Thursday, October 23, 2014

Is Mazzone eying new 2015 Schenectady hotel venue?

Architect's rendering of the DoubleTree project.
SCHENECTADY -- A new restaurant will open next June at 100 Nott Terrace.

That's the takeaway for foodies from Wednesday's decision by the Schenectady County Metroplex Development Authority to award $250,000 to help Schahet Hotels' redevelopment of a former Holiday Inn into a $13.1 million DoubleTree by Hilton.

The Indianapolis company, which also owns the Hampton Inn & Suites near Proctors, is projecting the 2015 opening, with construction work already well under way.

Schahet says its new hotel will offer 123 lodging rooms, a fitness center, a pool and a business center as well as "a new open-concept restaurant and lounge, and a new banquet space with pre-function area and service corridor."

No further details so far, but don't be shocked if Mazzone Hospitality has a hand in it. Among its numerous enterprises, the restaurant and catering empire -- headquartered in nearby Scotia in the Glen Sanders Mansion (also home to Angelo's Tavolo) -- owns Aperitivo Bistro in downtown Schenectady and already runs an open-concept hotel restaurant, Angelo's Prime Bar + Grill, in the Hilton Garden Inn in Clifton Park.

Schahet currently owns and operates eight hotels in Indiana with one more in development there, as well as the Schenectady properties.

Epicurean Cartoonery


Have you checked our calendar today?

The Capital Region Food & Drink Events Calendar is arguably the most thorough and linked compilation of events in the region involving, well, food and drink.

If you're not already in the habit of checking it out on a daily basis, it might be helpful to acquire the habit so you're always fully informed on upcoming events of all sorts.

And, if you're part of a business or organization putting together an event, don't forget to let us know well in advance so we can publicize it.

Cheers!

Today's ride on the Capital Region's foodie-go-round

CLOSING

Shwe Mandalay, a Burmese restaurant that had been operating at 214 Central Avenue, Albany, for less than 10 months, apparently is permanently closed. A sign on its front door for the past six weeks or so says the business is "temporarily" closed, but the phone went unanswered for weeks and as of today is out of service. Neighbors as well as the Central Avenue Business Improvement District (BID) say there have been no signs of activity there.

REPORTING

• The financial reports from various dining chains being spotlighted by Nation's Restaurant News this week for the third quarter ended September 20 are indeed a mixed bag. Some examples: The Cheesecake Factory Inc. reported a 6% drop in net income, something it blames on increased costs for butter and dairy. ...  Although Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. continued its industry-leading performance with net income soaring nearly 57%,  its stock price dropped more than 6% on Tuesday when its executives warned of higher food costs in 2015, and gave a relatively modest projection for sales growth. ... McDonald's Corp., which has been buffeted by negative news for many months, suffered a 30% dip in its third quarter, with same-store sales falling 3.3% mainly because of decreased consumer traffic. ... Brinker International Inc. reports 12.1%   increase in net income for the Sept. 24-ended first quarter, although same-store sales went up only 0.1% at its 1,574 Chili’s Grill & Bar units. This comes on the heels of a 6.9% rise in profits in the second quarter.

MARKETING

• The Williams-Sonoma store in Guilderland's Crossgates Mall will hold a farmers-and-artisans market from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. this Sunday. The vendors: Tara Kitchen of Schenectady (Moroccan spices, sauces and other products), Fifth Tier (baked goods), Wild Foraged and Weathertop Farm (meat, eggs, extracts, tea, and natural body care products), and Corona D’oro (pestos fresh-cured pickles and fresh sauerkraut). Phone: 456-0201.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Mazzone Hospitality introduces new event space in Albany

The event space, with a view of the Palace theater.
ALBANY -- The ever-expanding Mazzone Hospitality company today unveiled its newest venture, a riff on its high-end Angelo's 677 Prime restaurant.

It's something called Events at 677 Prime, an event and meeting space on the renovated second floor of the building at 677 Broadway.

Mazzone Hospitality properties, on-site programs and services include the Glen Sanders Mansion in Scotia, Aperitivo Bistro in Schenectady,  Angelo’s Prime Bar + Grill in Clifton Park, Prime at Saratoga National at the Saratoga National Golf Club, Tala Bistro in Latham, Mansion Catering, MH Catering, Hall of Springs events in Saratoga Springs, Key Hall at Proctors in Schenectady and Prime Business Dining.

New revenue stream from artisanal hard ciders

At Nine Pin Cider Works in Albany.
At Nine Pin Cider Works in Albany.
From The Associated Press

GRANVILLE -- With hard cider making a hardcore comeback across the country, apple growers are tapping a juicy new revenue stream by establishing farmstead cideries and planting varieties too tart or tannic for the lunchbox but perfect for smashing and fermenting into distinctive artisanal brews.

"We're planting a lot of new trees so we can meet the demand for cider," said Dan Wilson, owner of Hicks Orchard and Slyboro Ciderhouse on the Vermont border in Granville. "This year we planted 2,000 cider varieties and next year we'll plant 2,500 in high-density orchards."

Slyboro is among 10 craft producers who banded together to form the Hudson Valley Cider Alliance to establish hard cider and apple spirits as signature products of the region.

Go here for the full story.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Epicurean Cartoonery



Today's ride on the Capital Region foodie-go-round

SELLING 

From the Garden, located at 227 Lark Street in Albany, is being sold. The Times Union reported today that Larry and Kokese Lowe are purchasing the business from Allan Von Schenkel and Kristen Williams, who founded it about two years ago. The new owners plan to continue the format of serving a different $40, five-course, fresh-local-seasonal menu every week in its basement location. Hours: 5 to 9 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday. Phone: 427-388.

MOVING

• The 6th annual timesunion.com/Table Hopping Mac-n-Cheese Bowl, which raises money for the Regional Food Bank of Northeastern New York, is changing venues. The ever-growing event this year will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, February 21, 2015, at the Marcelle Athletic Complex at Siena College in Loudonville. That location, serendipitously, goes by the nickname MAC. The event was held at the Marriott on Colonie's Wolf Road the first five years, but no February dates were available for 2015. More than $150,000 has been raised over the event's history. It features 30 local restaurants offering variations on pasta and cheese, and it typically attracts more than 2,000 people. The move to the larger MAC venue probably will result in an even larger attendance.

SAVING

• The Mr. Subb sandwich chain is making a push to increase the numbers of online orders. Consumers ordering $15 or more online will get a 5% discount and a free large order of potato nuggets. If you buy two orders, a third is free. And, if you register for a Mr. Subb newsletter you get a coupon for a free potato nugget serving with any other purchase.

Cuomo unveils more 'Taste NY' program enhancements

Governor Andrew Cuomo may have his detractors on many subjects, but when it comes to boosting the state's food and beverage products, thew producers are solidly behind him.

His latest move was this week's announcement of a major expansion of his administration's "Taste NY" initiative that is designed to triple gross sales of participating vendors in 2015.

The latest enhancements:

• The Taste NY website will be enhanced to enable online purchasing, as will the I LOVE NY mobile website.

• Taste NY displays, stores and vending machines will be added to all SUNY and CUNY campuses.

• All 27 Thruway Travel Plazas will have Taste NY offerings, and the Department of Transportation will add Taste NY stores at strategic locations on other highways.

• Liquor stores throughout the state will be offered Taste NY point of sale materials to support the sale of New York wines, spirits and ciders.

• A new mobile phone app will be released through I LOVE NY that will have designated Taste NY attractions from across the state.

• New York foods and beverages will receive export support from the Department of Agriculture & Markets, Empire State Development, and Food Export USA.

• A Taste NY office in Brooklyn will strengthen the connections between upstate producers and downstate consumers.

• A new Taste NY store has just opened at Grand Central Terminal in the heart of Manhattan.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Have you checked our calendar today?

The Capital Region Food & Drink Events Calendar is arguably the most thorough and linked compilation of events in the region involving, well, food and drink.

If you're not already in the habit of checking it out on a daily basis, it might be helpful to acquire the habit so you're always fully informed on upcoming events of all sorts.

And, if you're part of a business or organization putting together an event, don't forget to let us know well in advance so we can publicize it.

Cheers!