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Displaying items by tag: Pauline Bartel

Friday, 24 July 2015 08:53

Well in Hand!

The Hunt & Fish Club at Siro’s is Ready for a Big Debut Season

By Arthur Gonick

Saratoga TODAY

“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. 

Published in News
Friday, 27 September 2013 13:47

Restaurants Take Part in Locavore Challenge

         BALLSTON SPA — On the last weekend in September, Ballston Spa’s Fifty South and Saratoga Springs’ One Caroline Street Bistro are both supporting local, organic food and farming by donating a percentage of their evening revenue to the Northeast Organic Farming Association of New York (NOFA-NY). Currently 14 restaurants around the state have signed on to donate a portion of their proceeds to NOFA-NY. The fundraising event is part of the NOFA-NY Locavore Challenge, a month-long challenge to inspire awareness and action in eating locally and organically through events and activities held around the state and online.

Owner Kim Klopstock opened Fifty South after living sustainably for 30 years on a 7-acre farm with her family. The restaurant now uses practices like sourcing its ingredients locally, composting, and recycling and repurposing. 

“I wanted to make sure that these personal ideals and convictions were honored not only in my personal life but my business life as well,” Klopstock said. “Community and sustainability are the heartbeat of what we are about—keeping it local as much as possible, realizing that sometimes local can mean in our state, in our region and in our country, rather than just within a designate mileage of where we live,”

Fifty South sources from area farms including Kilpatrick Family Farm, Argyle Cheese and Minglewood Farm.

“It has been a treat to see the slow food movement grow as well as the popularity of the farmers markets. Who would have ever thought it would be chic to shop at the farmers market and to eat at a farm to table restaurant?” Klopstock asked. 

Run by the Pedinotti family, One Caroline Street has been operating in Saratoga Springs for almost 20 years, and using local produce has always been part of the family’s mission. 

“My dad is a pioneer in that he has always supported local farms,” said Elizabeth Pedinotti-Haynes. “Even before there was a farmers market in Saratoga, we would drive out to the farms to pick up food.”

The menu at One Caroline changes daily based on the availability of organic locally sourced ingredients. 

“We have a vegetarian farmers market special and a market salad on our menu, and we shop directly at the farmers market on Wednesday and Saturday for the ingredients for those dishes,” Pedinotti-Haynes said. “The chef really likes that part of his job; it’s creative and he enjoys interacting with the farmers.”

The goal of the Locavore Challenge has always been to connect consumers with their local organic farmers and to encourage local consumption and education. This year, NOFA-NY is expanding the challenge, hoping to strengthen communities through local collective initiatives and encourage engagement in state and federal policy change that supports local organic food and farming.

“The Locavore Challenge is an opportunity to celebrate the bounty of New York’s organic and sustainable farmers as well as to grow the movement of consumers seeking local organic food,” said NOFA-NY Executive Director Kate Mendenhall. “I am thrilled that hundreds of people across the state will join in this celebration and mobilize positive change in food policy. I encourage community members to support restaurants who source from local organic and sustainable farmers on the evening of the Harvest Dinner and into the future.”

Harvest Dinner at Fifty South: Sunday, September 29 from 5 - 9 p.m. 2128 Doubleday Avenue, Ballston Spa and 20 percent of proceeds to NOFA-NY. 

Harvest Dinner at One Caroline Street Bistro: Sunday, September 29 from 5 to 9 p.m. 1 Caroline St., Saratoga Springs, 20 percent of proceeds to NOFA-NY. 

Sponsoring the challenge are Once Again Nut Butter and “Edible New York” magazine. 

Published in News

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