Tuesday, November 3, 2015

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



DEVELOPING

Blaze Fast-Fire'd Pizza on Monday announced it will open a second Upstate New York location, this one in January at the Stuyvesant Plaza on Western Avenue in Guilderland. The chain made its Upstate debut in September in the Mohawk Commons Shopping Center, 400 Balltown Road, Niskayuna. The new 3,400-square-foot interior will seat 120. The Blaze concept features artisanal pizzas, freshly made salads, blood orange lemonade and s'more pies. Each restaurant features an interactive open-kitchen format that allows guests to customize one of the menu's signature pizzas or create their own, choosing from a wide selection of ingredients -- all for around $8 for an 11-inch pizza cooked in an oven  hot enough to do the job in about 180 seconds. Each restaurant makes its own dough from scratch. Blaze Pizza currently operates 93 restaurants in 23 states and Canada.

• Another Smashburger is in development in Nisayuna, at the ShopRite Plaza located at at 2309 Nott Street. No specific date has been announced, although the company webpage says it will open "soon." It will be the chain's third Capital Region venue. The first opened in August 2014 on Wolf Road in Colonie, and the second opened last  winter at 46 Marion Avenue in Saratoga Springs.

OPENING

• A Buffalo Wild Wings franchise, so beloved of college students and others in that general demographic, is scheduled to open on Monday, November 16, in Oneonta's Southside neighborhood. The small Otsego County city is home to two colleges -- SUNY Oneonta and Hartwick College. Tom Howard, owner of Tom Howard Construction Inc., told AllOtsego.com, “We took over the job from another contractor and will be able to deliver it on time. The parking lot was done today [Monday], [and] the inside is done.” The restaurant, under the supervision of general manager Bill Rohde, is located near the intersection of the Les Foster Highway and Route 23, off I-88 Exit 15. “We think it’s a great location,” Rohde said.

CLOSING

Maestro’s at the Van Dam in Saratoga Springs will close after dinner service on Saturday, November 14. That is according to an announcement from the owners via e-mail. The restaurant is embroiled in a legal battle with former co-owner Tina Kruger and former executive chef John LaPosta, who have been arrested and charged with theft involving operations at the restaurant. Kruger and LaPosta currently are running their just-opened Innovo Kitchen in Latham. Maestro's will be succeeded in December by a steakhouse called Salt and Char, according to one report, purportedly to be operated by the owners of the under-renovation Adelphi Hotel next door.

PROMOTING

• The 11th annual Saratoga County Winter Restaurant Week dates were announced Monday. The promotional event will run from Friday, December 4, through Thursday, December 10. Participating restaurants will offer fixed price, three-course meals priced at $10, $20, and $30, although a few will offer lunch specials for just $5 or $10. Closer to the event, participating restaurants wi;l be listed online.

CELEBRATING

• The Italian American Community Center Foundation will combine two of Italy's most revered things -- pasta and opera --in a Friday, November 6, event called "Pasta & Pavarotti." The venue is the Italian-American Community, 257 Washington Avenue Extension, Albany, from 6 to 10 p.m. It will pair a 10-station pasta buffet with arias from the classic opera "The Marriage of Figaro," plus an after-dinner ensemble performance. Reservations are $55 for members, $65 for other, and may be made online or by calling 456-4222.

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