First Course: Kindred and The Coat Room
Speakeasy password revealed! All the secrets Coat Room management doesn't want you to know. Plus: Saratoga’s newest wine bar opens TONIGHT!
To be clear, I was a fan of Flatbread Social, the wood-fired pizza/craft cocktail/shuffleboard joint that resided next to Henry Street Taproom for a few years there. My friend was an even bigger fan, and has been lamenting the fact that owners Ryan and Sonja McFadden decided to open a different restaurant in the space, instead of re-opening Flatbread. (It’s a slightly close-minded position, I know.) But after checking out the new spot, Kindred, at its soft opening last Friday, I’m here to report: It’s even better than before.
The McFaddens, who also own Henry Street, have billed Kindred, which opens to the public tonight, as a wine bar, but not in the way you’d think. “For whatever reason, wine has developed a stigma as an elitist beverage, and we want to help get rid of that notion,” Ryan says. “Kindred is a place where you can come, hang out and enjoy a glass of wine the same way you would a beer with friends.”
To that end, the vinos on the wine list are listed along with the winery they come from, the region they come from, and the grapes they’re made from. Still not sure? Ask! Or just order a few different bottles, like my party of eight did.
You can also take a suggestion from Abby, SLAH’s resident wine guru:
“Kindred’s by-the-glass list is direct and approachable. Give some grapes you’ve never heard of a try!
I just got back from Barcelona and the Penedés wine country, and I’m in love with all cava (Champagne-level sparkling wine) from there. So you must have a glass of Kindred’s Cellars de Can Suriol to start your meal—it’s the first wine listed, so it’s easy to remember as your aperitif.
If you’ve never tried orange wine, here’s your chance! And they even have one hard-to-find bottle that’s as fun to order as any beer. My wine geek circle is raving about the Burgundian chardonnay (Macon-Villages) on the list; the fact that it’s available by the glass is an amazing opportunity. For red wine, I’m excited to try the pinot—Willamette, Oregon yields some beautiful pinot noirs.
And lastly, if you’ve never finished a meal with a little bit of decadent dessert wine, the 10-year-old tawny port is an interesting opportunity to do so.
Cheers—and back to you, Natalie!”
Our multi-bottle wine order began a trend, and we utilized the same method when ordering food—one of everything, please! Of the small plates that came, the Octo (n’douja butter, confit tomatoes and chimichurri) was a fan favorite, as were the pork schnitzel (green mayo, pork jus), prawns (red wine vinaigrette, focaccia, pea tendrils) and Tuna Bresaola (creme fraiche, pickled mushrooms, herb crackers). I hogged the asparagus, served with a carrot-harissa puree and pine nuts, and the marinated olives, while Dan Graham defended his choice to order the warm foccacia with mushroom butter, olive oil and saba: “I don’t turn down warm bread.” Dan, a self-proclaimed foodie and Henry Street Taproom regular, had another assessment: “Everything is very shareable,” he said. “There are so many places where the shareables aren’t shareable.” (Like, for instance, when you get three deviled eggs for a party of four.) My assessment: I appreciated that the small plates were brought out as they were ready, like the all-you-can-eat sushi is at Wasabi.
After the apps, Dan decided to put in some entrées: two steaks and two orders of the pasta dish, as well as the Lamb Ragu flatbread. But even before they arrived, dessert was on the mind.
“What do they have?” asked Scott Morganstein, who was sitting next to me.
“Affogato,” Dan said.
Exclusive: The Coat Room
Shrouded in more secrecy and still a week out from opening is The Coat Room, the new speakeasy-style bar and restaurant about which rumors have been feverishly swirling in recent months. Saratoga Living After Hours landed the first interview with management—Managing Director Mike Phinney, Chef Dominic Colose and Beverage Director Justin LaViolette.
Here’s our exclusive sneak peek (with pictures!) of the new space, its menu and, yes…how to get in. (Shhhh—can you keep a secret?)
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