Naming a restaurant after an actual address name isn’t new and I’ve always loved the idea of it. Meet a local favorite among serious foodies in Saratoga Springs New York: 15 Church, the poster child of owners Paul McCullough and Tom Burke with chef Brady Duhame leading the menu.
Appetizers include such French delicacies as Butternut Bisque, Deviled Farm Egg with Caviar, Oysters with pink peppercorn-pineapple mignonette (below) and Tuna Crudo, which they make with Pomelo, Ginger pickled shallots, Fresno Chilies, shaved Bonito and toasted sesame in a soy citrus dressing. (below)
Brady and Paul both insisted that we try their homemade Ricotta Gnocchi Ala Bolognese, which was out of this world.
Brady’s presentation and choice of flavors delight, from his Chicken Under a Brick with bacon and onion roasted brussels sprouts and their Red Wine Braised Short Ribs with milled goat cheese polenta and mushroom ragu to the Seared Panko Crusted Tuna which they toss with a Ginger Scallion Salsa and Scallops with parsnip puree which they top with a Blood-Orange-hazelnut brown butter. (all pictured below)
On the heavier side, they offer a veal chop with rosemary potatoes, pickled peppers and roasted veal jus, a housemade cavatelli with Italian sausage, Swiss Chard, garlic and sage, and a Moroccan Lamb Loin in red wine sauce with oyster mushrooms and Romanesco broccoli. Oh so delish!!
Great sides for sharing include hand cut fries with a spicy Russian dressing, Broccoli Rabe with garlic, roasted brussels sprouts with bacon, onions and tahini, wild mushrooms with thyme and aged sherry vinegar and whipped sweet potatoes with get this….marshmallows, pecans and Bourbon Barrel Maple. (OMG – I’m in heaven!!)
Red meat lovers will appreciate their USDA Prime Filet Mignon which Brady and team prepare with Gorgonzola butter, red onion marmalade, garlicky chard, and a red wine demi. Also on the menu is a Moroccan Lamb Loin with Broccoli, fingerlings, oyster mushrooms and soubise in a red wine sauce.
There’s plenty of European wines on the menu to choose from as well as classics from Napa and Sonoma. Since we largely stuck to seafood all night despite the sub below zero temperatures outside, we went with the 2014 Chardonnay Chateau Guilhem from France and the 2013 Gundlach Bundschu Chardonnay from Sonoma. They also had a lovely French Vincent Mothe Chablis which made a perfect pairing choice for Brady’s uniquely prepared oyster plate.
While I adore my toasty and buttery chardonnays from northern California, I’m also a huge fan of old world wines. I loved the fact that they break their wine menu into old and new world whites and old and new world reds. There were also five champagne choices, which would be great on a warm afternoon — note to self for a return trip in August when the race track is in full swing.
Apparently locals are fans of the Scallion Pancake appetizer which we didn’t try despite our waitress nudging us to; imagine a pancake with butter poached King Crab, farm egg, wasabi crema and oyster sauce. Hardest for me to resist was the Foie Gras Torchon with quince marmalade, toasted pistachios, and grilled brioche and their Carpetbagger, which is essentially beef carpaccio (one of my favorite appetizers). 15 Church’s preparation adds crispy oysters, fried capers, scamorza and a truffle emulsion. Two thumbs up for the creativity!
Growing up in an Italian home, Anthony can’t resist desserts, especially Zeppole, which is a classic sweet in Italy. While it may be simple (cinnamon dusted Ricotta doughnuts), they are to die-for, and since we had kids in tow, it was a perfect choice. They drizzled a vanilla custard and salted caramel dipping sauce on the Zeppoles; a Spanish Sherry would be a lovely pairing for this sugary dessert. Also on the menu is a Creme Brulee and a Triple Chocolate Layer cake, which they serve with Praline whipped cream and Bourbon Anglaise. Oh so scrumptious, especially with a Zinfandel, followed by a cappuccino. I hate to admit it, but we nearly finished them all — bravo Brady!
Last recommendation as if you’re not already full simply reading about the choices at 15 Church: be sure to finish the evening off with an old Tawney port and a cheese platter. Two thumbs up — we’ll definitely return!
15 Church Restaurant
15 Church Street
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866