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Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Photos and Food

- You may be happy to know that I didn't take too many photos in Saratoga. I mean, I did, but they mostly looked the same as prior years. There's the paddock photo, the backyard photo, the photo of the horses walking down the path to be saddled, the photo of the jockeys walking in, the photos of the backstretch in the mist and fog of the early morning. (Not that I bothered getting up nearly early enough for fog and mist.) Since I'm a creature of habit, and hang out in the same places every year, they all looked the same. So you get a break.

However, I did point the camera up to get a shot of the green trees...

55 - Photo Hosted at Buzznet

....and down to get a shot of the green grass that was long ago washed away.

56 - Photo Hosted at Buzznet

moreau - Photo Hosted at Buzznet

This is Lake Moreau, where we hung out on Monday morning. If you haven't been up there, it's right off Exit 17, and while it ain't no Solana Beach, it's a great place to handicap the day's races (though no wireless available).

44 - Photo Hosted at Buzznet

This is the riverfront around Troy, and the only reason I'm posting this is because it makes for a contrast with the photos of Manhattan I posted from the boat a couple of weeks ago. Rather incredible to contemplate that this is the same Hudson River that we were cruising on in the city.

OK, back to horses....I turned the camera over to the Head Chef before Just Zip It's race, and these two are the best she came up with (other than the ones of me that I'm not posting here...rare shots of me wearing anything other than a t-shirt and shorts at Saratoga.

 - Photo Hosted at Buzznet

Here, Just Zip It, ears pricked, seems to be communicating telepathically with the guy in the blue suit.


So, how about a real photo of the race from a real professional photographer? (Deborah is a member of the Castle Village ownership group.) Just Zip It is on the inside.

- Tried to get the Head Chef to review the Beekman Street Bistro, where we ate on Sunday night. I see that Steve Crist has already done so, and as he pointed out, beer and wine only. The Head Chef said something about the restaurant lacking a "center" without a bar scene, but I think she just wanted to get sloshed.

More importantly, the food was mostly excellent, and we didn't find the bill to be outrageous at all. We shared a salad special, butter lettuce with sumptuous slices of duck, grilled peaches and hazelnuts with a raspberry vinaigrette. Nice job, though we thought there could have been more lettuce for the $12.99 price. For the main course, I had the quail, marinated in some dark sauce (saba?) with deliciously fresh fingerling potatoes which they probably got at the farmer's market (as did we). The Head Chef went for a red snapper special. The fish was cooked perfectly, a big relief for yours truly who always has to endure complaints that it is overdone. However, she felt that it could have used more salt and pepper, not available on the tables. I've always thought it presumptuous for a restaurant to not put salt and pepper shakers on the tables, kinda like "here it is, it's perfect whether you think so or not." But she really dug the tomato concoction that the fish was served over; so much, in fact, that she spent Tuesday attempting to re-create it so that she can serve it to her clients. Should the restaurant be getting a commission for that?


Anonymous said...

NYRA should deny Dutrow's stall application for Big Brown if he indeed plans to run at Mth.

Let them train him there.

And Curlin should enter anywhere he might run, like a stalking horse.

Ruben Bailey said...

We ate at the Mexican joint on Broadway...think it was called The Cantina. Was pretty good. 2 out of 3 of us really enjoyed our meal, although zero out of three enjoyed our server. Pretty solid Mexican though overall.

El Angelo said...

I wouldn't run Curlin if I were Asmussen. I would though enter 2-3 horses with absolutely no shot as rabbits and closers just to toy with Big Brown.

suebroux said...

Uh ... I'm thinkin' you're not gonna be writing for Condé Nast any time soon ... They probably wouldn't like your photos of the "Trees" and the "Grass", anyway.

(Glad you had a great trip!)

Anonymous said...

no one eats at p.j.'s

Anonymous said...

Alan, when you and the Head Chef have had your fill of those "fine dining" du jour places downtown, try the Wishing Well up on the Glens Fall Rd (U S 9 North), a Spa standby since 1936 and this the 40th year under the highly competent present owners, the Lees!

Manhattan- steakhouse- in- the- Adirondacks with the finest fresh seafood items as well, winners circle photos of champions past and present everywhere, slate and barnboards, mooseheads, elegantly set tables, platters of red, ripe, sliced native tomtatoes and steaming platters of fresh native corn, a Wishing Well tradition, complete the colorful scene.

You enter into a wonderful piano bar where you can even sing along for your supper following libations expertly prepared by David, the longtime bartender. I can guarantee the Head Chef will appreciate the professionalism of this venerable Spa fave beginning with the owner/hostess Brenda Lee, David on the bar, the superior food quality, preparation, and service by the entire staff.A racetrack crowd fave.

Oftentimes dismissed by the trendy as "dining at grandma's", or "passe by 30 years" but don't believe it for a minute! The highest quality food well prepared and competently served never goes out of style- better book ahead, especially on a week-end. /S/Green Mtn Punter