The last meal I had in 2011 was a prix fixe dinner at New World Bistro (300 Delaware Avenue Albany, NY 12209). Of all of the special New Years Eve menus in the area, this one seemed the most interesting to us. (Even though I’ve eaten there before and wasn’t totally impressed.)
We had our reservation for 7PM on 12/31, and arrived promptly and were seated immediately.
Since the kitchen asked the server to take our complete order for the full service, it took us at least 20 minutes to navigate through and choose our items.
From the starters, I chose the New World B. L. T., rabbit bacon, bibb lettuce, dried tomato confit, gorgonzola ranch dressing, polenta croutons.
This dish was a great starter. It wasn’t perfect; the polenta croutons were cold and retained a good amount of grease, the drizzle of finishing oil at the end managed to push away the tasty dressing at times. However, the rabbit bacon and tomato confit were so flavorful and were texturally complex.
The drink I ordered arrived just after the starter.
The second course I chose was the Lucky 12 Grape Risotto with rosemary, pecans, and house made marscapone.
This was a huge flop. Everything was there for this dish to be a home run, but the execution fell short. The rice was overcooked and tight (which shouldn’t have happened because marscapone was added), and the dish lacked basic seasoning (salt) and was bland. The saving grace were the grapes, which added complexity to the flavor profile. Had the dish been seasoned and served appropriately, this would have been great.
I also had a bit of foresight to order the Hoppin John Fritters.
The main course I chose was the butter basted Wagyu Fliet Mignon (10 oz), with blueberry-ox tail marmalade, celeriac mashers, and haricot vert.
When I order something like this, I always ask how the kitchen is preparing it by default. The server told me medium-rare to medium, so I specified medium-rare. Mine was cooked rare, which I was ok with because it was such a tender piece of meat. The marmalade was awesome and worked perfect with the steak. The celeriac mashers were strong in flavor, and were a weak point in the dish for me, along with the overcooked haricot vert on my plate. But put a 10 oz piece of filet in front of me, and I’ll be a happy, happy man. And I was.
For dessert, I had the Chocolate Oblivion Souffle Roll (with wild blueberry mole sauce and mango coulis).
I don’t think mine was supposed to be garnished with cinnamon, but it didn’t kill it. It tasted very nice.
I enjoyed the prix fixe menu at New World. Our server was awesome, and helped make the night very enjoyable for us. The service from seating (including our 20 minutes futzing through the menu) to walking out was only 100 minutes, which is quite short for this style of dining, but, given the fact that they were trying to turn tables around at least once before midnight, it’s understandable.