Saratoga Snippets

Saratoga Snippets
63 Spring towers over Break Basket
Dan De Federicis

October 13 2012

Here we go with this week’s Saratoga snippets:

* I stopped through the Fasig-Tipton Auctions earlier this week, and it was very different from the summer yearling sales.  If the Fasig-Tipton August Saratoga Sales are very upper crust, and they are, this sale had a decidedly blue-collar feel.   I’ve never seen more pregnant females, of any mammal type, in my life.  Many, and I mean several dozen, horses did not even make the minimum bid and did not sell, which was disconcerting.  Many that did sell went for less than $5,000.  Despite the rosy proclamations about the supposed success of the sale, I had a friend who is a bit of a horse racing insider tell me it wasn’t well received and perhaps won’t be back next year.  On the other hand, it was the first time Fasig-Tipton did a fall sale here in decades, so let’s hope the company decision makers will be patient and give it a few years to build.

* I saw in the Saratogian that a couple of the condos at 54 Phila Street finally sold.  That is certainly good news.  54 Phila is the somewhat new building at the corner of Phila and Henry Streets where Phila Fusion and a few other businesses are and the condos on the upper floors have been mostly empty for a few years now.

* Staying in that general vicinity, that new building going up on Spring Street, being built by numismatist (one who studies or collects currency) Anthony Swiatek, looks like it’s getting near its completion.  It sure does sort of hulk over the Bread Basket next door, which for years enjoyed the large, green, open-space lot directly to its west.  Oh well, we choose to live in a city and that’s what cities are about – homes and businesses in close proximity.

* That cheese room at Putnam Street Market sure has a strong – perhaps even pungent -aroma when you first walk in.  But it seems like there are several dozen cheese varieties – many of them new (to me, anyway) and all of them seemingly wonderful.  Good for Putnam Street Market for envisioning and carving out a niche that will complement the Railroad Avenue Price Chopper.  Let’s just hope the sales keep up with the shelf life of all of those cheeses and the Market does not have to deal with too many product losses.

* Speaking of cool downtown stores, I was in Lyrical Ballad Bookstore last weekend with some out-of-town friends, and while I knew the place had many rooms buried deep into the building, I forgot just how deep some of those rooms went.  We were marveling at just how many nooks and crannies there were and how they seemed to not end.  It’s just a cool place that has been downtown throughout the economic ups and downs, and I hope this mainstay is not forgotten when the new and shiny Northshire Book Store arrives.

* At some point when I wasn’t looking, the former Pacific Grill, at 63 Putnam Street in the old Doc’s Steakhouse, became the Izumi Sushi & Lounge.  Does that mean the business was sold and there is a new owner?  Maybe this is old news that was previously reported on, but I just noticed the new sign recently.

* The 8th annual Saratoga County Restaurant Week, to be held this November 30-December 6, will have what I believe is a new format this year.   There will be lunch specials for $5 or $10, and three-course dinner specials for $10, $20, or $30.  You can find a work-in-progress list of restaurants here.

Around and About:

* Maestro’s at the Van Dam Restaurant is offering live music 7 nights a week in its lounge, an Italian Dinner menu on Halloween, and will be open for Thanksgiving.

* It annoys me when restaurants don’t keep their web site and social media feeds up to date, and Duo Modern Japanese Lounge falls into that category.  The events page on Duo’s web site only has updates from 2011, and its Twitter feed hasn’t been updated since August.  For what it’s worth, Duo’s Facebook page is promoting a Monster Mash Ultimate Halloween Bash at it South Broadway location on Saturday October 27th with prizes for “sexiest costume” and other categories that probably don’t include chubby 46 year-old males.  I’ll be down the street at Maestro’s with all the other adults.

* Boca Bistro is offering a Seasonal Beer Dinner on October 22 featuring the beers of Southern Tier Brewery. Also, DZ Restaurants is offering $10 or $20 off a future visit for those that take their customer satisfaction survey after dining at Boca Bistro.

* Longfellows is offering a Kobe Beef Burger and beer for $10 at the bar, and is having a fall wine dinner with Kenwood Vineyards on October 25th.

OK folks, that’s it for this week.  Have a great weekend.  



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