Sunday, January 26, 2014

Rain Modern Chinese

The flu took me out of commission for a good full week with little to no appetite. Now that I am on the road to recovery and don't feel like death, my taste buds are ready to tackle everything in sight. What a better come back to the dining scene than a little bit of everything with dim sum. We decided to check out Rain Modern Chinese, crossing off one of many new local eateries from our 2014 to eat list. 

If you've ever been to Shogun, its sister establishment located just around the corner, you'd be familiar with its modern and chic decor. The same atmosphere is echoed at Rain and the sleek renovations from a former clinic to contemporary restaurant is very impressive. We appreciate a beautiful space but the food is where it's at. Dim sum is only served on the weekends and we wanted to take advantage of that. Greeted by the owner himself, Mr. Lee made sure to tell us that since dim sum here is made to order, not to order too much at once so our food wouldn't get cold. Mr. Lee doesn't know how much we can eat in one sitting. 

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Flavors of India

Another Indian restaurant on Washington Avenue? There is no shortage of chicken tikka masala on this corner of Lark St-Washington Ave-Central Ave. But having eaten at each of these Indian/Pakistani establishments (hello lunch buffet!), not all are made the same. Indian cuisine can be just as diverse as Chinese or American food, varying from region to region. Flavors of India embraces this diversity by featuring traditional Indian cuisine from North to South, East to West and most uniquely a fusion of Indo-Chinese food. 

It was intimidating stepping into an empty restaurant but putting our skepticism aside, we went for it and couldn't have been more surprised by the flavors we encountered. It was a chilly Monday night and we chose to warm up with cups of milky chai tea. We knew we were in for a treat when we were greeted by comforting aromas of earthy cardamom and warm cinnamon, none of that pre-mixed commercial tea bag crap. It was a good sign for things to come. 

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Albany Distilling Co.

This visit was slightly different than our normal outings, inasmuch as food wasn't really involved and there was a cat.

We visited the Albany Distilling Co., which bills itself the first legal distillery in Albany since the prohibition era. Currently, they offer 3 types of whiskey and a rum batch.  We were informed that the next batch of rum was being aged in whiskey barrels, which sounds delicious so keep an eye out for that some time this January.

The Albany Distilling Co. is a small business that opened not too long ago in 2011.  It's located next to The Albany Pump Station, perfect for grabbing a beer while waiting for a tour. There were only 3 people there when we dropped by, and as far as I gathered that was the entire staff.  The equipment and ingredients, however, were top notch and the distiller knew his field.  Our entire tour took place in a single room, as well as the sampling, where we were shown the ingredients going into the mash (all of the whiskey grains were grown within New York State), different batches in stages of fermentation or aging, and took a couple shots of the finished products.