Monday, January 5, 2009

Chez Mike Est Tres Délicieux

Who would guess such a culinary gem would be buried in an East Greenbush shopping plaza? Not me - luckily I found my way to this great new restaurant via my parents - the big guns of local culinary expertise..

After several visits to Chez Mike I have found consistently good and inventive "American" food. Case in point is that most dishes are “slow-cooked” and not merely topped with fancy sauces. Local produce is used and menus are seasonal – Chef Mike Cohen is clearly on top of things.

A summertime visit brought me to the homemade gazpacho topped with rich blue crab meat – this satisfying and flavorful soup was an entrée all on it’s own.

An attempt to eat “healthier” the day after Thanksgiving led me to try the Rice Noodle & Tofu Bowl – a wonderful dish of vegetables in sesame-soy broth with tofu and rice noodles. I had to ferociously fend off my dining companions – some of whom are hard-core carnivores – from stealing my dinner. It’s a good thing that when it comes to food, I am clearly stronger than I appear. The dish seems to be a staple on the menu that does seem to feature regular changes – and thank goodness – it truly was a fulfilling experience for the senses – perfectly balanced – light and healthy yet completely comforting.

Dining companions have sampled everything from the burgers – huge and meaty, to the short ribs – rich and saucy, to the brick pressed roast chicken - moist and homey. And fear not, desserts have not been neglected – there is a chocolate cake on the menu that is well worth trying – although I advise you have people to share it with – it is very rich and chocolatey - just like it should be .

The wine list is also very nice – if I were more of a wine expert I could expound here – I will say I have tried several reds, a cab, a pinot noir and a merlot – all were yummy.

In this age of fast food and chain restaurants it’s so nice to have this choice of fine dining prepared by knowledgeable and caring people – I encourage you to visit and support this noble (and scrumptious) cause for yourself…

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