A couple of weeks ago, we decided to have dinner at Tala Bistro in Latham. It’s a restaurant in the Mazzone Hospitality group, and we tend to have average to very good experiences at their restaurants, so we figured it was worth a shot.
Inside, the restaurant is dark and has a kind of trendy feel. There aren’t very many tables inside, and it kind of feels like the tables might be a little close if there were going to be a lot of people there. We were having an early dinner that night, so it didn’t become an issue.
While we decided on what to eat, they brought us a basket of fresh baked bread with a garlicky butter topping and grisini (my favorite breadsticks) with course sea salt.
That night, I went with my standard salad-entree approach.
All four of the salads sounded great to me that night, but the fattiness in the description of the Tala Wedge (Baby Iceberg, Creamy Gorgonzola Dressing, Applewood Smoked Bacon, Chopped Red Onion, Diced Tomato, Gorgonzola Crumbles – $12) was too much to resist that night.
Wedge salads are really hit or miss. In this case, aside from a slightly high price tag, it was a big hit. The decently sized wedge of iceberg lettuce formed the base of the salad, and the flavors were layered atop this. The peppered applewood bacon and tomato created a throwback to the classic BLT combination. The fairly mild gorgonzola cheese paired with the bacon to be reminiscent of the “black and blue” combo. The raw red onion added a very subtle sharpness to tie everything together, and the luxurious and creamy blue cheese dressing was applied in a slightly uneven way to make this an interactive eating experience. I don’t mind paying a little extra when a wedge salad is this good.
For dinner, I went for the burger (Angus Burger, Ground Brisket and Short Rib, Lettuce, Tomato, Onion, Caramelized Onion Cheddar, Shoestring Fries, House Made Ketchup, Challah Bun – $15). I’ve seen them talk up the burger on social media, so it’s been something I’ve really been meaning to try.
The waitress gave me the option of sweet potato fries, which I went for. I ordered the burger medium rare, and it came out medium, but the mix of brisket and short rib maintained a very juicy and enjoyable burger. They didn’t give much info on the size of the burger, but I’d guess the precooked weight is between 6 and 8 ounces based on the size.
The overall presentation was very cute. The fries were presented in a mini fryer basket, and the burger was skewered with a miniature onion and cherry tomato. I don’t generally use a lot of ketchup, especially atop my burgers, but theirs was interesting enough to apply to the burger, and I did dip my sweet potato fries in it as well. The cucumber slices were given a very quick pickle and didn’t have enough time to make the transformation from cucumber to pickle. The bun was pretty great. They clearly brushed it with a little melted butter before assembly, and that just helped to put the experience over the top. I didn’t sense much onion despite it being a component on the burger and in the cheese; that’s fine though because it didn’t really need it.
For a burger in the $13-$17 price point, this one was a very good one.
And then dessert happened.
Most of the options seemed like perfectly fine meal toppers, but there was one that was so enticing that I had to have it.
Reese’s Peezza (flat bread shell topped with chocolate ganache, peanut butter cups, reeses crumbs, peanut butter gelato – $10).
The only nitpicky thing I have to say about this is that they got a little carried away with the powdered sugar on top, but, let me tell you, this is one of the more interesting and innovative desserts I’ve had in the Colonie/Latham area.
This was presented on a little pedestal that lifted it from the table and was at eye level. It’s pretty much a wood-fired pizza with crushed Reeses Pieces and chocolate sauce on top, and it’s addictive! The Reeses Pieces are piping hot and slightly melty and bonds with the dark chocolate ganache. The scoop of peanut butter gelato on top tasted very familiar and almost wasn’t even necessary to make this great.
Our experience at Tala was relatively good, and we’ll definitely be back. Maybe next time for brunch…