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“The Best Kept Secret In the Capital District” 5 of 5 stars
Review of The Epicurean Bistro & Wine Bar

The Epicurean Bistro & Wine Bar
579 Troy Schenectady Rd, Latham Farms, Latham, NY 12110
+1 518-786-8272
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Ranked #46 of 120 Restaurants in Latham
Price range: $15 - $30
Cuisines: French
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Restaurant details
Dining options: Dinner, Breakfast, Lunch, Late Night, Reservations
Description: The Epicurean is an authentic French bistro, the only one in the Capital Region of New York. The Award-winning Executive Chef is from the south of France and one of the owners is French Canadian. Our food is classic French with a Mediterranean twist...Provencal or North African spicing. There are many classic menus items such as Escargot, Frogs Legs, Steak Tartare and Steak Frites. The ambiance is casual. We are a Wine Spectator Award-winning restaurant with a 2200 bottle wine cellar with a significant offering of French wines. Our wine bar has an extensive selection of beers and a full bar. Come and dine with us and experience not an eating, but a dining experience.
Niskayuna, New York
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
5 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“The Best Kept Secret In the Capital District”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 16, 2012

Having moved here from Montreal over 18 years ago, a city known for its exquisite restaurants, I have searched and searched and often have been disappointed at was passes for Fine Dining. This restaurant, despite it's surprising location in Latham Farms is EVERYTHING Haute Cuisine should be. The restaurant is beautiful, the service is excellent and the food is sublime! We went there for my birthday and we are going back this month for our 18th wedding anniversary! Best restaurant you're not dining at!

Visited October 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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79 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Latham, New York
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
7 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
“is it French?”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 11, 2012

I went to dinner, along with another couple, and was disappointed with the meal. The menu at the time had dishes that were somewhat unappealing. I love French food and have experienced, both here and in France, wonderful meals. I think the dishes presented were meant to be a regional French cuisine, but should have included perhaps a couple of traditional dishes for those not willing to try something new. I, overall, did not care for what I ordered although the couple were OK with theirs.

  • Visited September 2012
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
normnmarge, Owner at The Epicurean Bistro & Wine Bar, responded to this review, November 13, 2012
If Duck Magret, Bavette, Steak Tartare, Moules, Escargot, Coquille Saint-Jacques, Gratinee d'Oignons, Cassolette, Andouillette & Boudin Blanc, and Creme Brulee, just to name a few of the French Bistro items on our menu are not French, then I am hard pressed to know what is...Our menu changes seasonally and our Award-winning French Chef from the south of France has been creating the only authentic French food to be found in the Capital Region for the last seven years.
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Albany, New York
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
13 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“A poor experience...”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed October 1, 2012

We had dinner there recently on a quiet Tuesday evening. The atmosphere is quite different and very pleasant. But the service was condescending, and our meals were very poor.

Our waiter rolled his eyes when we asked for wines by the glass, and then again when we asked for the Prix Fixe ($25) menu (which is available online but was not provided at the table). Obviously he had concerns about a diminished tip. Hint to the waiter: wait until you walk away from your diners before you roll your eyes.

We ordered the Prix Fixe dinners - to our subsequent regret. The chicken was rubbery - like you might expect at a bad wedding reception - cooked to death. Maybe it was leftovers from the weekend - re-heated. The vegetables looked like they'd been cooked a couple of times. It all looked very sad, and tasted just a little bit better than awful. The desserts were some kind of chocolate mousse whose 'sell by' date must have long since expired - they were inedible - they tasted sour. The waiter didn't actually seem surprised by this, and replaced them with something cooked more recently, but not particularly appetizing.

All in all, I'm hoping this was due to it being the Chef's night off, and that normally they can do better. In any case we won't be going back.

  • Visited September 2012
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Clifton Park, NY
Top Contributor
191 reviews 191 reviews
179 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 52 cities Reviews in 52 cities
71 helpful votes 71 helpful votes
“Nice decor, good food and friendly service.”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 14, 2012

On a previous visit here just for drinks, we discovered an excellent value on fresh Bluepoint oysters - a dozen for $18 ($12 for a half-dozen). Being more of a wine destination, the beer taps were limited to two. I don't recall what I had that evening, but I know it was a craft brew while others enjoyed their glasses of wine. Service from the bar was excellent, but it could have also been the result of the bartender knowing a member of our party (another bartender). Glancing at the menu, we made a mental note to return.

The occasion for this return visit was sort of a christening celebration so it called out for a nice dinner. There were not many other customers when we arrived at about 6:30 on a Wednesday. A couple of tables on the sidewalk by the parking lot were occupied and it was an unseasonably comfortable evening, but we decided to dine indoors were the decor is very pleasant and inviting.

It was difficult passing up the oysters, but Sweetbreads Sautéed with Bay Scallops and Wild Mushrooms in a Cognac-Chablis Sauce were calling out to us from the list of small plates. I should now mention the excellent service provided to us because after some initial and pleasant banter, we were advised that the sweetbreads dish might not be one of their more successful preparations based upon how clean the plates were whenever a table was cleared of that dish. But that was simply a greater challenge for us since we've previously enjoyed our share of sweetbreads. Unfortunately, our server had to return and ask us for a second choice; the dish was not available tonight.

Champignons Sauvages, Escargots & Lardons en Croûte á l'Alsacienne ~ Wild Mushrooms, Snails, Bacon & Caraway in a Pinot Blanc-Cream Sauce with a Puff Pastry ($14) moved up from second place and turned out to be a winner. All the flavors blended well together, the tiny bits of bacon did not overpower the other ingredients. The dish also paired nicely with both my wife's Hecht & Bannier Minervois ($12.50) a syrah blend, and my Dogfish Head IPA ($6).

We were told that the menu is updated quarterly, and a special menu highlighting different regions of France changes monthly. A Normandy menu listed a Grilled Veal Chop ($30) that appealed to my wife. It was a very generous cut with seasonal vegetables. I don't recall the exact preparation, but it was the better of our two entrees as the chop was tender, moist and full of flavor.

My choice was a combination of two items I am frequently drawn to. Duo de Coquilles St-Jacques & Aiguillettes de Canard ~ Duo of Scallops and Duck Filet with Merlot-Raspberry Balsamic Reduction ~ Served with Sautéed Greens and Julienne Vegetables ($30). The preparation was very appealing. Three perfectly cooked scallops set on top of three rolled filets filled with the greens. This was not the best duck that I've had, but the mix of flavors and textures was very nice. The duck seemed to be cooked a bit more than necessary so it was drier than I would have liked.

We finished off with a decent, Classic Crème Brûlée ($7) and some coffee and a cappuccino that we apparently were not charged for. The coffee was not hot, just warm, but my cappuccino was nice and hot. The owner had brought the coffee and cappuccino to us because our amicable server was kept very busy trying to serve tables both inside and outside.

Overall, a very enjoyable meal and experience. I expect we'll be returning and hopefully our server, Josh, will be available again.

  • Visited September 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York
Senior Contributor
36 reviews 36 reviews
30 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
20 helpful votes 20 helpful votes
“Very Disappointing In Many Ways”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed August 11, 2012

After having cocktails at the bar with our friends we moved to our table in the dining room for dinner. The waiter did not come promptly and we excused it due to it appeared he may have been the only waiter working in the front half of the dining room. We all ordered a glass of wine which I agree with one of the other comments about the pour. First pour is not that much but ok and the second glass of wine was much less and you pay a premium price! The four of us ordered different entrees. The fish was over salted with vegetables to accompany it which was a piece of broccoli and one piece of cauliflower....hard and cold. I could not substitute the quinoa unless I purchased a complete side dish in addition. Oh well! One had the veal which were thick chunks of veal undercooked and tough, one had the whole trout which was not very flavorful nor warm and lastly was a pork dish which was very pink. We froze through dinner as we were told they could not control the AC and finally that same person, possibly the owner, figured out what to do. Premium prices are fine but I did not get what we paid for at all. Hopefully they will be better in the future.

  • Visited August 2012
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
normnmarge, Owner at The Epicurean Bistro & Wine Bar, responded to this review, August 12, 2012
In my ten years in this business, it always amazes me how one complaint spirals into a complaint about everything! Furthermore, I always amazed that so few people bring these complaints up during their meal and decide to vent online. That being said, there are some factual issues to be explained. One, we had a very busy bar and dining room that night and there were two servers attending everyone in this section of the dining room and when I approached this party of four, their only complaint was the air conditioning which is computer programmed. I explained that the temperature does not change with the flick of a switch. Also, given the exterior temperature and humidity conditions this summer, air conditioners have been having a difficult time adjusting. Given that the temperature in the busy dining room was balmy 74 degrees, I did check on the thermostats and they eventually did adjust. I can't address the food issues with each one of them as they never brought it up to me though I did check on them at least once after the air conditioners had adjusted. The issue with the short pours is curious as all of our wine glasses have a mark for both the server and bartenders that assures a perfect 6 oz. pour every time, and if anything, they usually over pour the marks! Again, this issue was not brought to anyone's attention.
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