I moved to the Capital Region in 2002 right after the original owners of the Old Daley Inn sold the restaurant. Everyone raved about how wonderful the restaurant was. Since then I’ve been to events where the original owners, as Old Daley Custom Catering Company, provided the food. Always good. Always.
So you can imagine how pleased I was to learn that they were bringing Daley back – this time as Daley’s on Yates in Schenectady. While renovations are being completed, the Daley team brought a preview of the menu for Daley’s on Yates to Saratoga Polo. Let me tell you right here and now that everything I ate was delicious.
The evening began with signature cocktails. You should know enough about me by now to know that I had BOTH. Don’t judge me . . . if you’d been there you would have done the same. Both drinks were executed perfectly.
While I sipped and mingled with the other guests I learned more about the Daley team which consists of a number of couples who work, and even vacation, together. Not only do they have mad hospitality skills, I learned that one is an author and two build the tables we dined on!
I’m getting ahead of myself. First we enjoyed a trio of small plate appetizers – Artisanal Cheese & Charcuterie Board, Edamame & Radish Crostini and a Surf & Turf Carpaccio. Okay. When Daley’s On Yates opens I know that Mark is going to have a hard time choosing between the charcuterie and the carpaccio. Both were delish! The carpaccio pairing featured Certified Angus Beef tenderloin AND ahi tuna. For real. Seriously.
Primed with the cocktails and appetizers, it was time to get serious because I was about to enjoy SIX more items from the menu. Next up? The Black + Blue Salad. Unfortunately I have a nut allergy and didn’t try this but I will when they open. I’ll just ask them to keep the nuts off. This salad featured gorgonzola, blackberries, greens, hazelnuts and was dressed with an orange poppy citronette.
Take a peek.
On to the Eggplant Four Cheese which I loved. The eggplant was sliced thin and topped with a mixture of mozzarella, smoked gruyere, pecorino romano and gorgonzola. Did someone say gorgonzola???
Next up. Perfectly cooked, and HUGE, NY Strip Steak served with your choice of gorgonzola butter or bordelaise, hunter, financiere or Robert sauce. And, yes, I tried all of the sauces. The Robert was my favorite sauce but, for me, the gorgonzola butter is what I will choose when Daley’s On Yates opens.
One picture will give you an idea of the portion size; the other shows that these guys know how to cook a steak. More about the chef, Elliott Vogel, later.
Moving on to their Faroe Island Salmon served with tri-color potatoes, topped with tomato and basil salad, brown butter edamame beans and dill raita. While not pictured, the dill raita was one of the best things I ate that evening. I know it sounds silly but it’s the little things that can put a dish over the top and that dill raita did the job.
I am a big fan of comfort food. The Herb Crusted Organic Chicken Thighs served with a cherry tomato confit, bacon lardons on top, castelvetrano (green olives) and garlic mashed potatoes reminded me of a very upscale chicken with biscuits dish. Don’t laugh. The dish was the right mix of salty, smoky and savory. I am just glad this wasn’t the first course otherwise I wouldn’t have left enough room in my belly.
My picture does NOT do this dish justice.
One more before dessert. White Water Mussels & Crab Americana. Plump, juicy mussels and crab served with fettucine in a cognac lobster bisque and tarragon butter. Seriously? Yum.
Finally. Dessert. I am a champ because I can still handle dessert. When we go to Daley’s On Yates I’ll definitely be getting the Molten Lava Cake. Mark is a lemon lover so I’m sure he’ll get the Lemon Blueberry Cake.
I know this restaurant endeavor will be successful. This group has years of street cred and Chef Vogel came out at the end of the dinner, quietly and humbly, asking for feedback. For reals????
Daley’s On Yates will be opening soon at 10-12 Yates St. in Schenectady. I’ll certainly be there once it opens. Check it out and let me know what you think.