Saturday, October 25, 2008

Creo in Guilderland

Creo is a new restaurant in Stuyvesant Plaza. The restaurant itself is essentially on the corner of Fuller Road and Western (US-20). We went for lunch on Friday and generally liked it.

Some initial notes: Creo is, at least for now, very busy. Its end of the parking lot was jam packed. The inside appears to be much larger than its predecessor (Mangia) and the interior is very attractive. The main dining room has high ceilings which make it seem all the more spacious. We sat in the bar area which is also nice, though the flat-screen TVs showing (at lunchtime) Judge Hatchett and Judge Joe Brown seemed a little out of place. Service was also a little off but that can be attributed to opening week and being flat out swamped with customers. Under the circumstances I'd say they're handling the load pretty well.

I was surprised that the menu had so few choices. My mother (who ate there the night before), commented that there were almost no choices for her - she tries to eat Vegan. I also noticed that the server placed a heavy emphasis on alcohol. The lunch menu was handed to us wine side up, and shortly after that we were presented with a separate cocktail menu (with mocktails - no alcohol - as well). Just me but I don't see pushing hooch at lunchtime. I understand that's where they make their money, and I'm no temperance advocate, but I thought society was downplaying alcohol these days.

The food was mostly good. We both started with a soup - chicken & asiago dumpling. It was very good. The broth had a solid flavor and there were good chunks of meat. I didn't really get the point of the dumplings - the asiago flavor kinda got drowned out by the soup - but I liked it anyway. Also, it came in a cup, but the cup was so deep it almost seemed bottomless.

My other half had the steak sandwich. This was done well. The meat was cooked right and was cooked in a tasty sauce - maybe a touch of worcestershire in that. It came with a kind of steak sauce on the side but the meat was so good that the side sauce was unnecessary. It came with steak fries which were not bad at all.

The chicken in my lobster chicken was a bit overcooked. There was a "scotch cream sauce" that tasted good but there wasn't much of it. The lobster bits that came with it were good but again, not much lobster there. It also came with "risotto hush puppies". That translated into deep fried balls of rice. Interesting, but not all that special in my eyes. Also an excellent side of vegetables including green beans, corn and cherry tomato (maybe grape tomato). The different veggies worked very well together and I'm sure there was some kind of gentle seasoning or sauce that made it work so well. I'll forgive the overcooked chicken as an opening week thing - and of course overcooked is a lot better than undercooked!

The bread came from Bountiful Bread, which is also in Stuyvesant Plaza. It seemed odd to have a tray of bread brought out on "Bountiful Bread" paper. This is a chain restaurant that is, like Panera, a step above fast food. I like it, and the bread was good, but the presentation seems out of place in a fancy restaurant.

We'll certainly go back and try it again, but for now I prefer Provence, also in Stuyvesant Plaza. Provence has a better menu and does the high class thing without trying so hard.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

It is my understanding Bountiful Bread is also owned by the owners of Creo. Bountiful bread is a single unit not a chain.

Albany Lawyer said...

according to an article in Modern Baking, the first franchise opened elsewhere about a year ago. I'm not saying the bread was bad. Just seemed out of place is all. I'll give them this - they run good restaurants. Butcher Block is one of my faves.

Anonymous said...

I've eaten at Creo twice since its opening. Sharp looking place. Have loved Andrew Plummer's dishes since he was at Allegro Cafe in Troy. Wonderful food at Creo both times.

Anonymous said...

Parking was a challenge and required circling for a space for about five minutes and then still had to walk a less than desirable distance to in the cold weather to Creo from parking space. Once inside, we thoroughly enjoyed having a drink at the bar prior to being seated for dinner. In my opinion, the bar area is their strength. The restaurant is beautifully decorated, but the menu is limited and the service was poor – it seemed like the wait staff meant well, but that there were difficulties in the kitchen beyond their control. The food was mediocre, but definitely not worth the menu price.
I like the location and atmosphere, but the food and service do not support the menu price.

Anonymous said...

Friday's has better service and food for the price! Although I have been to Creo for lunch and dinner a few times previously, my last visit confirmed to me that the food quality is not worth the price ...
I order Wok seared, panko crusted ahi tuna and it was raw and barely warm. When I alerted the server, she repsonded with "I apologize, the chef is in a bad mood ... I will do my best to have him prepare it correctly for you ..."
UH, WHAT? Not only did I cancel my entre in fear of what the "bad-mood chef" would do to my food, I left hungry.
And, not that I went there expecting anything for free, I was surprised that the manager did not come to our table to apologize nor did Creo offer any credit to our bill!!!
Although I like the location and bar atmosphere, the food and service is less than desirable for the price!
I will only go again for cocktails at the bar.