During the first #CDNYEatDrinkBlog meet-up in July 2010, a discussion of favorite local dining establishments took place. I had only been in the area a short time and was thrilled to gain a list of local places providing quality food prepared by talented chefs. Early on in the conversation, Lauren spoke quite highly of New World Bistro Bar in downtown Albany.
When I found out a few out-of-town bloggers would be visiting the Capitol District, I knew that New World Bistro Bar [NWBB] would be a terrific place for a ladies night out. I started chatting with Zoe, the day manager at NWBB, a few weeks prior to our visit. She was invaluable when it comes to my planning this event! Unfortunately, it’s not always easy to find a nice location to host events for a larger group; but NWBB is such an exception to this rule. Zoe really took time to give me proper attention, discussing our groups needs and truly delivered with each of my requests.
NWBB set us at a long, banquet style table, and had no problems adjusting to my numerous calls regarding changes in the number of diners- including the call I placed just a few hours before we were scheduled to arrive for pre-dinner drinks. I loved that they put us smack dab in the middle of the beautiful exposed brick bar area, which gave us a tiny photography advantage with a bit of overhead lighting. [One of my requests to Zoe was the best photography lighting possible; just another way she provided for our desires!]
Our server, Mike D, was perfection. [Katie later referred to him as “Captain Awesome",” as a matter of fact] Enthusiastic without being pushy, friendly without being creepy, with a charming smile and great sense of humor; the kind of guy you leave wishing you were long time friends. He handled our group of 14 gorgeous, enthusiastic women seamlessly – answering questions, offering suggestions, and making us giggle along the way.
Every bite and sip I tasted was delicious! Kelly, Julie, and I split a bottle of wine – Duck Walk Merlot. A delicious red coming from a Long Island, NY winery, which I later suggested to Jen to meet her in-state wine/beer challenge requirements.
I started with a fabulous arugula salad, topped with local pears, toasted almonds, manchego cheese and a truffle vinaigrette; a perfect blend of flavors. I also ordered one of the appetizer specials, the fluke crudo, after hearing from Mike that it was the peak of freshness, traveling from sea to table in less than 18 hours. Purely splendid.
I wasn’t the only one pleased with her plates, either. I didn’t hear a peep of negativity from the ladies across the table. Everyone seemed to loved their orders, and I’ve already received several questions of when we will be visiting again.
We were all especially impressed with NWBB’s attentiveness in regards to preference and allergies. NWBB regularly offers both a vegan and gluten free menu, but they went above and beyond, creating a specialty tapas plate to accommodate Cynthia’s allergies. Mike was especially mindful, making sure that each item on her colorful plate was not cooked in soybean oil or even came in contact with other soy products.
I would say the #CDNYEatDrinkBlog New World Bistro Bar meet-up was a great success. I was beyond pleased with every detail of our experience, and am very thankful that I was able to visit such a special location with such wonderful women.
If you find yourself in the Capital District of New York, make a point to dine at New World Bistro Bar. Located at 300 Delaware Ave in downtown Albany, NWBB is currently open for dinner at 5:00 PM every day, closing late on Fridays and Saturdays. They also offer a brunch 11:00 AM – 3:00 PM each Sunday.
On the drive to New World with Kelly and Julie, I started to get a bit sentimental about the blogging community. Through starting Then Heather Said, and becoming active in the “healthy living blogging” community, I have met some of my very best friends; friends who are willing to travel several hours – by plane, train, and automobile- to come and visit me for the weekend. I’ve also gained a strong group of supportive, encouraging, like-minded local friends who I adore so much. My #CDNYEatDrinkBlog Blends have left quite an impression on my heart in the past six months since the group first formed.
While some of us were gathered together, I had to take a moment to make a toast to these gorgeous ladies, their sharing of their stories, tips, tricks, recipes, and friendship with me. Cheers to Blendship!
Posts of Interest if you’d like to hear more about New World Bistro Bar:
- Rachael’s first blogger meet-up recap
- Courtney’s NWBB review andrecap
- Emily’s experience dining vegan at NWBB
- Jen’s October NWBB Brunch experience
- Lauren’s NWBB inspired Ropa Vieja