Burgundy Dinner with the Chevaliers du Tastevin
R&R Kitchen and Bar, Saratoga Springs, NY, 4/7/2018

The Albany-Capital Region chapter of La Confrérie des Chevaliers du Tastevin held a dinner at R&R Kitchen and Bar, 43 Phila Street, Saratoga Springs, NY.

The hosts for this dinner were Larry Snavley and George Weissman. I sat with Jared & Amanda Shulman and their guest, Chris Riley, Paul & Erline Provost, and Robert & Rebecca Thomas.

The wines were from the chapter's cellar. None of the wines were decanted, but they were opened for some time before serving. See each wine note for details.

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

The Venue

R&R Kitchen and Bar occupies hallowed ground at 43 Phila Street in Saratoga Springs.
This was the site of Phila Bistro, which was a superb restaurant for many years.
Based on this dinner, owner Ronnie Farber, executive chef Brian Bowden, and
their team are carrying on that tradition of excellence.

The first floor of the R&R Kitchen and Bar is a long bar and table seating. Generally, the first floor is more casual dining, while the second floor is for more formal dining and private events like ours.

Here are some photos of the upstairs room. The first is mine,
the others are from the Saratoga Convention Bureau.

Before Dinner


The cute menu cover, the menu, and the list of wines:

First Course
King Crab & East Coast Oyster with Yuzu and Salmon Roe in Broth of Orange Blossom,
Cucumber, Finger Lime. This was a beautiful presentation and a delicious way to start
the meal. I think it would have gone better with the Rully than with the Dauvissat.
The glass bowl threw off the autofocus in my camera. Fortunately,
Amanda Shulman took the close-up on the right with her phone.
Second Course
Cod with Chanterelles, English Peas, Poached Egg Sous Vide, Chive Hollandaise,
Caviar, Fingerling Chip. This was so delicious and a perfect match to the Dauvissat.
We were forewarned to keep some of the Dauvissat for this course, and I'm quite glad
we were. The Dauvissat with this cod dish was a match made in culinary heaven.
The Pommard below did not clash with this dish, but it didn't enhance it either.
Third Course
Veal Loin & Tempura Sweetbread with Soubise, Black Trumpet Mushroom, Pickled Shallot,
Cauliflower and Spinach. This was terrific. I wasn't paying attention and bit into the
sweetbread thinking it was cauliflower. What a taste sensation! Crunchy, rich, and very tasty.

Joel Retires

This was a special dinner because it was the last event of Joel Hodes's five year term as Grand Sénéchal of the Albany chapter.

Three of the previous Grand Sénéchals, George Weissman, Joel Spiro,
and Larry Snavley stand to praise and thank Joel for all his hard work.

Joel says, "What me worry?"

This was a good opportunity for me to take some photos of the other tables.

My table: Jared & Amanda Shulman, Bob & Rebecca Thomas, Paul & Erline Provost, Chris Riley.

We do the La-La song to honor Joel:

Joel gives a moving speech thanking everyone for their support,
especially the previous Grand Sénéchals and his wife Lisa:

Fourth Course
Moulard Duck Breast with Pink Peppercorn, Pickled Strawberry, Dukkah, Foie Gras Sabayon,
and Barley. This was tasty and interesting. The pink peppercorn crust on the duck and
the dukkah sprinkled on the slice were both strong and unusual flavors.

Sweet Potato Cake, Sweet Potato Crème Anglaise, Curry Puffed Rice.

A shy guy stops by to chat with Paul & Erline:

Joel asks the staff to come out and take a bow:

Joel gives Executive Chef Brian Bowden a memento of our visit which includes the menu for
the evening. He then looks for a spot on the wall where they might hang it.

Owner Ronnie Farber arrives just in time, but then defers to Brian Bowden

And now we do the La La song:


Another excellent evening of friends, food, and wine. The food at R&R is terrific.

Notes posted from CellarTracker.




All original content © Ken Vastola