Saturday, December 12, 2015

Today's ride on the Capital Region Foodie-Go-Round


• Among the projects to be funded by the state's Upstate Revitalization Initiative grants announced this week are a pair of food-related ones in Columbia County. The Hudson Valley Creamery in Livingston, a goat cheese processer, will receive $500,000 to expand its operations by converting vacant space to receive fresh milk, purchase new machinery and equipment to enhance waste byproduct treatment, increase goat cheese processing and add new jobs. Although much smaller, a $75,000 grant to the county to conduct a feasibility study on the construction of a goat genetic research center and establishment of a goat herd sounds more interesting. According to Ken Flood, county commissioner of planning and economic development, goat cheese is the fastest-growing portion of the North American cheese market. The study would map the genetics of specific goats, similar to the way such mapping is done with dairy cows. Such a project will be the first in the Northern Hemisphere, Flood told the Hudson Register-Star, noting this "would be a national genetic center, but our first priority would be developing whatever farmers need in New York State." Genetic matter such as embryos would be sold to farmers. "It’s like breeding thoroughbreds (but) for the production of milk."


• The last day of service for the Midtown Tap & Tea Room, located at 289 New Scotland Avenue at Ontario in Albany, is set for Tuesday, December 22. Phone: 435-0202 for reservartions. The restaurant was founded in 2007 by Nancy Kupiec. But, don't fret. The venue will not stay dark for long. See the next item.


• Chef Mike Niccoli will open the Mediterranean-style Restaurant Navona on New Year's Eve in what has been home to the Midtown Tap & Tea Room since 2007. Niccoli, who headed the kitchen at The Century House in Latham for seven years, named the new venture after a spot in Rome he visited with his wife, Kim Baker, with whom he'll operate the restaurant. She also had been at The Century House, as general manager. Dominique Brialy, late of The Epicurean Bistro & Wine Bar, now is executive chef there. The couple also plans to conduct cooking classes at the new enterprise, according to the Times Union's Table Hopping blog. Projected hours: 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday, 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. Friday, 4 to 10 p.m. Saturday, closed Sunday and Monday. Phone: 435-0202.

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