Last night, m’lady and I caught a delicious meal at the Wine Bar in Saratoga. This was the third time we have sat down to eat there since chef John Ireland took over the food helm at this lovely downtown staple. Chef Ireland’s menus have always been inventive and this latest creation features the uber-seasonal ramps in a few different settings.
It was quite a treat to find ramps incorporated in the menu since we’d bought and cooked with a few bundles recently from the Schenectady GreenMarket. I literally jumped on the “Chicken” which was accompanied by a ramp waffle (!), mushroom and ramp salad and maple on the plate. The chicken was light meat wrapped around dark meat, cooked sous-vide and then finished in the pan. The ramp waffle was a small, literal 4 square waffle with ramps mixed in to the batter. This dish was a perfect showcase for every ingredient. Each element was seasoned excellently, cooked optimally, and presented gorgeously. Highly recommended!
As a main course I chose the half-portion of the “Carrot Gnocchi” which came with some delicious smoked duck, pickled ramps, and a thick, creamy parmesan situation below the above goodness. The large round bowl just emanated a smoky, robust flavor. Each bite was well-balanced and complimentary to the rest of the plate. I found myself dredging the bottom with each chewy morsel of the gnocchi, trying to sop up the parm cream. It was that good.
My dining partner enjoyed the “Beet” first course, which had some interesting “beet marshmallows” added to the plate, along with the “Black Cod” plate – whose edamame puree was snappy in color and in taste.
We both finished the night with the standard “Wine Bar Chocolate Cake” which comes complete with salted caramel ice cream. Just perfect.
( note: Wine Bar Saratoga has been offering a Wednesday night $4 small plate bar menu. For those looking to try out what the place is all about, this is a nice introduction. I caught a peek at the bar menu and saw “RAMP PESTO” included with the vegetable tart… sounds right to me! )