The Downtown Albany BID hosted a Meatball Food Fight competition featuring 15 local restaurants. Each establishment had their own spin on a meatball. Some bites were great, some were atrocious but overall a fun outing. Here's a rundown of our picks vs. the judge's picks.
The Hollow Bar + Kitchen (Best in Show; Best Vegetarian; Most Unique): The best bite of the afternoon goes to a non-meat entry. As major carnivores, this mozzarella stuffed veggie quinoa ball surprised us. It was the most flavorful and well-executed dish of the afternoon. The quinoa ball had a crisp exterior and the shavings of nutty asiago, tangy and garlicky marinara, and swirl of olive oil complemented the "meatball" very well. It was also the only vegetarian entry but the most flavorful and one of few "meatballs" we'd go back for second helpings of.
Jack's Oyster House (Best in Show 2nd): It it weren't for the quinoa ball, this chicken and veal parmigiana meatball would be a top pick. Not only was it deep fried to crispy perfection but oozing with stuffed mozzarella. Topped with a generous spoonful of pomodoro sauce and parmesan, it was a great twist on a traditional meatball. Jack's Oyster House was overall People's Choice winner.
Sunday, September 28, 2014
Saturday, July 13, 2013
A giant shout out and thank you to M.H.A. Innovations for picking us as the winners of the HopChef Competition Giveaway. We had a blast at this unique food and beer pairing dinner. Seven Capital Region chefs prepared a dish incorporating and paired with a beer from Brewery Ommegang and the winner gets to compete against the other winning Hop Chefs from Chicago, Philly, and Boston in a finale during Ommegang’s Belgium Comes to Cooperstown event in August. Max London's Mark Graham won the judge's pick and Mazzone Hospitality's Will Brown won People's Choice. More from the judge's perspectives at Table Hopping and Notes on Napkins.
J is more of the beer expert than I am but we enjoyed sampling and critiquing each dish. We channeled all we learned from watching Chopped marathons on Food Network and were impressed by the Chefs' creative and sophisticated dishes. Here's our take on the HopChef creations, starting with our favorite: