Thursday, February 11, 2016

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


• 1018 Keyes Avenue in Schenectady, home to the City Squire tavern until it closed in September 2014, is showing signs of coming back to life. Marv Cermak, the Times Union columnist, reports that the L.T. Grill has inquired about moving from its St. James Plaza location in Niskayuna. He says building owner Rod Riehl confirmed the report, but said no deal has yet been made. Riehl said there also are two other business owners who are interested in leasing the space. Cermak quotes John Keller, a partner in Katie O’Byrnes Restaurant, as saying he has some interest, "but the tavern interior is in rough shape and needs a lot of work.” Cermak, a walking history book after covering the Schenectady area for more than 60 years, notes that "the location started out as the Keyes Avenue Tavern nearly a century ago. In the ’50s, the Charlie Hogan family established the City Squire, transforming the neighborhood hangout to an upscale haunt for politicians and other movers and shakers. For a long time, it was the only active bar business in the Upper Union Street neighborhood."


• The Berkshires are getting a new restaurant. An Italian-American spot named Grazie is scheduled to open at 4 p.m. this Friday at 26 Marshall Street in North Adams, MA. It's a venture from business partners David Moresi and Matt Tatro. Moresi is the man who just finished restoring his grandfather's old tavern, The Mohawk, several months ago. They had planned to open Grazie late last year, but other projects by Moresi's construction company delayed that plan. Grazie's appearance is on the old-fashioned side, with white tablecloths, vintage menus, and Italian scenes purchased on eBay mixed with contemporary scenes of old Italy on loan from the artist and photographer Kelly Lee. It also has a deep-counter bar to encourage eating there, and the lounge has a curved banquette and deep red wallpaper that are a backdrop to vintage photos of Moresi's ancestors. Reservations only for the first two weeks of operation. Phone: 413-664-0044.


• Fifteen different Vermont wineries have signed up to participate in the 5th annual  "Vermont Wine & Chocolate Weekend" this Saturday and Sunday around the state. The wineries will feature tastings of their own wines paired with a chocolate confection or sweet. Some have partnered with local chocolatiers to offer completely homegrown pairings. Go to the Vermont Grape & Wine Council website for a list of participating wineries and directions.

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