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Jul 16, 2012 06:59 AM

Panza's 28 Tables (Saratoga Springs) . . .anyone been yet?

Anyone been to Panza's 28 Tables yet?

New menu looks great:

This may replace one of my old favorites, The Wine Bar. To be fair, I have not been to TWB since Chef Ireland left and Chef Colose took the helm.

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  1. Went recently.

    Started with the seared foie gras on toasted challah, pickled pomegranate. Chef accomodated my request for no chili bacon jam. This was one of my favorite starters. I'm sure it's even better with the chili bacon jam.

    Had the salt pepper calamari with jalapeno orange citrus sauce. SO will like this! Another favorite. Just enough sliced raw jalapenos. Reminiscent of my other favorite calamari dishes at Bloomer's (RIP) and Saratoga National.

    Tried the peaches with ricotta and basil. Again, appreciate accomodating my request for no prosciutto. My least favorite "from the garden." Peaches were not ripe or sweet enough for my taste. Ricotta was delicious.

    For my "plate" I had the pan seared scallops with English peas and pumpernickel. Liked the presentation with fresh peas, a smear of pea puree and pumpernickle crumble. The scallops were cooked perfectly. This dish would have been perfect if the scallops were sweet.

    For dessert I had espresso and the chocolate/Guinness dessert with salted caramel ice cream and cocoa crumbs. Very good. Would get this again.

    Excellent service. This will become a favorite. So happy Chef Ireland is back in Toga :)

    6 Replies
    1. re: financialdistrictresident

      So glad I found your (very recent) review!! We are headed to Saratoga next weekend, and are looking for an early dinner before the orchestra at SPAC. Party of five, mostly fairly adventurous eaters. I was looking at Sperry's, but this place (in its many permutations) has always intruigued me. I'll let you know what we decide!

      1. re: njkori

        njkori, look forward to hearing about your experience . . .

        1. re: financialdistrictresident

          Finally getting around to writing about our visit. I should have read your review a little closer, because I also ordered the peaches with ricotta - I agree, the peaches were nowhere near ripe enough or sweet enough. Kind of disappointing this time of year!

          There were five of us - two got the Pan seared chicken, two got the lamb (more on that later), and one got the Crispy half duck. The portions were a decent size, not huge but not skimpy either. The food was all very tasty. The decor was very interesting on the inside, but the outside looks pretty awful. You enter at ground level at the Metro Lounge, which looks (and smells) like a bar. We also had a tough time getting my 85 year old mother in law up and down the stairs - I assume it's not handicapped accessible (but I didn't ask). We had a 5:15 reservation, and I had to ask one of the waitstaff to unlock the front door - I guess they forgot to unlock it for the dinner service. Odd.

          So here is the story on the lamb. They have a Roasted Lamb on the menu - kind of a Mediterranean preparation. The night we were there, they also had a rack of lamb on the specials menu, served with a mushroom fennel sauce and polenta. I ordered the Roasted Lamb, because I don't care for fennel or polenta, and the one on the menu sounded quite good. My brother in law also ordered the Roasted Lamb. When the food came, they were both Rack of Lamb. I asked the waiter, who simply said that he thought we had ordered the Rack of Lamb - no other explanation or apology offered (he kept saying "It smells wonderful!"). I didn't want to create a delay, so I (and my brother in law) decided to just eat the food as served. It was very tasty, even the polenta, which had cherries baked into it, and the mushroom wine sauce was delicious, with just fennel seeds, which I was able to set aside. BUT, when the bill came - there was a $13 difference in price between the roasted lamb and the rack of lamb. It made me mad, but I was kind of embarrassed to say anything, since I had eaten and enjoyed the rack of lamb. But I thought it was incredibly unprofessional of the waiter to do the "bait and switch", which is now clear that's what he did.

          Go for the food, but be clear about what you order. If they don't bring you what you want, don't be shy (like we were), because they won't be shy about charging you the difference. We ordered dessert, also. The "deconstructed" key lime pie was boring and nothing like key lime pie. The Guinness chocolate cake was also on the boring side - like chocolate cake, nothing more.

          1. re: njkori

            It is not handicapped-accessible. I asked the last time I was there.

      2. re: financialdistrictresident

        SO went recently and had a different take. He said he prefers Sperry's and Chianti's. Also Mio Posto. He thought the foie gras portion was small for the price. He liked the calamari but commented it wasn't crispy. Not sure what else he had, will try to get more info. and report back.