Beekman Street Bistro – Saratoga Springs, NY
If you pay attention closely to the map, you’ll know Saratoga has been a mixed bag of experiences for me. It’s tough to keep up with everything that’s opening up and what’s around. I have a running list of places I want to check out. Beekman Street Bistro was recommended by a coworker, and an opportunity to eat there surfaced while I was up in Saratoga doing some volunteering.
Beekman Street Bistro is located at 62 Beekman Street, just a little west of the Broadway drag of downtown. It’s sort of inconspicuous, and the signage is easy to miss if you’re not closely looking for it.
The menu constantly evolves. I had browsed the menu online at home and come up with a tentative plan (as I always try to do), and the menu they handed me in the restaurant was different. They handed Cassie a menu which was different yet, so we had to call the server over to figure out what was going on. Cassie’s was the anomaly, so they replaced it, and we were on our way.
Some bread was delivered to the table along with a dish of mixed olives and olive oil for dipping. The bread was a little tough, and the crust was a little chewy, but it had a nice flavor, especially with the oil. The olives were pretty good. Seeing that there was an appetizer that was bread and olives for $3, I was almost certain they were going to charge us for agreeing to let them bring bread; they didn’t.
The restaurant isn’t very big. We were seated somewhat in the center of a half-booth-half-table section that’s along the right wall. A table of five was seated right next to us, and if you’ve ever wondered how a table of five at a half-booth-half-table, either the odd person squeezes into the booth with two others, or they put a chair on the end of the table. The odd person was positioned perpendicular to our table, and, boy, was she odd. She was wearing gallons of perfume and insisted on flipping her hair constantly. I did everything I could to block out this odor, but it was a little difficult with the airflow in the place.
I started with the crostone of field greens topped with a poached egg, parmesan, and extra virgin olive oil ($10).
It was a fun dish. As far as ingredients, it was simple. Just an egg and some toast over greens with parmesan shredded on top. My expectations for the toast were a little high, because I take the term “crostone” to mean large (In Italian, -one as a suffix means big, -ini means small.). The egg was poached nicely, and as the yolk ran over and melted the cheese, it created a silky texture that lightly dressed the greens. The toast was made with the same bread that was served with the olives and served its purpose to sop up whatever was left over. The chives on top of the egg threw some fresh herb flavor into the mix, but it took the balance a little off kilter.
I seldom order a pasta dish, but house made ravioli of hand dipped ricotta ($13) sounded really good to me that night.
Again, the beauty of this dish was the simplicity, but I don’t think it worked as well as the appetizer. The ravioli were slightly overcooked and under seasoned, and the filling was very loose. The mixture of olive oil, parmesan, and chives wasn’t perfect with the ravioli; I think butter would have worked a little better with chives, but the dish was alright overall. The portion was a bit scant, but hand made pasta takes a lot of time, and time is money.
The simplicity of the dinner courses was in line with the rest of the menu.
I ordered the apple cider glazed grilled spring chicken over roasted baby turnips ($19). It sounded just as good as anything else and was moderately priced.
The dish was very good. The chicken was cooked perfectly and was remarkably tender, something only achievable with a good, free-range bird. It was nicely glazed with the slightly sweet apple cider reduction. The seasoning was balanced, although I was looking for a sour element to cut through the sweetness just a little. The roasted turnips had a bit of an odd texture and were a bit shriveled, but they had a very intense flavor; they were fresh, that’s for sure.
It was getting late, and we were tired, so we skipped dessert.
It wasn’t a particularly substantial dinner for the price (A little over $100 including tip for the two of us). The food was decent; I admire the simplicity that they’re going for, even though there’s some room for augmentation. Also, it’s always nice to see a place dedicated to serving a constantly evolving menu.