Sunday, June 28, 2009

I Said it Before, And I'll Say it Again

If you live in the Capital Region, and you own a car - you need to get to the Mountain View Brasserie - no excuses..
Possibly one of the best restaurants in the Northeast is a mere 45 minute ride from Albany - and if you take Route 32 South - bonus! - it's a beautiful ride to boot - you'll meander through gorgeous countryside of southern Albany county and northern Greene County. There are rolling hills, breath-taking views of the Catskill mountains, and farm animals galore. What more could a traveling gourmet ask for but to see a glimpse of what they may well be eating before they even reach their dining destination?

I'll keep this review short, as I did review it in length last year - and I am happy to report that the high standards have not been compromised in the least. Chef Max offers up an inventive but never pretentious menu of seasonal gems like this afternoon's tomato and watermelon gazpacho which I thoroughly enjoyed before my summer meal.
This soup was an amazingly refreshing blend of both sweet and slightly spicy - it was so good, that my companions and I were literally licking our bowls when the waitress came back to clear the table... slightly embarrassing perhaps - but hey - it's probably not the first time she's witnessed such appreciation of something so simple, so perfectly executed.

Onto the main course - what to choose? It all looks good, from options that included roasted shrimp and vegetable risotto, to pork roast with peach and onion marmalade, to salmon with orange and olive butter.. But I finally decide on a lighter dish, given the warm weather, and my goal of losing 5 pounds in the next 2 weeks (ha, wish me luck!). So I choose the broiled scallops over spinach with a warm bacon sherry vinaigrette. I was not disappointed.

The large scallops were perfectly cooked, tender and sweet and not over-seasoned. The warm vinaigrette was a pure pleasure - I would of dipped my fingers in it if it wasn't considered "uncouth".. The main dish was served with a potato gratin on the side that was nicely crisped and browned - very yummy.. And to drink we shared a bottle of chilled rose called Three Saints - lovely, crisp, dry and not sweet at all... and most importantly, a perfect companion to everyone's dinner.

So I was good - I ate about 2/3 of my dinner and brought the rest home - so that I could sample dessert.. I had to.. but I was good - I split it 3 ways, managing the calories while still getting to enjoy a treat that was as expertly made as the rest of the meal - dark chocolate and grand marnier mousse with homemade whipped cream and orange sections. Yet again my dining companions and I found ourselves licking the plate.. hey - it was dark chocolate mousse - you try to restrain yourself..

So as I end this post by saying this is the best, most consistently excellent restaurant in the area - you owe yourself a trip and the chance to discover how hard it really is not to lick your own plate... I dare you..

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