Time and time again, 15 Church continues to amaze me with their creativity, impressive style, and how they strive for greatness always. Honestly, to me that’s a big deal. It’s not just to impress people during track season or on the weekends. They’re doing it right every single day they’re open, and that says a lot.
If you haven’t seen what I’ve written about 15 Church in the past, here’s a summary: Rave review, rave review, and more rave reviews. One visit after the next, I’ve never had anything bad to say about the place. And guess what? I still don’t.
I’m consistently impressed. The service is spectacular, the wine list is perfection and their food is just fantastic.
Don’t believe me? Just try it for yourself. You’ll be singing their praises in no time.
Our meal started with their glorious housemade focaccia bread and cocktails, of course.
This was a special cocktail, with vodka, ginger beer, and fresh squeezed lemon. It was refreshing and light, but the perfect starter cocktail before a big meal. And you better believe we lived it up with a big meal.
Ahi Tuna Crudo with pickled cucumbers and radishes, a drizzle of olive oil and basically the best thing I’ve ever eaten.
I can count on one hand the amount of times I’ve had something that I will talk about for months, even years to come – but this is one of them.
The tuna was so soft and delicate, and complimented by the nuttiness of the olive oil and the acidity of the pickled cucumbers, my taste buds were awakened by this first appetizer. It was a special on this particular night, but if you follow 15 Church’s Facebook page, you might be able to find out when they’ll be running it again.
Next up, the “Carpetbagger” –
Sorry for the blurry picture (I blame the first cocktail :))
This plate of beef carpaccio, crispy oysters, fried capers, scamorza, truffle emulsion is a true delight for anyone who loves carpaccio. I think about this dish often as well, and would love to have the truffle emulsion to put on all of the things I eat. Or I’d like to just eat by itself. Either way.
After the apps and before our entrees, we had the chance to try the pasta special of the night, featuring Chef Brady’s handmade tagliatelle and lots of fresh crab.
Crab + cream sauce + handmade pasta = the key to my heart. Just in case any of you were wondering.
It’s amazing the difference a handmade pasta can make, but once you have it, it’s hard to go back to that chewy store bought stuff.
Now, onto the entree.
These pan seared scallops are on top of a parsnip purée with shaved brussels sprouts and blood orange-hazelnut brown butter.
I have to say, I was initially drawn to this dish for two reasons.
First – I love scallops. That’s a given.
Second – This is a pretty similar dish to what I made for my family for our Christmas Eve dinner (Feast of the Seven Fishes), and I wanted to see how mine compared to a real chef’s.
Well, let’s just say that regardless of how hard I tried, I don’t think I’ll ever be able to out-cook Chef Brady. But a girl can dream, can’t she?
I’ll give myself credit, I did cook my scallops perfectly, but my parsnip puree wasn’t nearly as velvety and complex as this, and the blood orange-hazelnut brown butter was definitely not something I even considered to bring the dish to the next level.
Finally, as if we had any more room, we had dessert.
Because I naturally gravitate towards the zeppole, we chose something different this time: The Chocolate Crema.
Whipped mascarpone on top, with amarena cherries and toasted pistachios, it all worked together to provide a perfectly composed dessert. This dessert would certainly slay the dessert round on chopped. Sweet, salty, crunchy, smooth. OH PLEASE.
As usual, I’m urging anyone who hasn’t tried 15 Church yet to try it. And if you have tried in the past, try it again. And again. And again. I don’t like to play favorites (and usually don’t), but I think you guys know that I love this place, and it will always have a special place in my heart. And stomach.
The best restaurant in the capital district by far, Chef Brady gives a wow factor with every menu item and special, I do wish the place was bigger.
15 Church is too expensive. I could get behind it more if the prices were a bit more reasonable. The food and service are very good, there’s no doubt about that. Nevertheless, they are overcharging for the experience, and overpaying leaves a bad taste in my mouth (pun intended).