Burgundy Dinner with the Chevaliers du Tastevin
Salt & Char Restaurant, Saratoga Springs, NY, 11/13/2016

The Albany-Capital Region chapter of La Confrérie des Chevaliers du Tastevin held a dinner at Salt & Char Restaurant, 353 Broadway, Saratoga Springs, NY. I was an invited guest.

I sat next to Terry Robards. His wife Julie Pelletier Robards, my friend Larry Snavley, and another couple from Lake Placid, Duncan & Delphine Winter, were at our table. We all had a grand time. One particular highlight for me was when Terry told me about his visits with Bruno Giacosa in the 1970s.

The restaurant is located in the former Rip Van Dam Hotel. It is part of a major renovation of the old hotel along with adjacent properties. Renowned chef Gray Kunz is one of the partners in Salt & Char. The General Manager is Christophe Chatron-Michaud and the Executive Chef is Braden Reardon. We were not in the main restaurant, but in a private room on the 2nd floor. More information about Salt & Char can be found in this article in Eater.

Click on any image with a border for a larger view of that image.

Front view of the Rip Van Dam Hotel (center) and the Adelphi Hotel (right).
While the main restaurant of Salt & Char is in the old Rip Van Dam Hotel (center), I believe we were in the room that takes up most of the second floor above the Starbucks on the left. All three buildings are connected in the back and part of a major renovation of both hotels by the Adelphi Hospitality Group.

An old photo of the same two hotels. (Saratoga Springs History Museum)
These two are the only hotels remaining from the golden age of Saratoga.
These were actually two of the smallest from that period.
The Grand Union Hotel just on the other side of Washington Street
was at one time, the largest hotel in the world.

The Reception
With Les Hors d’Oeuvres Variés.

Grand Sénéchal Joel Hodes encourages everyone to sit down to dinner.

The dinner wines are ready to go:

The Dinner

Delphine & Duncan Winter, and Julie Pelletier Robards:

Terry Robards & Delphine Winter. Larry Snavley.

White Burgundy
Crab Cake, Dijonnaise, Mustard Greens and Locally-Grown Radishes.

Duncan Winter takes a photo of Julie Pelletier Robards with Salt & Char Wine Director Daniel Combs:

Red Burgundy 1
Braised Pork Belly, Maitake mushrooms, Sherry Jus. Delicious, but overpowered the wine.

Red Burgundy 2
Coq au Vin, Roasted Root Vegetables. This was so delicious and perfect with the red wines.

Margie & Larry Kirsch, Amanda & Jared Shulman:
Kira & Joel Spiro, Joel Hodes, Ilona Weisman.

Red Burgundy 3
Prime Ribeye Steak, Duck Fat Fingerling Potatoes, Sauce Bordelaise.

Joel Hodes leads the silly dance:

Mini Apple Tatin, Local Milk Ice Cream.

The restaurant staff comes out to receive our thanks and applause:

Joel Hodes presents a memento to Special Events Director Patrick Kelly (left) and Chef Braden Reardon (right):

This dinner was organized by John Fritze and Jared Shulman. They graciously provided the Madeira.
Unfortunately, John was unable to join us for the dinner, so it was left to Jared to give a toast:

Jared chats with Chef Braden Reardon and Toby Milde (one of the owners) after the dinner:


A lovely evening all around. The food, the wines, and the company were very, very good.

Notes posted from CellarTracker.




All original content © Ken Vastola