Work is the meat of life, pleasure the dessert.
You may remember the horrific fire on Thanksgiving in Saratoga that forced many Putnam St. restaurants to close. Since December, The Century House (997 New Loudon Rd/Rt 9, Latham) has welcomed staff from two of the restaurants involved in the fire (Chad Posey from Mio Posto & Colin Murphy from Hamlet and Ghost). Though Hamlet & Ghost has reopened with a limited menu while construction is still being done on their kitchen, the same can not be said for Mio Posto. Chef Dan Urschel, owner and executive chef is planning on reopening in another location, with hopes of keeping the restaurant in Saratoga. For the time being though, you can find Chef Urschel at The Century House until sometime in late March. The Century House’s menu will be modified by featuring a “Mio Posto Special of the Day” as well as featuring private chef table dinners available through reservation.
To start, my boyfriend and I ordered the Pacific Nachos (Ahi Tuna, Crisp Wontons, Wakame, Sweet Shoyru/ $15.95). He’s not a huge fan of seafood but tuna nachos are one of my favorite meals on this planet so he’s obliged. I loved the presentation. When I make nachos, I throw down chips and then dump stuff on top but end up with some chips not very covered. Each of these chips had something on it, each bite was complete and delicious. My boyfriend, as I mentioned before, doesn’t like seafood and loved these nachos. I had to fight him at some point to get some!
The rest of my meal I ordered from the mio posto specials section. I couldn’t decide between the Braised Berkshire Cherry Pepper Pork Cheeks (Soft polenta, caponata, rosemary agradolce/ $14) or the Beef Short Ribs Brasato (Broccoli rabe, white beans, roasted tomato jus, chianti syrup/ $30). Since the pork cheeks were an appetizer and Chef was aware of my indecision, he was kind enough to make us each a plate to taste- I’m so happy he did!
Out of all the meats, pork isn’t usually my favorite but this, this was different. The pork was so tender, almost to the point where it melted in my mouth & I didn’t need a knife. All of the flavors of the caponata were like an explosion. First, I tasted the eggplant and then I got the olive and then the capers; they paired so well with everything else on the plate. My favorite was probably the polenta, it was like butter. My boyfriend (who hates tomatoes) couldn’t get enough, it was incredible. That is a not to miss appetizer, don’t think, just order it.
For dinner, I decided on the short ribs. For the meal itself, I really enjoyed the flavors, it was delicious. Again, incredibly tender, mouth-watering. I was given a heavier knife but I didn’t even pick it up. As for what it was paired with, it was alright. Personally, I’m not a huge fan of broccoli rabe which I tend to forget until I eat it so it kind of threw off my dish when I paired them. I honestly wish I had ordered more polenta, I think I would have enjoyed that more.
For dessert, we went for the Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta (with Amarena Cherries, Caramel Glaze/$9). Though I was pretty full by this point, I couldn’t leave without being able to give you the full experience, of course. I think it’s safe to say that this Panna Cotta was the best I’ve ever had. The cherries were amazing, the consistency was beautiful and we did our best to make it last as long as possible. We were also given the option of pairing the cherries with Dutch blue cheese which was surprisingly delicious. No matter where Chef Dan and mio posto end up, I will follow (especially to have that Panna Cotta again). Overall, we had a great meal, the service was impeccable (helping with my food decisions) and Chef seemed very hopeful in the future of his restaurant and had a few places in mind he was looking at. Hopefully we’ll be able to see mio posto reopened sooner rather than later. Until then, go to The Century House and order some of Chef’s specials!
NOTE: Though I was not paid for my review, my meal was comped by the restaurant in order to give me the opportunity to write about them.
[Quote By: B. C. Forbes]