There are a couple of new businesses that have opened up just recently and both are worth checking out. The first one is Moby Rick’s located at 173 Lake Ave in Saratoga Springs.
Moby Rick’s is a seafood market offering top-quality fresh seafood. Rick Lofstad Jr., owner of Pura Vida Fisheries has been a regular vendor at The Saratoga Farmers Market for over two years and has decided to open up a retail location. Rick says that they will offer all different kinds of seafood like shrimp, crab or anything else his customer’s request. Don’t expect the market to look fancy though. The main focus for this fish man is the quality and freshness of the seafood. Another business that just opened this past Saturday is Olivia!, located in Clifton Park Center (or as I affectionately refer to it as CCM). Olivia! is a family run business offering an extensive collection of olive oils and balsamic vinegars from around the world.
They import their products from both hemispheres in bulk allowing them to provide customers with fresh extra virgin olive oil all year round. Stop in to sample a variety of their products before deciding on which olive oil will be coming home with you. I plan on swinging around the corner to pick up a loaf of fresh bread from The Meat House and maybe some craft beer to round out my dinner of champions.
Are you looking for something to do this Sunday? The 4thannual Harvest Festival is happening between 12-4 at the Washington Park Lakehouse in Albany.
This festival first started in 2009 as a way of bringing a lot of the amazing local vendors in the Capital District together for one event. There will be over 45 local businesses and bands including Bake for You, Mingle, New World Bistro, All Good Bakers, 3 Chicks and a P, Bro’s Tacos, Creo, and many many more. If you haven’t filled up on all of the incredible food at the Harvest Fest, head up to Saratoga for the Henry St Festival which is also from 12-4 happening on none other then Henry St. This is a fundraising event for Ballson Spa’s Gateway House of Peace. There will be a wine tasting at Scallions, a beer tasting and The Forthlin Road Band and Irish music by The Saratoga Celtic Music Session at The Parting Glass. Several local vendors will be in attendance as well including Eat Good Food, Sunnyside Gardens, Thousand Island Winery, The Chocolate Spoon and Chane’s Deli. There are lots of great local places to check out this week so enjoy your fresh fish sautéed in some EVOO from Olivia! You’re going to want to eat light leading up to Sunday’s food festivities!
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Max London’s has been on my hit list for a while now and I’m mad at myself for waiting as long as I have. It was a beautiful Friday evening in downtown Saratoga, and after some happy hour drinks at Saratoga National, it was time to eat. We only had to wait about 15 minutes for an outdoor table which was great! I’ve been eying their menu and was told that they are known for their Chickpea Polenta Fries and Piggy Back Dates. Since we were being piggy’s and going to Boca Bistro the following night (where I have to have their dates), we went with the polenta fries.
Chickpea Polenta Fries
Wish I had gone with the dates because they were okay at best. Drizzled in a black olive aioli, the fries themselves didn’t have much flavor. The aioli was good but it was sort of like eating a plain fried stick with some salty sauce. Thankfully that was the only disappointment. For our main dish we got the Opah (also known as moonfish) and Smoked Salmon Tartare along with the wood-fired Eggplant pizza. Both of them were excellent! The fish came with capers, shallots, sweet corn, crème fraiche and crostini. It had a wonderful flavor, was nice and light and paired well with the dry rose our waiter had recommended.
Opah and Salmon Tartare
The pizza was very good too and we both loved the thin crust. One thing they could have done to take this pizza over the top would be to add crumbled sausage giving it a salty element which would contrast with the subtle sweetness of the pizza. I’m not saying I didn’t like the pizza, but sausage makes things that much better.
What’s great about Max London’s is that their menu changes daily according to what’s fresh and in season. There are a lot of items that are standbys too so if you are hooked on their dates (like I have heard a couple of people say), don’t worry, they will always be on the menu. An unexpected element of our dining experience was the music. I couldn’t believe the great tunes they had playing from artists like The Pharcyde and Arctic Monkey’s. I felt like I was at a fine dining restaurant with the coolest soundtrack going. Now that I’ve had dinner there, it’s time for brunch. The feedback I’ve gotten from friends who have gone say that it’s excellent. I would definitely start out with the Breakfast Stout Float which is O’Reilly’s Stout and house made vanilla ice-cream. The main dish would be much harder to choose since the selection is incredible but the French toast with cinnamon butter and local maple syrup or the Pulled Pork Ranchero Pizza which has smoked pulled pork, tomato, cherry peppers, Serrano chilies, cilantro, fontina, house made mozz and baked egg (OMG!!!) would be two strong contenders. If you happen to have any room left after “maxing” out, Max London’s is connected to Mrs. London’s who serves some of the best baked goods and desserts around.
Max London’s is located at 466 Broadway in Saratoga Springs. www.maxlondons.com
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