A lot of places serve the same old dishes, done the same old ways. But sometimes, if you’re willing to go a little out of your way, you’ll find a place that’s not afraid to put a new spin on things, with a result that’s worth the trip.
My husband and I hit the road one recent night and ended up at Wine and Roses, an unassuming place on West Main Street here. When we walked inside, we were greeted with the smell of smoke — barbecue smoke. Salivating already, we were seated in the nicely appointed but unpretentious dining room and left to ponder the menu.
After a few minutes, we placed our orders, then sat back to wait for our food and admire the decor, including chandeliers made of inverted wine glasses and a giant whisk mounted over the kitchen door.
Wine and Roses
WHERE: 101 W. Main St., Broadalbin, 883-3663; www.wineandrosesrestaurant.com
HOURS: 4 to 9 p.m. Tuesday and Wednesday, 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, 4 to 8 p.m. Sunday, closed Mondays
HOW MUCH: $57.57
MORE INFO: Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express accepted
The service was friendly but relaxed; it seemed to take a while for each course to arrive, but not so long that we started to get impatient. Rather, it provided a nice contrast with the pace of meals of many other restaurants we’ve been to, which has all too often been a bit rushed, a whirlwind of plates and forks.
A good start
We started our meal with an order of smoked chicken nachos, which gave us an idea of the approach in the kitchen at Wine and Roses. The chips came topped with a spicy cream sauce, as well as chopped tomato, green onion, jalapenos, a sprinkle of shredded cheese and chunks of smoked chicken.
The sauce was unexpected, but it was an elegant solution to the common problem of melted cheese that doesn’t distribute well enough across the pile of tortilla chips, leaving you with a bunch of toppingless chips. Here, the sauce helped keep the cheese warm and melty as well as providing a glue to hold the rest of the toppings on the chips and something to dip those inevitable naked chips around the edges into.
The barbecued chicken was also something that you wouldn’t necessarily expect to work well on nachos, but it was delicious. The only nitpick we had was that the tender chicken could have been broken up into smaller chunks for easier eating, but that was simple enough to fix with a fork.
Next was the soup/salad course, which came with both of our entrées. I chose the salad, which was your standard mix of veggies atop spring greens. My husband opted for the turkey minestrone, which he said was hearty and tasty, not watery like some soups can be. At this time, we also were brought a basket of bread, and here was another unexpected twist: The warm pieces of Italian bread were smeared with pesto. I wouldn’t have thought to use pesto as a bread spread in the place of an herbed butter, but it worked just fine.
Having dispatched with the warm-ups, it was time for the main event. I got the smoked beef brisket dinner, which came with mashed potatoes and mixed vegetables. The brisket was excellent, smoky and delicious, not to mention so tender that it was hard to even spear with my fork, because it just wanted to fall apart. It was topped with a bit of a thin barbecue sauce that almost tasted wine-y to me; it was all right but almost not even needed, the flavor of the meat itself was so good. The mashed potatoes were fine, though I thought the vegetables, a mix of carrot, zucchini and broccoli, were a bit underdone for my liking.
My husband ordered one of the specials that night, a pork tenderloin stuffed with mushrooms and sausage and served with a demi-glace. He, too, was well-satisfied with his entrée, which was served with the same two sides.
We were getting pretty full by this point, but the dessert menu sounded tempting, so we decided to share a slice of apple crumb pie. We weren’t disappointed: The pie was served warm, the apples inside nice and soft and perfectly sweet and spiced, the topping adding another layer of sweet complexity and the little dollops of whipped cream on the side adding a little creamy contrast. It was a fitting end to a great meal.
Dinner for two, after tax and tip, was $57.57. We might not make it out to Broadalbin that much, but next time we do, we’ll surely stop at Wine and Roses again.