Skip to content

Getting Emily’s Goose

December 11, 2018

Chanukah is over. Even though I don’t celebrate Christmas per se, doesn’t mean that I don’t enjoy the Christmas season. I mean, I’m not a monster. The smell of fresh cut conifer trees is fantastic. And who doesn’t enjoy a cookie or two? Eggnog is delicious. And pretty much I’m always down for a party.

Presents? Those have never really been my bag. Little Miss Fussy pretty much got eight nights of Duck Tape, and she couldn’t be happier. I’m aware that there is some kind of expectation to get presents for the postal clerks, the bus driver, the kids’ teachers, and so on and so forth. But honestly, I have no idea how far this thing is supposed to go.

I don’t think I’ve ever gotten my boss or my subordinates presents around the holidays. Actually, I haven’t managed anyone besides my own children for years. So at least those lapses are ancient history.

Anyway, Emily L discovered a classic Christmas tradition around Albany that has to do with food. And frankly, I’m a little surprised by her cheery description of it, but I’m happy to chalk it up to the exuberance of the holiday season. But she also has a question for you about gift giving, so let’s hand over the mic and see what happens.

A Christmas Goose
by Emily L.

It was a cold, dreary Tuesday night and the boyfriend wanted to go out to dinner. He has been trying to take me to all the Albany classic institutions; on our list next to visit was LaSerre restaurant in downtown Albany.

As he describes it, ‘It’s where your high school French class goes for a fancy lunch or when your grandparents want to go out for a nice dinner out.’ Tucked away in a small off-street from State Street, this classic Albany institution features French, wood paneled walls, and traditional circular booths. While this wasn’t a place on my radar, I was willing to try it out.

We sat down in a near-empty restaurant; the waitress explained Tuesdays were usually their slowest days. While their menu hasn’t changed much in the past twenty years, we were excited to hear about their special. Only for the month of December, LaSerre offers goose with an orange-cranberry sauce, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and vegetables. Though a pricy $45, our waitress was kind enough to split the generous portion into two plates for us.

I have never had goose before, but love duck and other game birds. The goose was simply phenomenal. The portion included both dark and white meat; the cranberry sauce complimented the rich flavor of the meat perfectly without overwhelming it. The stuffing (located under the meat), had encompassed the rich drippings from the bird and was almost as phenomenal as the goose itself. The mashed potatoes and vegetables were nothing to write home about and quickly got pushed to the side.

While this never would have been on my radar previously, this will quickly become an annual pilgrimage each December. I went home that night scheming when I can get back there for lunch (goose is available in a smaller portion then). If you haven’t been to LaSerre before or haven’t been in years, give it a try. But the goose is only available until they run out.

Egads! Let’s back up for a moment. $45 for a plate of food where there are items on the plate that get pushed aside?

What Emily did not know is that I went to LaSerre to try this goose once before. Once. Because I simply didn’t enjoy it one bit. Not that I don’t like goose, I do. I love it. But not this one, drowned in a sweet and sticky sauce, plopped unceremoniously on a plate with a starch and a vegetable that at best are mere afterthoughts, and at worse are redolent of industrial food service institutions.

Then there is the flatware. I don’t know if you can tell by looking at Emily’s picture, but the fork and knife are tragic. Even though it was years ago, I remember really needing to use my knife to separate some tendon or cartilage from the meat I was served, because the carving work was less than precise. From the look of her picture, it doesn’t appear as if the chef’s carving skills have improved. Anyhow, that flimsy serrated blade was hardly up for the task.

That said, if it’s Christmas and you want goose—but don’t want to cook one—this may still be your best bet in Albany. However, I’d recommend coming for lunch, or doing what Emily did and splitting one portion two ways.

However, I’d highly encourage you all to buy your own goose and roast it. Not only will it likely be better, but you’ll also be left was a significant quantity of delicious delicious goose fat. Your roasted potatoes will be amazing for months!

Oh yes. I almost forgot. Emily also had a question for you. Here it is:

I am thinking of doing my next post on Christmas gifting. Instead of presents this year, I am taking the boyfriend’s family out for a meal. I am so tired of giving the same gift cards back and forth. We all love food so this works out nicely. I would love to know what your readers do instead of gifting.

So, my little fussies… what do you do in lieu of traditional gifting?

3 Comments leave one →
  1. December 11, 2018 4:40 pm


  2. Benjamin M. permalink
    December 11, 2018 5:11 pm

    UH oh, I recently was at a charity auction and bid on and won a gift certification to LaSerre.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: