Saturday, August 19, 2017

Political candidate pushing program to aid farmers, brewers

George Borrello
George Borrello, a candidate for Chautauqua County executive in western New York, is trying to leverage the growing demand for New York-grown hops as a campaign platform plank.

Borrello, cognizant of the state's burgeoning craft brewing industry that is required to use at least 50% of ingredients produced in-state, has announced plans to develop an incentives program to assist farmers who supply raw materials -- hops as well as oats, barley, and malt, for example -- to the brewing and distilling industries, and incentives to help the manufacturers themselves.

He says the program, to be named Grow Chautauqua, will help offset the costs associated with farm production infrastructure, equipment purchases, and certain soft costs not typically covered through existing programs and traditional lenders. As part of the program, the county also would seek to make county-owned sites available to farmers interested in participating in the program, thereby putting fallow land back into productive use.
• Go here to visit the Capital Region Brew Trail
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Thursday, August 17, 2017

Epicurean Cartoonery

A gallery of artwork honoring those who draw conclusions. 




• Go here to visit the Capital Region Brew Trail
• Go here to visit Dowd's New York Wines Notebook

Chain Links

Your connections to the latest news items affecting chains operating in the Greater Capital Region or reported to be looking into locating in the area:

•  McDonald’s lead in customer frequency weakens in July  
Chipotle gets more traditional  

Taco Bell to launch Naked Egg Tacos 

16 Handles celebrates National Soft Serve Day with freebies

Chili's cutting menu 30-40% next year
• Go here to visit the Capital Region Brew Trail
• Go here to visit Dowd's New York Wines Notebook

Vermont gets its first bar in a hardware store. Really.

Nuts, bolts and beer (Photo from 7 Days)
From 7 Days
It's not unheard of for hardware stores in Vermont to offer food. Plainfield Hardware has a deli, and, in Cabot, Sarah's Country Diner offers breakfast and lunch at the back of Harry's Hardware. But a bar? Never seen ... until a month ago.

"We're the first [hardware store bar] in Vermont," said Bobby Searles, who, along with Harry's Hardware co-owners Johanna and Rory Thibault, began serving adult beverages at the shop in late July.

This weekend, Team Harry's is throwing a block party to celebrate. The Back Road BBQ truck will roll up with local smoked meats, and Hooker Mountain Farm Distillery will pour its farm-distilled whiskey. Five bands will play between 3 and 9 p.m. 
Go here for the full story.
• Go here to visit the Capital Region Brew Trail
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Greek Fest taking the weekend spotlight in Pittsfield

If you're in the Berkshires this weekend, don't be surprised if you see a lot of blue-and-white banners. That's because the biggest event is the annual Greek Fest at the St. George Greek Orthodox Church of the Berkshires.

With the Greek colors flying, Athenian Entertainment will provide music, and dancers from the Greek Orthodox churches in Springfield and Longmeadow, MA, will perform in ethnic costumes at midday Saturday and Sunday.

All of the traditional ethnic foods that will be available will be made by St. George parishioners -- such items as  moussaka, pastichio, souvlaki, gyros, Greek salad, sweet loukoumades (fried bread dough drizzled with honey) and pastries.

A "Greek cafe" will offer traditional Greek coffee made with finely ground coffee beans and boiled in a pot called a briki. It also will offer coffee frappes, a frothy milkshake, and a variety of complementary pastries such as moustokouloura.

The Agora boutique will offer shoppers a wide variety of crafts and traditional gifts, including worry beads, soap, icons, music CDs and T-shirts. There also will be several raffles and the Rev. John Maheras, parish priest, will lead tours of the church.

Admission to Greek Fest is free. It will be held under a large tent, rain or shine, from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday at the church, located at 73 Bradford Street in  Pittsfield.
• Go here to visit the Capital Region Brew Trail
• Go here to visit Dowd's New York Wines Notebook

Travers restaurant week more of an Albany thing

The famous Travers Stakes is, of course, a staple of the Saratoga Race Course season. However, the 8th annual Travers 1864 Restaurant Week encompasses more than just Saratoga Springs.

In fact, only two of the 19 restaurants participating in the five-day "week," which will run from Sunday through Thursday, August 24, actually are located in Saratoga Springs compared to nine in Albany. Each venue will offer three-course meals from limited menus for $18.64. The price reflects the first year the Travers was run. On Saturday, August 26, it will be run for the 148th time.

Participating restaurants (go here and click on the links to see the menus):

Saratoga Springs -- The Parting Glass, Ravenous

Albany -- Albany Marriott, Ama Cocina, Jack's Oyster House, La Serre, Pearl Street Pub, Public House 42, Recovery Sports Grill, The Hollow Bar + Kitchen, V&R Italian Restaurant

Schenectady -- Aperitivo Bistro, Cornell's, Manhattan Exchange, More Perrecca's

Ballston Lake -- Charlton Tavern

Clifton Park -- Bellini's

Glenville -- The Water's Edge Lighthouse

Amsterdam --  Valentino's

• Go here to visit the Capital Region Brew Trail
• Go here to visit Dowd's New York Wines Notebook

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Epicurean Cartoonery

A gallery of artwork honoring those who draw conclusions. 



• Go here to visit the Capital Region Brew Trail
• Go here to visit Dowd's New York Wines Notebook

Openings & Closings & Etc. (updated)


• The latest reports on restaurants and food vendor openings, closings and transitions from the Greater Capital Region, as well as occasional entries from the Catskills, Central New York, Southern Vermont and the Berkshires.

CLOSING

Owner Randy Loren  has closed Dolce Vita Ristorante, his old-fashioned food and music venue at 1727 State Street in Schenectady. It had been in operation since 2009 at two different State Street spots except for a nine-month closure in 2012. Loren reportedly is developing a new restaurant, Amelia’s, in the former Ground Round restaurant building on State Street at the Route 7 overpass.

• The Glens Falls Food Co-op will close its retail store at Empire Theatre Plaza on South Street at the end of the month, “Unfortunately, at this time we’re unable to keep the hours necessary to sustain a grocery store,” the management announced in an e-mail to members. The co-op has about 350 members, up from 200 in April, but has not been successful in getting enough volunteers to run the store. Through August 31, it will sell off remaining inventory.

SELLING


Ariel's Restaurant, located in Brookfield, VT, about 50 miles southeast of Burlington, is on the block. Owners Lee Duberman and Richard Fink announced the sale on their Facebook page, but did not mention an asking price for the restaurant they have run for 21 years out of their 19th Century home on Sunset Lake. Their plans call for moving to the artsy Mexican city of San Miguel de Allende. Before opening Ariel's, Duberman and Fink owned About Thyme Café & Catering in Montpelier, and also ran a barbecue restaurant there called Finkerman's Riverside Bar-B-Q. Ariel's will remain open through September 24.
• Go here to visit the Capital Region Brew Trail
• Go here to visit Dowd's New York Wines Notebook

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Price Chopper egg salad recalled over labeling error

Price Chopper and Market 32 supermarkets have issued a  recall on store-packed deli department egg salad, according to a news release.

The product, with scale code beginning with 267074, has a bread crumb ingredient containing wheat, a known allergen, which is not listed on the label.

Customers who have an affected product may return it to their local Price Chopper/Market 32 for a refund. Customers with questions can go online or call 1-800-666-7667.


• Go here to visit the Capital Region Brew Trail
• Go here to visit Dowd's New York Wines Notebook

Monday, August 14, 2017

Chain Links

Your connections to the latest news items affecting chains operating in the Greater Capital Region or reported to be looking into locating in the area:

Chicken wing chains respond to higher costs

McDonald's introduces signature Sriracha Sandwich 

Chili’s to reduce menu items, speed service

•  Franchisee dispute drives net loss for Wendy’s

Dunkin’ Donuts' pumpkin flavors return in August

Why Wendy's is the only fast-food chain serving baked potatoes 


• Go here to visit the Capital Region Brew Trail
• Go here to visit Dowd's New York Wines Notebook

Epicurean Cartoonery

A gallery of artwork honoring those who draw conclusions. 



• Go here to visit the Capital Region Brew Trail
• Go here to visit Dowd's New York Wines Notebook

'Grandma's Table' returning to Glens Falls this Sunday

The inaugural dinner (photo provided)
“Grandma’s Table” was so successful in its debut last year that it is being repeated this Sunday.

The summer harvest outdoor dinner will begin at 4 p.m. Sunday on Maple Street, between The Queensbury Hotel and City Park. Queensbury Hotel chefs will prepare food donated by members of the Glens Falls Farmers Market, and volunteers will serve the family-style meal in an outdoor setting.

The event, from the Glens Falls Collaborative, is intended to highlight local food ingredients as well as family history, and attendees are encouraged to bring photographs of their grandmothers and tell stories about past family dinners.

Tickets are $30 per person, which will go to benefit the Glens Falls Farmers Market, The Arts District of Glens Falls, and the Glens Falls Collaborative. Tickets can be purchased in advance at the Charles R. Wood Theater box office or online.

Maple Street between Ridge and Bay streets will be closed beginning at 11 a.m. to vehicle traffic to facilitate the event.

• Go here to visit the Capital Region Brew Trail
• Go here to visit Dowd's New York Wines Notebook

Aldi closes its Cifton Park location for a facelift

The Aldi chain has closed its Clifton Park supermarket. Signage at the site says it is being remodeled and is scheduled to reopen on Thursday, September 21.

No details are available from the company as to the scope of the remodeling at the 1681 Route 9 venue since inquiries about the project have gone unanswered.

The nearest Aldi stores are n Ballston Spa and Colonie. They are part of an international chain of stores operating in 19 countries. In the U.S., Aldi is on an expansion effort it says will give it 2,000 locations by next year.
• Go here to visit the Capital Region Brew Trail
• Go here to visit Dowd's New York Wines Notebook

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Chain Links

Your connections to the latest news items affecting chains operating in the Greater Capital Region or reported to be looking into locating in the area:

Applebee’s to close up to 135 locations

•  Chili’s to reduce menu items, speed service

Chipotle shuts down Dallas restaurant from rodent video

Chuck E. Cheese’s unveils fresh new design

Taco Bell plans to award $10M in scholarships by 2022 
 

• Go here to visit the Capital Region Brew Trail
• Go here to visit Dowd's New York Wines Notebook

Upstate Riesling tops NY Wine & Food Classic competition

NY Governor's Cup
The Governor's Cup
Buttonwood Grove Winery's 2016 Riesling was awarded the Governor’s Cup, top honor in the annual New York Wine & Food Classic competition, in judging finished Wednesday in Watkins Glen.

Buttonwood Grove, purchased in May 2014 by David and Melissa Pittard from founders Ken and Diane Riemer, is located at 5986 State Route 89 in Romulus. Phone: (607) 869-9760.

CK Cellars/Torrey Ridge Winery of Penn Yan and Sparkling Pointe Vineyards & Winery of Southold, Long Island, tied for “Winery of the Year” honors.

This year, a total of 81 Double Gold, 88 Gold, 454 Silver, and 241 Bronze medals were awarded. (Double Gold medals require unanimity among the judging panel, whereas Gold medals require a majority vote.) This year's competition included 915 New York wines, 27 hard ciders and 16 craft spirits from across state .

The “Best of Category” awards, all of which made winners eligible for the Governor’s Cup, went to:
  • Best Sparkling Wine: Sparkling Pointe Vineyards & Winery 2014 Topaz Imperial, Méthode Champenoise
  • Best White Wine: Buttonwood Grove Winery 2016 Riesling
  • Best Pink Wine: CK Cellars/Torrey Ridge Winery Catawba
  • Best Red Wine: 3 Brothers Wineries & Estates 2016 Zweigelt/Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Best Dessert Wine: Goose Watch Winery Classic Cream Sherry
"Best of Class" awards go to Double Gold or Gold medal wines in classes of at least seven entries. They were:
  • Best Oaked Chardonnay: Osmote Wine 2014 Chardonnay
  • Best Unoaked Chardonnay: Martha Clara Vineyards 2014 Chardonnay
  • Best Gewürztraminer: Dr. Konstantin Frank 2016 Gewürztraminer
  • Best Dry Riesling: Lucas Vineyards 2015 Dry Riesling
  • Best Medium Dry Riesling: Dr. Konstantin Frank 2016 Riesling, Semi-Dry
  • Best Medium Sweet Riesling: Buttonwood Grove Winery 2016 Riesling
  • Best Sweet Riesling: Fox Run Vineyards 2014 Lot 11 Riesling, Lake Dana Vineyard
  • Best Overall Riesling: Buttonwood Grove Winery 2016 Riesling
  • Best Sauvignon Blanc: Paumanok Vineyards 2016 Sauvignon Blanc
  • Best Pinot Grigio: Seneca Shore Cellars Pinot Grigio
  • Best Grüner Veltliner: Dr. Konstantin Frank 2016 Grüner Veltliner
  • Best Other Vinifera White Varietal: Kontokosta Winery 2016 Viognier
  • Best Vinifera White Blend: Bedell Cellars 2016 Taste White
  • Best Traminette: Johnson Estate Winery 2016 Traminette
  • Best Vignoles: Anthony Road Wine Company 2016 Vignoles
  • Best Cold Climate White Varietal: Weis Vineyards 2016 Heart of the Lake
  • Best Hybrid White: 3 Brothers Wineries & Estates Nearly Naked
  • Best Diamond: Thirsty Owl Wine Company 2016 Diamond
  • Best Niagara: Chateau LaFayette Reneau Niagara Mist
  • Best Rosé: Chateau LaFayette Reneau 2016 Pinot Noir Rosé
  • Best Blush: Owera Vineyards Cazenovia Blush
  • Best Catawba: CK Cellars/Torrey Ridge Winery Catawba
  • Best Merlot: Damiani Wine Cellars 2012 Merlot Reserve
  • Best Pinot Noir: Martha Clara Vineyards 2015 Estate Reserve Pinot Noir
  • Best Cabernet Franc: Fjord Vineyards 2015 Cabernet Franc
  • Best Syrah: Clovis Point Vineyard & Winery 2014 Syrah
  • Best Other Red Vinifera Varietal: Thirsty Owl Wine Company 2015 Malbec
  • Best Vinifera Red Blend: 3 Brothers Wineries & Estates 2016 Zweigelt/Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Best Cold Climate Red Varietal: Tug Hill Vineyards 2015 Marquette
  • Best Hybrid Red: Stone Age Winery Reugeon de Chaunac
  • Best Fruit Wine: 21 Brix Winery Raspberry
  • Best Cider: Hazlitt 1852 Vineyard Cider Tree with Citra Hops
  • Best Spirit: Finger Lakes Distilling Seneca Drums Gin
  • Best Port: Hazlitt 1852 Vineyard Light Port
  • Best Late Harvest: Wölffer Estate Vineyard 2014 Diosa Late Harvest
  • Best Ice Wine: Leonard Oakes Estate Winery 2015 Vidal Blanc Ice Wine
  • Best Vinifera Sparkling White: Sparkling Pointe Vineyards & Winery 2012 Blanc de Blanc, Méthode Champenoise
  • Best Vinifera Sparkling Pink: Sparkling Pointe Vineyards & Winery 2014 Topaz Imperial, Méthode Champenoise
  • Best Hybrid Sparkling White: J.R. Dill Winery Cayuga White Rise

• Go here to visit the Capital Region Brew Trail
• Go here to visit Dowd's New York Wines Notebook