If I have any knock against Willow is that their food is so rich that I could not possibly eat there every day. But if I have to pick a restaurant for special occasions, Willow is at the top of my list.
Sure enough, my second visit to Willow in 2012 was for New Year's Eve dinner. The restaurant was packed, and we encountered at least one unhappy patron who appeared to have drawn the shortest straw in terms of getting seated. One suggestion: make a reservation (especially for New Year's Eve). After a brief wait, we were seated at a perfect table for two. Our server this evening was not particularly chatty or forthcoming, but given how busy the restaurant was, I will give him the benefit of the doubt. Plus in a way, it was nice not to have someone hover over your meal every few minutes.
We started our evening off with two glasses of prosecco. For appetizer, we shared the Coquilles St. Jacques (scallops in creamy wine sauce with maitake mushrooms and aged gouda bread crumbs). Heavenly. Most of the dishes at Willow have a multitude of ingredients, each with a distinctive taste but all working in unison on their particular. That was definitely the case with this appetizer and with my Smoked Peking Duck entree. In addition to the smoked duck breast which was small meal unto itself, my plate also housed a miniature pot pie (also with duck), duck confit, duck sausage, and foie gras duck sauce. I loved it. My girlfriend went with the sauteed halibut, and she was pleased with her meal as well which also came with an assortment of peripheral tastes, such as crab ravioli and roasted fingerling potatoes.
We were too full for dessert on this visit, but it was definitely a tough call turning down Willow dessert because we have had it on previous occasions. They really know their stuff at Willow, the shining gem of cuisine in Ballston.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.