My wife and I are a bit crazy about movies. With two kids it is hard to keep up like we did when we were younger, so when awards season rolls around we are always way behind. Conveniently, the run up to the Academy Awards generally coincides with Valentine’s Day and my in-laws are kind enough to take the boys for a whole day and let us go geek out at the movies. I, of course, expect to fit a great meal into the day as well and, since New World Bistro Bar is just a few doors down from the Spectrum 8 in Albany, I was in luck.
It was actually the day after Valentine’s Day this year and it was brutally cold, hovering near zero with bone chilling winds. After our first two movies of the day, The Imitation Game and Selma, we only had about fifty feet to cover outside and I was still shivering when we made it into the restaurant. We learned from experience last year that a reservation is a must for a Sunday at the Bistro, so I had called in advance and we were quickly shown to a table.
At the mention of sweet potato bisque we stopped our server and asked her to put in an order post haste while we thought about whatever else we would be eating. Thick, warm bisque with a nice bite to it was perfect for shaking off the chill.
The next thing that brought a smile to my face was their New York tap list and New York beer flights. I quickly passed over the Ommegang and Brooklyn beers, which are familiar and easy for me to get elsewhere, in favor of the brews from closer to the Capital region. Okay, the Captain’s Kolsch from Captain Lawrence Brewing in Elmsford is a little farther afield, but I enjoyed it from a bottle over the summer and was excited to try it on tap. IPAs from Davidson Brothers in Glens Falls and Chatham Brewing (in Chatham) were both tasty selections, but very different versions of the style. Brown’s Oatmeal Stout was batting cleanup and hit the spot on a blustery winter day.
You may already know that I regard the humble meatloaf as one of my litmus tests for restaurants brave enough to put it on the menu. It is one of my favorite comfort foods and NWBB’s gouda-stuffed, bacon-wrapped version was featured on the menu. How could I resist? It was slathered in gravy on a pile of exceptional mashed potatoes and accompanied by grilled Brussels sprouts. I tried not to lick the plate and had to fight off my wife, the mashed potato connoisseur.
We finished the meal with a warm pear-raspberry fruit crumble and ice cream, as well as a Riesling ice wine from Ontario. It is easy to see why New World Bistro Bar is one of the top rated spots in Albany. Definitely worth checking out.
In case you are curious, we finished the evening with Birdman.