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Saratoga Dine

Wednesday, February 15th, 2006 · 1 Comment

To celebrate Valentine’s Day last night — something we haven’t always done — Jen and I hit Dine, one of the nicest restaurants in Saratoga Springs. Our first time there was last June and we were really blown away. The service was impeccable, the food out of this world; it was a rare and welcome find here in Upstate New York.

So last night our expectations were high.

That’s the problem with high expectations: They’re hard to beat. The place was packed and the decor was charming — little red hearts, fake rose petals, and Hershey’s Kisses were sprinkled across our table. We ordered a bottle of a Sonoma Fume Blanc that seemed to be having an identity crisis since it was also labeled as a Sauvignon Blanc. There was no mention of its being a blend, but maybe it was. Either way, it was excellent.

We ordered blackened scallops for appetizers, and they were the food highlight of the evening. Perfectly spiced, the scallops melted like butter in the mouth after each bite. It was going to be a tough act to follow. Jen ordered a crusted salmon, which we thought would be a pastry-like layer outside the fish, and I ordered the escolar with lobster butter. Both fish portions were way too big and way too fishy. The flavors and sauces weren’t all that bad, but we both preferred the veggie medley and mashed sweet potato-esque dish that came with both fish dinners.

High-end restaurants typically don’t serve large portions, and I never thought I’d say it, but I would have preferred smaller portions of fish. Both dishes were suspiciously close to being undercooked, too.

Although not quite as refined as our last visit — I had to ask for bread (which turned out to be pretty tasty peppered bread sticks) — the service was excellent last night. If nothing else, the Dine staff knows good service, from bringing silverware for each course to the table on a tray to the all-important two-minute check-back to monitoring our wine levels througout the evening and topping it off. I was impressed yet again.

Despite the fishy fish — my stomach even felt a bit off this morning — it was a great evening and a wonderful Valentine’s Day with my wife.

Tags: food

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Sarah // Feb 15, 2006 at 2:42 pm

    Sauvignon Blanc / Fume Blanc Wine Information

    Sauvignon Blanc has been used for generations in France, and came to California in 1878. In the US it is sometimes called “Fumé Blanc”, a name first coined by Robert Mondavi to play up its smoky flavors. The sales of the wine under this new name now exceed sales under the original name. New Zealand is now known as one of the top producers of sauvignon blanc.

    Sauvignon Blanc has pronounced flavors of a herbal variety, with grassy and apple flavors, plus olive and a soft, smoky flavor. They can be anything from sweet to dry, but are typically very light. Sauvignon blancs tend to be crisp and acidic, helping the wine cut through heavy food flavors. It pairs well with thick sauces and stews.

    Sauvignon blanc should be served at around 52F and should be drunk within a few years.