Local 111, Again

OK, my family really likes Local 111 (in Philmont). First week of a summer menu. This review is jointly authored by me and my 8-year-old son.  He had the fried haddock, substituting buttermilk fritters for fries. He felt the honey mustard really “made” the fritter: kinda have to agree with him there. His parents went for lots of smalls: a roasted flatbread topped with parsley paste, roasted walnuts, poached egg, cheese, and light salad. Description cannot do the flatbread justice – perfect balance of salad with bread, sweet with tart.

Also a roasted beet salad with a light vinaigrette, and full, robust leaves of basil topped with lovely crunch almond slivers. In lieu of wine, we went with a matched set of St. Germain cocktails, with grapefruit juice and seltzer.

The only disappointment strangely the homemade version of a chipwhich: my son felt that the chocolate sauce on top was “too much” and that the inability to eat it with ones hands really detracted from the whole ice cream sandwich experience.  He did however come up with an interesting alternative: my traditional chocolate dipped macaroons as the cookies sandwiching coconut ice cream – I think he may be onto something. Tune in to find out how we do!

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Changing the World One Local Bite at a Time

That’s the motto of the Chef’s Consortium, a group I’ve officially fallen for.  We joined them to help to “Raise the Barn” last night in Albany.  The Albany Barn has partnered with the Albany Housing Authority and the City of Albany to redevelop St. Joseph’s Academy, a long-vacant former school building in the Arbor Hill neighborhood, into a living, work, and exhibition space for local artists.  Last night’s groundbreaking event featured food by members of the Chef’s Consortium and a photography exhibit of the interior of the school pre-renovation. There’s so much to like here, it’s hard to know where to start.  The enthusiastic young crew trying to keep local artists in the capital region in a way that supports its neighborhood home. And with food! The mushroom risotto cakes were superb last night; as were all of the other tastings by members of the Consortium. The Consortium’s terrific premise is to band together as chefs who use their dedication to sustainable agriculture and local food to support regional events. They’ll be doing their next event on a schooner out of Kingston for an evening ride on the Hudson with fine food and music – I know I’ll be tracking their events closely; suggest you do too. Albany Barn will be participating in the First Friday arts walks in Albany in their North Swan street exhibition space on July 6.

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Somehow we and none of our foodie friends had ever heard of Jake Moon. In rural Clarkstown, just outside of suburban Delmar, logo designed by Milton Glaser, chef Dan Smith previously of Nicole’s Bistro – sounds like our kind of place.  Had lunch with out-of-town friends. Very family friendly frayed family diner decor, and wonderfully understanding staff.  Our 8-year-old (Leo) thought the food selection was odd, and he’s kind of right. You want to go with the classics, or the specials here – nothing in between.  Desserts like bread pudding were great; the experimental SLT (salmon bacon) was a nice idea but didn’t quite work; our friend went with the day’s special of rice balls and wasn’t disappointed. Took two loaves home – sourdough delish; cinnamon raisin dry and disappointing. We’ll be back; love the local flavor and the combination of traditional and risky.  Final vote: grownups – 7.5, kid – 6. Worth passing to the next round.