A little more than a year ago, Jen, Justin, and I were enjoying drinks one evening at 9 Maple, our favorite (and the best) local martini bar here in Saratoga Springs. We struck up a conversation with a cool guy who had just come to town from Portland, Oregon to open a new restaurant that sounded right up my alley: Only fresh and local produce, meat from local farms, twice-weekly visits to the Farmers’ Market. It was to be called the Beekman Street Bistro, he told us as he handed me a business card, and was opening in that new Beekman Arts District.
At the time, the Beekman area was just starting to see a turn-around and has come a long way in the past year — now filled with a number of renovated buildings housing the newest food and arts center in town. The recent transformation of places like Gotchya’s from cafe into restaurant (I do miss the cafe version) and a number of arts galleries have really made Beekman Street the hippest new business center off Broadway.
Turns out the guy we met at 9 Maple — head chef of the Bistro Dan Spitz — really knew what he was talking about. To celebrate our 3rd anniversary last night, Jen and I finally got around to eating at the restaurant, and it was simply incredible. We agreed it’s our new favorite place in town, right up there with Dine. The decor is stylish and understated, with just the right amount of lighting — bright enough to read the menu, but dim enough to enjoy a romantic dinner. The food was out of this world. I’d been cautioned about smaller portions, which they were, but everything was so rich and delicious, I wouldn’t have wanted the portions to be any bigger.
We enjoyed a light and crisp bottle of 2005 Colombelle Blanc, a cheap French blend that hit the spot (especially following the earlier martinis on our porch). Jen started with a goat cheese and walnut salad, and I with the sweet corn risotto. For our main courses, Jen had the mouth-watering scallops and I another second course offering, incredible homemade raviolis stuffed with parmesan and other goodness, which I had upgraded to a larger entree portion. We didn’t want the night to end, as we savored every delightful bite.
The only suggestion I’d have for the Bistro staff that would make it an even more perfect dining experience would be to do a two-minute check-back after serving the entrees, and to do wine fill-ups. That aside, the service was pleasant, efficient, and timely.