Spy In The Kitchen

CoQ au vin

Coq au vin was amongst the first dishes that Chef Cipolla was formally taught at the French Culinary Institute (now the International Culinary Center) 15 years ago.  It was also Julia Childs’s featured dish in her groundbreaking 1961 cookbook “Mastering the Art of French Cooking.” Classic dishes like Coq au vin reflect a time where a

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A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Chef had a much needed vacation.  While he was trying to relax and dream up the midsummer menu, your Spy was of course peppering him with a hundred questions.  All I got back was “Yes Montreal! I had 200g of Pâté for breakfast.”  That’s it.  For a entire week.   Fortunately, Chef is back now and the

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Beef Wellington

I had never had Beef Wellington before.  Not only was it never on a menu…like anywhere…but in my mind, Beef Wellington was in the same category as other strange food I might be served as a kid at my great Aunt’s house….like tuna with diced olives in a green Jell-O mold.  Based on past intelligence, I assumed

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Patience and the Multi-Course

A multi-course prix fix meal is relatively rare in Upstate NY so it’s not unusual for first time diners to have misconceptions about what to expect.  I’m going to address a couple in this post; namely “How much food are we talking about? and “How long will service take?”  Let me first say that your

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Keeping it Regional

I wanted to recognize a few of our wonderful purveyors.  It’s simple, if you want the very best tasting food a good place to start is high quality ingredients and we are honored to have some of the best regional purveyors available.  I have previously mentioned the renowned Brown Trading Company (https://www.brownetrading.com/) from ME is

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Wine Pairing — Thinking about Spring

Our Sommelier, Hannah, has composed a beautiful wine pairing for our early spring menu.  I wanted to get into her head and try to appreciate the thought process behind a pairing like the flavor profiles she’s keying off of and how she finds options that typically enhance our diner’s appreciation for wine.  Here’s what she said: “When

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Parlez-vous français?

While French cooking techniques and sauces are classic and time-tested, it can be a bit intimidating if you didn’t do so well (like me) in HS French or didn’t graduate from the French Culinary Institute (now the International Culinary Center) like Chef Cipolla.  For the current menu, Sous-vide and Béchamel are worth knowing. Sous-vide (translation

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What’s a Diver Scallop?

Our Diver Scallops come to us on-demand and ultra fresh from Maine via the famous Browne Trading Company.  They are big (equivalent to a U10) and a true “diver” scallops in that they are hand harvested by divers vs. net dragged.  According to Browne Trading Company, less that 1% of all scallops are really hand

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Pavlova & the Ballerina

I’m on a roll and also feeling like something sweet which brings me to Pavlova.  While our Chocolates always come with surprises from our talented pastry chef Lizzy our final dessert, Pavlova, may be a complete mystery to you.  Pavlova (the dessert) is believed to have been created in New Zealand in honor of the Russian ballerina

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First Blog — Opah!

We have a passion for food and for educating our diners.  Anyone that has dined with us before knows that Chef Cipolla expertly describes the ingredients that comprise each dish and typically shares some story behind the dish’s creation.  However, there is never enough time to go deeper and share more interesting facts about what

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