We’ve all heard of farm-to-table cuisine. But how about a restaurant where veggies grow inches away from where you sit and dine?
When Hubby and I arrived at the Restaurant at 62 Beekman in Saratoga Springs, we were greeted warmly by a woman who took us on a tour of their spacious outdoor patio, which fills a wide gap between the restaurant and the brick wall of The Barrelhouse next door.
Restaurant at 62 Beekman
WHERE: 62 Beekman St. Saratoga Springs. 584-1022, www.62beekman.com, Facebook
WHEN: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday-Thursday; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 11 a.m.- 8 p.m. Sunday Brunch served from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday; tapas at the bar from 3:30-6:30 p.m. daily
HOW MUCH: $70.75, not including drinks and tip
MORE INFO: Visa, American Express, MasterCard and Discover. Online takeout and catering, online reservations, kids menu, street parking
“We grow tomatoes, raspberries, basil. Over there, that’s a pumpkin patch,” she said.
With dark clouds lurking overhead, she suggested that we dine outdoors on the front porch.
Yet even on this porch, veggies were close enough to touch, as the thick green vines of a squash plant, laden with orange blooms, curled along the porch railing next to our table.
Owner and executive chef Dominick De Vietro opened 62 Beekman two years ago, taking over a space formerly occupied by Beekman Street Bistro. De Vietro, who ran a restaurant and catering business in Connecticut, calls his cuisine “creative New American.” He favors local produce and wild seafood.
He supports local artists, too. Inside the restaurant, the walls, even in the bathrooms, are covered with paintings and each is labeled with the artist’s name, hometown and price.
After lighting the candle on our intimate table for two, Brooke, our very attentive server, brought out a cylinder of warm bread. The crust, crunchy and sprinkled with sea salt, was perfect for dipping into a ramekin of fruity olive oil.
Hubby’s appetizer was the crab cake, $11.95, a popular menu item. The large, warm patty was nicely browned on the outside and very soft on the inside, and dressed with a lemon aioli.
“I like the texture of the warm and soft on top of the cool and crunchy,” he said, pointing with his fork to the cranberry coleslaw underneath. The garnishes were also attractive: mini roasted red pepper, bits of tomato and lemon and a single blade of chive.
While he savored the crab, I was digging into the Insalata Caprese Salad, $9.95, a meal-sized mound of mixed greens topped with creamy slabs of fresh mozzarella and hefty slices of ripe tomato that were layered and stacked like dominoes.
Hubby selected Sun-dried Tomato Linguine, $18.95, and added strips of rare steak, for an extra $5.
The thick sauce was dense with sun-dried tomatoes, and there was so much pasta. Maybe too much.
“It doesn’t need meat. It holds up on his own,” he observed.
My Baked Stuffed Chicken, $18.95, was comfort food at its best.
Small, tender cutlets, in a light velouté sauce, fanned out over a hill of wild rice flecked with sweet nibs of fig.
I’m not usually a fan of zucchini, but this veggie side was cut into bright-green matchsticks and cooked ever so slightly to keep an appealing crunch.
Oh, did I mention potatoes, mashed with the skins? Like the steak in Hubby’s pasta, I didn’t really need potatoes when I had rice. But these were really homey and not over-seasoned, just like Mom’s.
We were going to skip dessert, but Brooke told us they were house-made, and we noticed that these were not just your usual cheese cakes and creme brulees.
There are nine listed, each $5.95, including a root beer float, chocolate chip ice cream sandwich and their award-winning sea salt caramel bars.
Hubby and I shared three chocolate-drizzled mini cannoli. We needed forks to eat them, as they oozed mascarpone.
At 62 Beekman, you get imaginative food that is more affordable than at many Saratoga Springs restaurants, and the servings are larger than you’d expect at such an establishment. We both took half of our dinners home.
Warning: If you love the buzz and people-watching along Broadway, you might find Beekman Street too quiet. There is no glitz. And the race track could be a million miles away.