will report back once we go . . .

    markabauman, how was it?

    16 Replies
    1. re: financialdistrictresident
      m
      markabauman Jul 15, 2011 01:55 PM

      FDR- Let me preface by saying there is an unfortunate trend in the blogosphere for an incredible amount of buzz prior and at the opening of a new restaurant anywhere. Critical reviews are posted almost immediately without giving a restaurant a chance to work things out. Even the NY Times waits a period of time for adjustment to work out details and returns a number of times before reviewing. Keep in mind, I have known Jim a long time and have eaten at Cafe Capriccio many times, so I went in with very positive anticipation, if not bias. Let's just say they have many kinks to work out, which I am optimistic they will, primarily with organization and service, secondarily with the food. Although some of the standard menu items appear to be the same as on the Albany menu, to me some are a bit different. There is a large selection of pizze and different pasta dishes, but no regular main dishes, or secondi, as such. One nice thing is that you can double up on some choices from different categories of antipasti (usually one for $10, or two for $18) under such headings as Verdure (vegetables), which would include the 4-cheese eggplant, Pesce, Formaggi, Insalate, Salumi & Carne. Curiously, they are emphasizing the connection to Italy, Napoli in particular, but the wine list has only a few Italian wines (good though they are), but many more from France & California. Maybe they just give people what they want or ask for. I'm sure they will get their act together before long. The outdoor seating area looked very nice; we just felt like being inside last night. Probably won't go during track season (well, that goes for most restaurants then in Saratoga), but I plan to revisit asap to check on their evolution. Anxious to hear what you think.

      1. re: markabauman
        financialdistrictresident Jul 16, 2011 05:53 AM

        First, thrilled that Capriccio is in Saratoga. Nice to have another option besides going to Cafe Capriccio in Albany. Wanted to check it out before track season starts and we avoid dining out in SS.

        Now I remember why we usually avoid new restaurants for about 6 months . . .a few kinks to work out. I always appreciate restaurants that do a soft open and give diners 10% off the first week . . .

        We went with a patient mindset and were lucky to have Kelly as our server. For our fellow wine lovers there is a reserve wine list (menu has one page of wines) which we asked for upon arrival. The wine was too warm (thanks to Kelly for cooling it down for us). After it cooled down we poured our own wine throughout dinner. Pacing was slow between our last course and the pizza we ordered. The bread came in the former Dine holders and was okay. Missed Dine's delicious homemade breadsticks.

        Now on to the food:

        We started with a familiar dish, arugula salad with lemon and mushrooms. This app is also served at Cafe Capriccio. Needed a little salt, otherwise fresh and light. Perfect for a hot summer night.

        We tried the cold cauliflower with capers, olives, peppers. Good. Probably wouldn't get it again.

        Next we had the octopus carpaccio. Very good. I think I liked Chianti's better.

        We had fried smelts. Loved this dish. Tiny, smelts, fried perfectly, melted in my mouth. SO is lucky he got any! Will definitely order again. If you like sardines, a must.

        We ordered a pizza margherita. Perfection. We were getting full so we each had a slice and took the rest home. If you like thin crust pizza this rivals East Village Pizzeria (Galway) and Harvest & Hearth (SS). A little better than the More Perreca's (Schenectady's Little Italy) thin crust pizza.

        We ended our meal with some espresso and shared the cheesecake with orange. Very good.

        Nice to have another casual, affordable option in SS. We will definitely go back after track season and look forward to the possibility of seeing some of our favorite dishes from Cafe Capriccio added to the menu.

        1. re: financialdistrictresident
          m
          markabauman Jul 16, 2011 06:06 AM

          FDR-
          You seemed to have the same understanding and patience that I mentioned for a new restaurant opening. I did not include some of the details you mentioned. The reserve wine list- yes, and that's where we noticed the lack of Italian wines, which I enjoy. We ordered a nice Falanghina and it came out room (summer) temperature, that required cooling- and I don't like whites too cold. We had the octopus, and I agree. We ordered the cauliflower, but they forgot to bring it- we didn't notice until we were done, then too late. We ordered a mushroom pizza, but they brought us a Margherita, which they apologized profusely for and told us to bring it home, no charge. It was excellent as we had a slice waiting for the mushroom, which was also good. Calamari salad was tasty, though a bit tough. Had the spaghetti with the black squid ink sauce. Very good, though I like it with black pasta. Bussers were walking around looking a little dazed while the table was dirty. Had to ask for a new fork 3 times. I'm sure all these details will work out.
          Will try the smelts next-always a favorite. Thanks for your report. Definitely after track season. They are most anxious to please.

          1. re: markabauman
            financialdistrictresident Jul 16, 2011 06:22 AM

            markabauman, our bussers were pretty good (I think they may have run out of clean silverware since some of ours arrived nice and warm from the dishwasher). We appreciated that bussers kept a watchful eye and gave us clean plates/share plates during our meal. We were there in the evening and at one point there were even a few empty tables in the dining room. Place got less lively and I think SO enjoyed the lower noise level. Happy to see they have one of my favorite Cafe Capriccio dishes, the eggplant with cheeses, on the menu :)

            1. re: financialdistrictresident
              m
              markabauman Jul 16, 2011 06:47 AM

              I forgot to mention that we had that dish as well. Do you think it is the same as the Albany restaurant? It's been awhile since I had it there and wasn't sure how similar or not it was. Regardless, it was still excellent. Did you happen to notice that if you look in the screened-in window (it was open the first night) at the left side of the building, you can see the pizza oven.

              1. re: markabauman
                financialdistrictresident Jul 16, 2011 02:39 PM

                We didn't have the eggplant dish so I don't know if it's the same as the Albany restaurant. Yes I did. Saw "the" pizza oven through the window.

                1. re: financialdistrictresident
                  m
                  markabauman Jul 16, 2011 03:43 PM

                  Just drove by a short while ago and see that they have umbrellas/a canopy over the outside dining area. Good move.

                  1. re: markabauman
                    a
                    amateurfoodie Jul 19, 2011 06:21 PM

                    They need the canopy becasue I was there a few nights ago and the air conditoner could not handle the heat!

                    I also agree that a restaurant needs to work out the opening kinks. I found too many waitstaff and those who did't have tables had no place to stand other then right there in the middle of the room.

                    I had the arugua salad with "grilled" mushrooms....which where shaved/sliced mushrooms not really grilled. I thought maybe the salad would have some grilled mushrooms maybe still warm/hot in the salad.

                    I wanted to try the "pork belly rolls" but then i read the description..."thinly sliced beef......", so are they pork or beef??

                    The pizza look good. Maybe after air conditioning season I will go back and have one.

                    1. re: amateurfoodie
                      financialdistrictresident Jul 20, 2011 09:42 AM

                      amateurfoodie, not sure the canopy on the patio will help with the temp in the inside dining room . . .The pizza oven probably gets so hot that the owners might need to reassess how they cool the place in the summer. When we first walked in someone behind us changed their mind about eating there because they thought there was no air conditioning. We sat near the wall farthest from the kitchen (and pizza oven) and were comfortable.

                      The mushrooms should have been grilled. Come to think of it, mine weren't grilled either. Another opening glitch they will work out.

            2. re: markabauman
              g
              gerchak198 Jul 22, 2011 06:31 AM

              Ate there last night and thought it was terific. Had fantastis grilled mushroom pizza and companion had a sort of ratatouille and chilled mussels with salsa verde, both delicious. The AC was due to be upgraded during the night so it should be more pleasant as of today.

            3. re: financialdistrictresident
              PSZaas Jul 16, 2011 03:58 PM

              Not to be picky, but in case anyone's trying to look it up, it's Village Pizzeria in East Galway. Looking forward to trying Capriccio SS, though; sounds like it will be great.

              1. re: PSZaas
                financialdistrictresident Jul 17, 2011 06:36 AM

                Thanks, PSZaas . . .

                http://www.villagepizzeria.com/ordere...

          2. re: financialdistrictresident
            b
            bwinter714 Sep 27, 2011 11:17 AM

            I just went there with my girlfriend for dinner Sunday evening for her birthday. I wrote a review of it, if you're interested.

            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/809476

            -Brian

            -----
            Capriccio Saratoga
            32 Henry St, Saratoga Springs, NY 12866

            1. re: bwinter714
              financialdistrictresident Sep 27, 2011 05:11 PM

              Thanks for the report, bwinter714.

              You had the goat cheese, sopressata, octopus carpaccio, cod special w/light tomatoe sauce, beef scaloppini w/polenta and broccoli rabe, vegetables. Tiramisu for dessert.

              From your report sounds like they have worked out their opening kinks?

              Have you been to Cafe Capriccio in Albany?

              1. re: financialdistrictresident
                b
                bwinter714 Sep 28, 2011 05:48 AM

                FDR,

                From what I have seen, yes. I was in the restaurant business for a long time, (waitstaff, not back-of-house), so I know what to expect. There was a few moments when our server seemed to be in the weeds a bit, but we still didn't wait long.

                I did have to pour one glass of wine for Laura and I, but that was right at their busiest time. The other times he poured it for us. The management and kitchen seemed to have their stuff together. Our plates both came out hot, with no heat-lamp heating evident in our sauces. If it weren't for the taste of the vegetables, I would give the food a 9 out of 10.

                Yes, I have been to Cafe Capriccio in Albany, it is one of our favorite restaurants in the area. I would say that CC Albany has a much more cozy, old-timey feel to it,as compared to C Saratoga, which makes a lot of sense considering the locations of both restaurants. I would honestly say I more prefer the ambiance of CC Albany, but ambiance is a very subjective thing. We felt more comfortable there, and it is a much better setting to sit and have a nice relaxing digestif. C Saratoga is a chic-nice, but "colder" than CC Albany, if that makes any sense.

                1. re: bwinter714
                  financialdistrictresident Sep 29, 2011 05:46 AM

                  Thanks, bwinter714.

                  I understand what you mean by the different ambience in the two locations. I also prefer their Albany location's ambience. The S. Springs location is more lively and casual.

                  Happy eating :)

          3. financialdistrictresident Oct 11, 2011 04:53 AM

            Went for an early, light, casual dinner with a friend visiting from out of town. Perfect weather for the patio. We didn't have a reservation and were seated promptly. Excellent service. We had wine, octopus carpaccio, smelts, cheese (a hard cheese, provolone?) and prosciutti. Everything was very good. Their bread is better now.

            1. financialdistrictresident Dec 23, 2011 04:48 AM

              Went to Capriccio Saratoga recently. They have live jazz on Thursday nights. The gracious host told us about the music when we made our reservation and one of the owners also mentioned it to us when we were seated.

              As a reminder, they have two wine lists, one is on the menu. We had the grilled mushroom pizza (thin, brick oven). An excellent value at $14. SO had the sauteed escarole with garlic, chili and olive oil. Simple. Delicious. Will replicate at home. He also had the calamari salad with fennel, apple, lemon and mint. I didn't taste much of his salad. The calamari was cooked perfectly.

              I would love to see their duck ragu with paparadelle on the menu. Need to see if Cafe Capriccio (Albany) has added it back on their menu for the winter. Otherwise I'll need to get my duck ragu fix at Ciano or "settle" for duck in a jar at Prime Grill.

              We shared bread pudding with ? sauce and the orange ricotta cheesecake. We've had the cheesecake before and it remains a favorite. Espresso. The trio was was good (not too loud) and we got to enjoy the music as we finished our dessert.

              Excellent service.

              1 Reply
              1. re: financialdistrictresident
                financialdistrictresident Apr 16, 2012 05:40 PM

                We've been back to Capriccio Saratoga many times, most recently about a week ago. We had a special, prawns with white beans and tomato. We also had the greens and beans without the pancetta and octopus carpaccio. All were very good. We usually have the orange ricotta cheesecake. This time we had the creme brulee and espresso.

                One of our favorite casual dinner spots in Saratoga.

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