The Hunt & Fish Club at Siro’s is Ready for a Big Debut Season
By Arthur Gonick
“People love the luxury here. Our job is to build upon a treasured concept.”
So stated Ben O’Sullivan, executive chef of the Hunt & Fish Club; a restaurant that has taken the discerning foodie community in New York City by storm since it opened at the beginning of this year. O’Sullivan is leading a core group that will be establishing something extra-special this race season – at a place that has always been special.
Behold: The Hunt & Fish Club at Siro’s. The best meets the best adjacent to the Saratoga Racecourse, at a place where winners have always met. By the time you read this, it’s the surest of sure bets that they’ll be ready to dazzle and delight diners. “I see our role as establishing a brand that is faithful to the restaurant’s glorious heritage, while putting our own stamp on things,” O’Sullivan said.
And so, while you will still see several familiar items on the menu, such as the colossal 7-10 pound lobsters that are a Siro’s tradition, expect to see some incredible upgrades. For one thing, the restaurant will feature miyazaki beef. Originating from a region south of Kobe in Japan, O’Sullivan noted that this Wagyu beef is rated A5 – the highest grade of prime beef available. All the beef served at Siro’s this summer will be dry-aged for maximum flavor.
Some of the Hunt & Fish Club’s most popular dishes, including its signature Burnt Lemon Chicken, will be on the Siro’s menu. O’Sullivan mentioned that the menu will not be the same every time you visit, however. “I expect that we’ll have changes in response to what are the best available products over the course of the next seven weeks – I’m a big believer in local sourcing and I’m looking forward to seeing what fish, mushrooms and other items are available to put on the menu. We are also discussing the idea of a special Tuesday ‘locals’ menu, where we can get a chance to really get creative.” He said.
O’Sullivan, a Napa Valley area native, sports an impressive background prior to taking the reins at The Hunt & Fish Club. He apprenticed for legendary Chef Todd Humphries on the West Coast (“…he would have us all forage for mushrooms with him,” O’Sullivan noted with a smile), with stops at leading restaurants in Toronto and Nantucket on his way to New York City, where, among other places, he worked at the prestigious ABC Kitchen under multiple-Michelin star chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten. His training was evident in the quiet, confident and firm manner that he led his staff in preparing the dishes for this piece that make it evident that those visiting Siro’s this summer are in for a singular treat.
It may come as a surprise to some that the kitchen staff at Siro’s manages to perform all this excellence with a rather small staff of six. Three were brought up by O’Sullivan from The Hunt & Fish Club, including his Sous Chef Jim and two line cooks.
Another surprise is that this will be O’Sullivan’s first summer in Saratoga Springs. His impressions so far? “I love the ambiance. It reminds me of St. Helena in California, which has a seasonal wine culture.”
Some of the things outside the restaurant he looks forward to include “…a long bike ride. I’m looking forward to seeing the lakes in this region. I can’t wait to visit the Farmers’ market here, as well as some of the other restaurants that I’ve heard so much about.”
“But mostly, I’m looking forward to just absorbing the racetrack atmosphere here. It’s going to be exciting to experience,” He said.
And it’s another sure bet that O’Sullivan and his team will make your Hunt & Fish Club at Siro’s dining experience as world-class as the race meet next door.