At the Table: Trader Ed’s in Lansingburgh has great neighborhood feel

Friendly is the word that best describes Trader Ed’s, in the Lansingburgh end of Troy.
PHOTOGRAPHER:

Friendly is the word that best describes Trader Ed’s, in the Lansingburgh end of Troy. Many folks were greeted by name, and some stopped to chat with each other about vacation plans. Clearly, there is a neighborhood atmosphere at Ed’s.

Trader Ed’s Nautical Pub and Restaurant

WHERE: 630 Second Ave., Troy. Phone 237-2717.

WHEN: Open daily at 11:30 a.m.

HOW MUCH: $60.86

MORE INFO: MasterCard, Visa, American Express, Discover. Reservations accepted. Children’s menu. Wheelchair ramp.

If you’re on Second Avenue, use the door on the left or go around the corner to 117th Street, not far from the parking lot in the rear of the building. Either way, you’ll find yourself in the bar. Head to the right, where you’ll find a smiling hostess to take you to your seat, as we did.

Mom was my companion of the evening, and she commented on the comfortable accommodations. The cushioned booths are firmly anchored, and the seats are at just the right height. Trader Ed’s is comfortable and senior-friendly.

There’s a small porch on the front for outdoor dining, and a patio around the back that isn’t getting much use this time of year, but I’d like to return to see what the Brazilian Oyster Bar patio is all about.

Island Hour, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. every day, offers two-for-one drinks and advertises peel-and-eat shrimp on Monday through Friday. We couldn’t miss the beer bottles served in buckets of ice and didn’t see any shrimp, but then, we weren’t looking.

There was music, there were the televisions, and there was a convivial crowd, all competing for attention. It’s noisy in a bustling kind of way.

Plenty of fish

Trader Ed’s, with its nautical-themed pub, certainly has plenty of seafood options, including shrimp cocktail ($12.99), popcorn lobster ($12.99), seafood chowder ($5.75) and clam steamers ($8.99). What wasn’t available that night was fresh fish.

We recommend you get their wings ($8.95). They are fabulous: plump with satisfying crispy skin, presented attractively with fresh carrot and celery slices and plenty of bleu cheese. The medium-hot wings had just enough heat for us. Trader Ed’s does wings very, very well.

Our server kept the dining room under control single-handedly, and though most tables were full, she made plenty of time to attend to us. When Mom asked about salad, our server was ready to offer a solution.

Although it’s not on the menu, you can get a small house salad with your meal for an additional $1.99, as Mom did. Her salad was a base of dark leafy lettuce with cucumber, tomato, and sliced red onion. She said the tomato was not quite ripe and the lettuce was dry and a bit limp. The dressing was good, and the croutons excellent. “You could snack on these,” she said, popping one into her mouth.

Minor quibbles

Mom was hoping for fresh fish but enjoyed the fish and chips dinner ($13.99). There is one big piece of white, flaky fish on a bed of lovely browned french fries. We liked that both tartar and cocktail sauce were served, along with a lemon slice and a small plastic cup of coleslaw.

She enjoyed the coleslaw, but said the french fries could have been hotter. I tried a few and had to agree. They weren’t cold but they weren’t hot either, and tasted a bit bland. However, the fish was really fabulous. It had a tasty, thin batter coating, and was cooked just right. She ate every bit of it.

There were several specials that night, including a Delmonico steak, stuffed roasted Cornish game hen, and stuffed rigatoni. I chose the pasta.

I thought the pasta, at $17.99, should have included a small salad, but it did come with two slices of bread and packets of butter on the side of the dish. There were about a dozen soft stuffed pasta tubes filled with a tasty combination of spinach and ricotta cheese in a very thick sauce.

I liked that the pasta was cooked all the way, and the taste of the rich pink sauce, made of a combination of marinara and Alfredo sauces. It was way more Alfredo than marinara, and very rich, perhaps too much so. I finished half the meal and felt quite full.

Trader Ed’s has Key lime pie, carrot cake and something chocolate for dessert every day, but nothing was made in-house — so we passed. The tab for our meal came to $60.86 with two sodas and tip, and leftovers for the next day.

Categories: Food, Life and Arts

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