Friday, October 1, 2010
Wine N Diner
The other weekend I took a little jaunt up to Albany, and that can only mean one thing: Girls’ Night! This fabulous tradition started last spring as we met up every Thursday night for wine, gossip, and good estrogen-filled times. The craziness of summer interrupted our regular meetings, but we still got together whenever possible. These are my Albany ladies, and I love them, so when I knew I was going to be in town there was no way I wasn’t going to see these good friends.
We would usually meet up at one of our apartments, but for this Girls’ Night we decided to venture out on the town and hit up Wine N Diner, a fairly new restaurant located at 544 Delaware Avenue. The interior of the restaurant definitely had that diner feel, but the menu was elevated above the typical diner fare.
We started off the meal with fried Brie. Fried Brie? Yes, fried Brie. I can die happy now. It was like mozzarella sticks but better. Huge pieces of Brie were fried to crispy perfection and served with a drizzle of balsamic. The Brie melted beautifully inside its crunchy shell, and we devoured the appetizer within just a few minutes.
As I looked over the menu I noticed they had fried oysters as an appetizer. “Mmm,” I said, “I may need to get these fried oysters.”
My girl Randy leaned over the table and pointed to the Gulf Coaster on the BLT section (they have an entire part of the menu devoted to BLTs. That’s my idea of heaven.). The Gulf Coast consisted of fried oysters, Cajun shrimp, bacon, lettuce, tomato, and creole remoulade. “I know what I’m getting,” I announced. No question about it—I needed this sandwich in my life.
And it was amazing. I would never have thought of putting fried oysters on a BLT, but now I can’t imagine a world without it. They offered a nice crispiness but also a little pop of succulent oceanic flavor in the BLT. The Cajun shrimp were also nice and slightly spicy, but the oysters were the star of the sandwich. The bacon was nice and crispy, the lettuce and tomato had a clean, fresh flavor, and the bread was perfectly toasted.
To accompany the BLT I opted for a Bloody Samurai, a creative spin on the Bloody Mary. It had sake, tomato juice, pineapple, and wasabi—clean, refreshing, and satisfying. The wasabi really popped against the coolness of the tomato juice. It was an excellent match for the Gulf Coaster.
Heather and I were foodie twins that night, and we ordered the exact same meal and drink. Great minds think alike, or perhaps great stomachs crave the same amazing food.
Randy opted for the Elvis—peanut butter, banana, and bacon. Mmmmm. I tried a bite and it was incredible. I never would have put those ingredients together, so thank the lord for Elvis Presley. He knew what was up. The combination of sweet and salty and creamy was great, and it made Randy very, very happy.
Sara went for the macaroni and cheese and an order of Spanikorizo. The mac and cheese was nice and creamy and seemed to have some sort of fancy cheese melted in. I love when restaurants take a homey classic and give it a little bit of sophistication without taking it over the top—Wine N Diner does it right.
The Spanikorizo was super garlicky and tasty. I wish their menu was up on their Web site because I can’t recall what was mixed into that dish, but everything tasted fresh, healthy, and, yes, it was loaded with lots of garlic!
If you are in the Capitol Region and looking for a good sandwich or an elevated classic dish you should definitely check out Wine N Diner. They’ve also got a nice selection of wine, beer, and drinks, so if you want to unwind with a fancy BLT, a glass of wine, and some of your friends, it’s the place to be.