HOLY CRAP the past 24 hours have been CRAZY with restaurant news in Saratoga. I’ll go through it all, in the order I received. Here we go!
First off, everyone has been wondering what will happen to the former chef of Maestro’s, Danny Petrosino. Well, I have the answer and then some.
To summarize the release below, I’m very sad to report that Capriccio Saratoga will officially be closing after January 1, 2016. The restaurant has been sold to none other than Maestro’s chef, Danny Petrosino, who will be opening a “test kitchen” to work in combination with Symphony Catering, a business he started with Bill Donovan and Nicholas Adie last year.
Here are the details —
Jim Rua, owner of Capriccio Saratoga today announced the sale of the restaurant to renown local Chef, Danny Petrosino. Rua will operate the restaurant until January 1, 2016 at which time Petrosino will take over the building at 26 Henry Street Saratoga Springs NY, 12866
Rua will continue to operate his landmark Cafe Capriccio in Albany. “At this point in my career I am looking for a simpler life.” Said Rua. Rua went on to say “The sale of the Saratoga location will allow me to put all my energy into our Grand Street restaurant.”
The award winning Café Capriccio has enjoyed much success serving authentic regional Italian cuisine since opening its doors thirty-three years ago.
Danny Petrosino, a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, is well known in Capital District culinary circles. He began his career in the kitchen at Ecobelli’s Restaurant at Ballston Spa about the same time Rua was opening Café Capriccio. Petrosino owned and operated the Executive Suite in Schenectady before spending more than a decade as managing the Glen Sander’s Mansion, the Hall of Springs in Saratoga and the Saratoga National Golf Club, Thereafter, Petrosino ran corporate lodging for International Paper in Greenwich, Conn., and managed Whiteface Lodge at Lake Placid before heading to The Villages in Florida as a founder and partner in the wildly successful Red Sauce restaurant.
With the birth of their grandson, Michael, Danny and his wife Patti longed to be back north to be near him. In 2012 they opened Mio Posto in Saratoga which quickly achieved prominence as one of Saratoga’s best restaurants and was even rated as Saratoga’s #1 restaurant on the popular website, Trip Advisor. In 2014, owner Bill Donovan convinced Petrosino to sell Mio Posto and take over as Executive Chef at Maestro’s, a popular bistro on Broadway in Saratoga. Donovan, Petrosino and Nicholas Adie partnered to establish Symphony Catering, a fast growing catering company in Saratoga Springs.
“It certainly was a challenge running a restaurant the size of Maestro’s on the one hand, while directing the operations of Symphony Catering on the other”, said Petrosino.
Symphony’s business boomed and it soon became apparent the catering company needed additional space, space not available at the restaurant location. In October, Donovan received an unsolicited offer from the owners of the adjacent Adelphi Hotel to sell Maestro’s. According to Petrosino, “it was an offer that could not be refused.”
“With the sale of Maestro’s, Symphony started looking at relocation possibilities. I decided to look for a smaller restaurant that I could have some fun with and use as a test kitchen with concepts for our catering menus,” Petrosino reported. “We all assumed Symphony would establish a kitchen independent of any restaurant, after the sale of Maestro’s”, he continued.
Petrosino entered into discussion with Rua, while Symphony sought a new home. A chance encounter led to a visit to McGregor Country Club by the Symphony partners.
“We were interested in a kitchen for the catering operation and McGregor offered some venues our clients would find as interesting options. The owners at McGregor welcomed Symphony but insisted their priority was their dining room,” said Petrosino.
Discussions ensued and all parties agreed McGregor would become home to Symphony and a resurrected Maestro’s. When the restaurant was sold, the Maestro’s brand was not part of the deal. The newly christened “Maestro’s At McGregor” is scheduled to open in the spring. Petrosino will serve as Executive Chef, but only expects to be in the kitchen on rare occasions after launching the restaurant. “I’ll be focusing on Symphony, having fun at my new restaurant and keeping a close eye on the Maestro’s kitchen,” he said.
Moving right along to the other news, it was also announced via a press release that award-winning chef and restaurateur, Gray Kunz, is returning to New York with the opening of Salt & Char (the old Maestro’s) in Saratoga Springs this spring.
Gray Kunz is globally recognized, and Saratoga Springs is extraordinarily lucky to have a chef like him joining our restaurant community.
To read the full story written by Steve Barnes of Times Union, click here.
The press release follows:
Globally recognized and award-winning chef and restaurateur, Gray Kunz, is setting the table for an extraordinary appreciation for dining in Saratoga Springs, the culinary heartland of New York, with the opening of Salt & Char, a modern and alluring steakhouse experience for the most refined of palates.
“It thrills me to be opening Salt & Char in Saratoga Springs. As a Chef, I am constantly inspired by the Hudson Valley region—a place many consider the market garden of New York, a place that is known to have the freshest ingredients in the state, and a place where farmers dedicated to sustainable and organic practices harvest some of the freshest produce available,” said Chef Kunz. “I have a home in Upstate New York—it’s where I go to center myself, to pause and create, and of course, to pursue my own personal passion, which is to cook only the finest of dishes in the most bountiful of locations.”
Chef Kunz is a globally acclaimed chef and operator with a wealth of culinary knowledge and experience in destinations around the world. The opening of Salt & Char marks Chef Kunz’s return to New York. Chef Kunz, who received international acclaim for his culinary mastery at Lespinasse that earned him four stars from the New York Times, also owned restaurants Café Gray and Grayz in New York City. Chef Kunz currently operates Café Gray Deluxe at The Upper House, a luxury/lifestyle 5-star hotel located in Hong Kong.
Chef Kunz has partnered with the principals behind the renovation of the historic Adelphi Hotel in Saratoga Springs to form a world class hospitality management company, The Adelphi Hospitality Group. The group purchased the former Maestro’s restaurant, located adjacent to the Hotel and will reveal Salt & Char in early 2016, approximately one year ahead of the opening of The Adelphi Hotel. The Adelphi Hospitality Group will also be responsible for the hotel’s operations. The Adelphi Hotel is the first of many future projects with a unique approach to hospitality planned by The Adelphi Hospitality Group.
“We are honored to be working with such an acclaimed Chef as Gray Kunz at Salt & Char,” said Simon Milde, Chairman and CEO of Richbell Capital, the development partner behind these projects. “He has a mastery of flavors unlike any other Chef—his food is innovative, modern, and most importantly delicious. We are certain Chef Kunz will impress and delight each and every guest that dines at Salt & Char and the rest of the Adelphi Hotel’s dining options.”
When planning Salt & Char’s concept and menu, Chef Kunz drew inspiration from the distinctive offerings of the region. “Salt & Char is inspired by the bounty of fresh and high-quality local ingredients and products. We wanted to put a modern twist on a timeless classic – to elevate a steakhouse to extraordinary,” said Chef Kunz. “Our goal is to celebrate the best of Hudson Valley by featuring the talented local producers, farmers and artisans. Through Salt & Char’s food and beverages, ambiance and warm, welcoming service, our guests will get an introduction to what I love about the area and especially Saratoga Springs”
Salt & Char’s menu will be composed of the highest quality ingredients masterfully prepared by the skilled touch and culinary diversity that is signature to Chef Gray Kunz. Each steak will be a work of art—generous cuts of regionally farm-raised beef wondrously prepared in both classic and modern presentations, such as Tomahawk Steak and Sirloin Steak with Flat Bone, as well as Wagyu and dry aged cuts. For those looking for lighter options, Salt & Char will also offer sustainably sourced seafood and organic chicken dishes among many others. Chef Kunz will be modernizing steakhouse sides with refined dishes such as Crispy Polenta Fries, Creamed Spinach with Crumbled Chiccharones, and Grilled Nopal Cactus Pads. Diners can end their meal with a sweet note, with Chef Kunz’s delightful desserts such as Ginger-Molasses Sticky Pudding with Caramel Rum Sauce.
Salt & Char is located at 353 Broadway in Saratoga Springs, New York. For more information, visit saltandcharsteakhouse.com.
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