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15 Church (Saratoga) . . . ETA?

When will Chef Jason Baker feed us again?

http://www.bizjournals.com/albany/blo...

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

Any ETA on 15 Church?

Anyone been to The Wine Bar on Lark since Chef Baker left and Everleth decided to sell?

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/790643

http://www.bizjournals.com/albany/blo...

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      1. I saw on Facebook that they had "a very casual open house" on 3/12 from 6-9 pm. A comment was also made that the last "open house" is 3/13. They will then have "opening night" on Wed. 3/19.
        https://www.facebook.com/pages/15-Chu...

        3 Replies
            1. re: financialdistrictresident

              15 Church has announced more specific hours on their Facebook page:

              "This evening, 15 Church celebrates our opening night! Thank you for all your support and patience along this journey. Our regular dining hours will be Tuesday-Thursday 5-9:30 pm; Friday and Saturday 5-11 pm; and, Sundays 4-9 pm. The bar opens daily at 4:30 pm and Sundays at 4:00 pm so stop in any time for a cocktail, light snack, or a great dinner. To make a reservation, call us at 587-1515."

          1. Went to 15 Church recently.

            Grateful that this historic building has been restored. The interior decor is sophisticated but doesn't feel overly formal. It's warm and inviting. There is a small bar and two tables. The rest of the restaurant is long and narrow with a few tables close to Church Street and rows of booths back towards the kitchen and rest rooms. The booths have high backs and provide a feeling of privacy. SO said he could have used a little more room. We would probably request a table in the front of the restaurant next time. So SO has more leg room and we're further away from the servers walking to and from the kitchen.

            The location near parking, the newer movie theater and apartment building is smart. The menu gives diners lots of options. Stop by for a glass of wine and an appetizer or make a reservation and have dinner.

            Now on to the food. . .

            We started with some prosecco to celebrate. Then decided the cornmeal crusted oysters with honey mustard remoulade would be perfect with our prosecco. Our server placed the oyster order while SO read the wine list and we looked at the menu. The oysters were cooked perfectly and the remoulade was so good (and I'm not a big mustard person).

            SO started with pan fried sweetbreads uni cognac emulsion, shaved fennel, sesame puff pastry. He said they were the best sweetbreads he's had.

            Our friend had pan glazed escargot, marrow, exotic mushrooms, marsala demi glace.

            SO had the Church salad, candied walnuts, gorgonzola, asian pears (I had a taste of the pears), bing cherries, crispy prosciutti, champagne vinaigrette.

            Warm focaccia bread service. Okay.

            The pacing was a little slow between our starters and our entrees. Servers checked back several times. We understand they just opened. Otherwise, everything was flawless.

            SO had the orecchiette with house made veal bolognese, grana padano. They offer $16 and $24 portions. He seemed very happy.

            I had the pink peppercorn crusted black & blue tuna with baby bok choy, dashi emulsion, sea salt roasted beets, hot and sour spaghetti squash. Really good.

            Our friend had 15 hour braised veal cheeks crispy artichokes, butter poached sunchokes, exotic mushroom & white miso ragout. Really liked it. Large portion. They took half of it home.

            For dessert we had chocolate and cheese, Old Chatham camembert, chocolate ganache, maldon sea salt and berries. Luckily I had this pretty much to myself and didn't have to share.

            Opera Cake by TC Paris, almond sponge cake, espresso syrup, espresso buttercream. I tasted this but thought the camembert with chocolate was more interesting.

            We had espresso and tea.

            Service was professional, warm and attentive. A delicious dinner. We look forward to future menu changes, hopefully the addition of a tasting menu.

            Go now and enjoy. Once Track Season starts it will surely be challenging to get a reservation.

            3 Replies
            1. re: financialdistrictresident

              Almost forgot to mention their stemware. Sounds like a little thing, but it's amazing the number of restaurants that don't pay attention to this detail. From their water glasses to their flutes and wine glasses, they put some effort into this detail. Made for more enjoyable sipping.

              1. re: financialdistrictresident

                Thank you, FDR, for the extensive review. I hope we get there soon. The sweetbreads sound fantastic.

                1. Returned recently.

                  The bread service has changed. My focaccia "stick" was warm and really good. Same delicious soft butter with black salt.

                  Started with the cornmeal crusted oysters with honey mustard remoulade, frisee. Even sweeter and better than last time.

                  Had the lumb crab cake "croquettes" with ginger hazlenut aioli, frisee salad and roasted red pepper chutney. Perfectly crisped round balls filled with crumbly crab. My favorite part of this was the chutney and ginger aioli. Probably would not get again.

                  Finished with a sweet. Had torrijas brioche turbinado sugar with Lloyd Spear honey and tarragon salad. If you're not a tarragon fan, no worries. It's subtle, not overpowering. This was delicious. Three large pieces of brioche perfect for sharing. This should have been shared . . .

                  Their website shows a prix fixe theatre $35 pp dinner available until 5:45 pm weekdays. How clever with the newer cinema nearby. Includes Alsatian tart du jour for the table, 3 courses.

                    1. We arrived a little early waiting for our other guest to join us. We ordered a bottle of wine and some "crispy" oysters. We noticed the layout it appears that every table is close to the kitchen traffic and noise (wide open door, clanking of dishes). We counted in one minute 30 movements along our table. Like eating along the high way. No music their system was broken. The "crispy" oyster came "nuked to hell" to the table in less than two minutes, nothing crispy within 4 miles. When I addressed the owner about the oysters and the traffic by our table, his comment was "that's how I roll" and walked away. We didn't finish our first glass of the bottle of wine we ordered and within 2 minutes of our encounter with the owner our waitress came to our table with the check!!!! In other words, get out. The only reason this rating got a 1 is because there are no negatives. I have lived and dined on 4 continents, never encountered this poor service. We went to Max London's on Broadway much better choice.

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: johnstolk

                        johnstolk, thanks for reporting back.

                        I have not been since Chef Jason Baker left. Or during Track Season (ends this Monday).

                        My March 24th post suggested a table close to Church Street was preferable.

                        Has anyone else been since the Chef change? How was it?

                        1. re: financialdistrictresident

                          The wife and I were there in early July, shortly after Chef Jason Baker left. We were more than pleased with the food and service. We did sit at the bar, and it was only 10 minutes after they opened for the day. I could see that the quarters were tight, but I wouldn't hold that against the staff doing their job. I had read Johnstolk's review on at least three different web sites and was surprised since it did not reflect either my personal experience or that of any other's I've read (excluding his possible companion who posted a similar review the same day on Yelp).

                          1. re: Roger K

                            Roger K, when I dined solo at 15 Church I sat at the bar. Liked the seating much better than in a booth.

                            On another note, I was looking for johnstolk's reviews of other restaurants ("dined on 4 continents") and saw that this was his first chowhound post. . .

                            Also, SO went to 15 Church for a business dinner recently (after Chef Jason Baker left) and did not report back any issues with food or service.

                            1. re: financialdistrictresident

                              It was also Johnstolk's first and only review on Yelp, UrbanSpoon, and TripAdvisor.