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Funday: Cider & Beer

February 13, 2015

Seriously, how is it Friday again?

There was an interesting conversation on the Yelp Albany Twitter feed yesterday. It had to do with me promoting Akira, the new Hibachi place in Glenmont. And it referenced some of the things I had said about Hibachi in the past.

The question was, where has my fussiness gone. Well, if you remember, we had spoken about the new tone of the post-Yelp FLB a few weeks ago. And this week it got put to the test. My hosts at Akira offered me up a full Hibachi meal on the house at the opening. It was probably the first time I sat down at one of those cooking surface tables in twenty-five years.

And pretty much it went about as well as can be expected. Nobody was engulfed by the volcano flames, I endured a ten-second sake squirt (actually two) without too much of a mess, and I caught a piece of food tossed into my mouth on the first try. It’s not my thing, but there are a lot of people who love the experience of it all. Fancy steakhouses don’t do much for me either, but I’m not going to disparage those who enjoy them.

There is one last promotional thing I want to share from that experience, and then we’ll move on to a round-up of some other press releases. Oh, and believe it or not, it’s yet another picture.

It’s kind of hidden from sight by the 200-pound $3,000 bluefin tuna, but I am sticking a giant knife in the belly of the beast. I hope that goes a little ways to explain the expression on my face. Next to me, also with his hands on the knife, is Akira’s owner Frank Zheng.


It was kind of a surreal experience. Afterwards, one of the restaurant patrons came up and asked if I was the mayor of Albany. The tuna itself was tasty, but I never did get that slice of belly.

Okay. Enough with the past. Onto the future.

New York’s first farm cidery celebrates first year of operation in Downtown Albany

Nine Pin Ciderworks (“Nine Pin”) will host its Anniversary Party on Saturday, Feb. 28 from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. at their production facility at 929 Broadway. The event will commemorate the anniversary of Governor Cuomo’s signing of the Farm Cidery Law, which has permitted farm cideries to operate in New York.

Starting at 11 am, farm cideries from all over NY will gather at Nine Pin to showcase their ciders while The 2 Scrubs will provide the music and Slidin’ Dirty Restaurant and Food Truck will provide the food.

12 p.m. – Remarks begin with state and regional officials
4 p.m. – Gathering of Farm Cideries concludes
5 p.m. – Music by the 2 Scrubs
5 p.m. to 9 p.m. – Anniversary party continues

Nine Pin Ciderworks (Albany, N.Y.)
Blackduck Cidery (Ovid, N.Y.)
Fishkill Farms (Hopewell Junction, N.Y.)
Bad Seed Cider Company (Highland, N.Y.)
Kaneb Orchards (Massena, N.Y.)
Sundog Cider (Chatham, N.Y.)
Cunningham Creek (Canisteo, N.Y.)
Maplestone’s Cider (Maspeth, N.Y.)
Embark Craft Ciderworks (Williamson, N.Y.)
Blue Toad Hard Cider (Henrietta, N.Y.)

Nine Pin Ciderworks, 929 Broadway, Albany, NY 12207

Tickets are $10 in advance and $15 at the door. Tickets are available for purchase at the cidery. The cover charge includes the ability to sample all the hard ciders (including Nine Pin, naturally) on the production floor. The set up will be similar to a farmers market. You will be able to purchase bottles, growlers or pours from all the farm cideries after you sample.

You can check out the Facebook event page here.
Six course tasting and beer dinner begins at 6 p.m. next Thursday

Here’s the word from chef Brian Bowden, “In celebration of Saratoga Beer Week we have paired up with Ommegang Brewery to have a beer dinner. This will be the first in a series of beer and wine dinners in the coming months. We are currently working on future menus with Saratoga Brewery and a few small wine distributors.”

The menu:

ommegang beer banner

Oh my gosh. I want it all (except for maybe the cotton candy part). All of that will set you back $55 per person. Seating is limited, reservations are required. Here’s the number to call (518) 583-6682. The restaurant is located at 30 Lake Avenue in Saratoga Springs at the Pavilion Grand Hotel.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. February 13, 2015 11:28 am

    To me the point is that there are no actual Japanese restaurants in the area. So it’s these places or nothing.

    • Shawn permalink
      February 16, 2015 5:27 pm

      How would you define an “actual Japanese restaurant”? I’ve always enjoyed Sushi Tei but not sure if that fits the bill.

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