Friday, June 27, 2008

Aperitivo Bistro in Schenectady

We had a nice opportunity to go out for dinner in Schenectady the other night. We went to Aperitivo Bistro, which is right near Proctor's on State Street. It happened to be very close to a party we were going to later at Clinton's Ditch. We were impressed with this area of Schenectady. They've really spruced the place up. It feels like a "place to be." Don't tell Brian Stratton I said anything nice about him though. :-)

We stopped at Katie O'Byrnes on the way to Clinton's Ditch and that also looked nice, though we didn't have anything to eat or drink. Just said hello to a friend.

So, Aperitivo Bistro ... it was pretty good. Started with a nice touch - the bread came out with three condiments on a nice plate. It had butter one one end, olive oil and balsamic in the middle, and a dried bruschetta on the far end. Never seen that before and I hope others start imitating it. All three tasted good, as did the bread.

Aperitivo has a "tapas" style menu. You can order a lot of small dishes, called Piattini. I'm pretty sure that means "little plate", though tapas is Spanish and the word Piattini seems kinda Italian. Guess that's fusion for you.

So we had a few of these small plates. The broccoli rabe was both good and different. it was served in a kinda soupy form. I wouldn't have thought that would work, but it did.

Next was a tenderloin carpaccio - three very thin slices of rare or raw steak, topped with a couple shiitake mushrooms and a bit of cheese with it. It was interesting. The steak didn't have much flavor, but I'm not sure it's supposed to. This wasn't the best dish of the night, but it wasn't bad or anything. Biggest concern is how small it was. I understand the concept, but if you're going to charge $10 for it, I just think you should get a little more. I don't think it was even an ounce of steak on that plate.

The fried ravioli was one of the better dishes - tasty and closer to the appropriate portion size. The only minor concern here was maybe too much breading. But still good for sure.

I got a small shrimp and scallop plate that was on the daily specials menu. It had a fennel sausage with it mixed with some kind of sauce. I thought this was one of the better items that night, but again, just too small considering the price.

One last detail was among our first items. We had the Spinach and Grilled Radicchio salad. The grilled radicchio didn't do much for us, but the salad on the whole was very good. The spinach, walnuts, and gorgonzola all went well together with the dressing.

Should also mention that the interior was nice, almost elegant. We were in a room with the bar. Apparently there is another room I didn't see, so I can't comment on that.


Anonymous said...

Had a completely different experience there. Did not like it at all. See my detailed review on google reviews for said restaurant.

Anonymous said...

We had an unbelievable experience at Aperitivo. There were 4 of us (which turned into 6 after two other friends just showed up there) and the "piattini" concept worked out great. We just ordered more of them and everyone shared. I asked the waiter, after reading this blog, about the whole tapas / piattini thing. He (Mike, who was excellent) said that tapas are Spanish and piattini are Italian. Same concept, different food. That's why the Aperitivo menu is mostly Italian. One of my friends said that the Exec Chef used to own an Italian restaurant in Schdy.

Anyway everything was great - the atmosphere in the bar is much more lively than the back dining room. It was very NYC-ish. The portion size is very small, and if I were to offer any sort of constructive criticism to the owner I would say they either need to lower the prices or put larger portions on the plates. We had a scallop dish that had three tiny scallops and paid $8. It wasn't enough for us to even share - we had to cut them in half and laughed about it.

I haven't been for lunch, but I read that the lunch menu doesn't have any of the piattini on there. That doesn't make much sense to me since they advertise themselves as a tapas style restaurant.

I recommend Aperitivo Bistro HIGHLY. The atmosphere is great, the service is wonderful and the food is really terrific!