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“Good Food...Overpriced Wine & Liquor” 3 of 5 stars
Review of The Epicurean Bistro & Wine Bar

The Epicurean Bistro & Wine Bar
579 Troy Schenectady Rd, Latham Farms, Latham, NY 12110-2806
518-786-8272
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Ranked #55 of 118 Restaurants in Latham
Price range: $15 - $30
Cuisines: French
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Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast/Brunch, Lunch, Dinner, Reservations, Late Night
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.
Albany, New York, United States
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 10 cities Reviews in 10 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“Good Food...Overpriced Wine & Liquor”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 14, 2013

We decide to try a different restaurant for our usual holiday (V. Day) meal.....we usually go to Provence in Stuyvesant.

The food menu has a lot of interesting dishes and the food was well prepared.

I thought the wine by the glass (Pinot Noir) and the Pastis I ordered were overpriced in comparison with Provence (usually Pernod because they don't have Pastis). Atmosphere was Ok.....a bit too wide open and not as intimate as we like.

Overall I'd rate the experience Ok but I think Provence has more ambience.

  • Visited February 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 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, March 13, 2013
We pride ourselves in offering a quality selection of wines-by-the-glass which change weekly. We have 5 house wines priced at $8 glass, and $6 at "Happy Hour". The remaining 16 available glasses, 8 from the various regions of France and the rest from New World regions are priced from $9 to $15 with many being highly rated wines. Again, our focus is on a quality experience for our customer's discerning palates.

As a true French bistro, the French aperitif, Pastis sells for $10 glass. We offer 6 different labels with the most expensive selling for $23 glass based on it quality, age and percentage of alcohol.
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75 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Saratoga Springs, New York
Reviewer
4 reviews 4 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
4 helpful votes 4 helpful votes
“A favorite lunch spot”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed February 7, 2013

My husband and I have lunch at this restaurant once a week. We go because they have consistently good food and service. We are big fans of good soup and they have a nice variety to choose from. Our server, Rose, takes the time to interact with you even on your first visit and even if she's really busy. Great crepes and salads and quiche. Reading the other reviews, I guess lunchtime is the best time to go!

  • Visited February 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Albany
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
“Expected more”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 3, 2013

I wend to this restaurant for the first time with a group of friends. Atmosphere was great, especially the bar area. The service at the bar was great. The bartender was super fast and the drinks were delicious.

Our server was very friendly, but service in general was slow, with what seemed like a long wait to place our order.

The food was good. Not great, just good. The cassoulet was good, but not for $39. The lamb chops were tasty, but a bit fatty and the way the sausage was presented was a bit unappetizing. One in our group had an appetizer and ordered a salad as her main course. The salad came out almost 10 minutes after the other entrees. There must have been a mix up in the kitchen. The salad seemed thrown together and the bacon lardons were just very undercooked pieces of fatty bacon.

I have been to other, better, less expensive french restaurants in the area. Namely, Provence. The food is much better and a much better price point.

  • Visited February 2013
    • 2 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Albany, New York
1 review
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
“This was so bad I had to join trip advisor to warn reviewers of how horrible this restaurant is”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed January 1, 2013

I made a reservation to dine at the Epicurean New Years Eve with a small group of friends, I chose to make this reservation after careful consideration. I have heard little about the restaurant but what little I had heard was good.

Upon our arrival, we were greeted at the door 5 minutes early for our 9pm reservation. I had called twice that day to make the reservation, and then to call back to see if the regular menu was available as I did not want four courses before I went out for the evening. The host who seemed to be the maitre d' greeted us warmly, then looked at me with confusion when It told him the name of the reservation, then asked us to go to the bar while they put a table together, which should have been done, as I had a reservation...

The bartender was no where to be found, 5 minutes after sitting there alone he arrived. He was brief and without character as he basically dropped a wine list in front of me. The pour of the wine was obscene, 4 ounces at best, maybe 5, and considering the price, $13 for a glass of pinot noir, the only one available, it was outrageous. Before you write me off know that I work in the restaurant industry and have for many years and expect a certain level of courtesy and service, and understand the product and service I am paying for.

After we payed for our round at the bar we were told our table was ready. Our waiter took several minutes to greet us, but we were fine with that, we understand business, and how holidays can be busy and often overwhelming for some. Our waiter held the same, cold, condescending attitude towards us as the bartender and host. Is it something we did? I apologize for our young age, 27-32 year olds have no business in a french bistro? Or is it because we asked for the regular menu? What nerve we had choosing your restaurant over the many others in the region.

Our waiter left us with our menus for many minutes, when he finally returned eager to take our order and be rid of us I asked some questions and tried to loosen him up. We asked about the cheese board. "It comes with two cheeses picked by our chef, you can add more for $7 a cheese." WOW. Please tell me more I'm so overwhelmed with the excitement of trying the artisan cheeses only offered here, at the Epicurean. Oh wait thats right, you didn't tell me anything, you gave me the description on the menu verbatim. He was then very helpful when it came to ordering dinner, he steered us away from every dish accept the most expensive, the ostrich. He gave it shining reviews, "Everyone loves it". When I asked him about the steak tartare he looked at me and asked "Do you like raw ground up hamburger meat?" I'm sorry, I understand up-selling, but now your trash talking the rest of your menu. Oh, yes, he also told us not to get the sausages, they are gross.

Well, we got the cheese board, and wow. I should have taken the waiters enthusiasm with the description as his way of indicating how dull and dry, literally it was. You could tell the cheese had been pre-sliced hours, if not days before, and had been left uncovered either in a cooler or on a counter. Dry, hard to chew, nearly impossible to cut, served on a plate making it nearly impossible to cut. Without going further it was the worst cheese board I had ever had.

We also got the escargot and venison medallions which I didn't taste. However everything was eaten because, yes it took a half an hour to get our cheese board and we were starving. Oh, and no our waiter didn't check on us at any point during that course. After we cleared our plates and left them on the table empty in front of us for a good 15 minutes he returned, and before running away we were able to painfully squeeze an order for two glasses of wine out of him. No the waters were not refilled.

Dinner came an hour and 15 minutes after we ordered it. The waiter dropped the plates, that were auctioned at the table, which disgusts any restaurant manager working outside of a ruby tuesdays. He basically threw steak knives on to the table, took my empty wine glass, and disappeared. Now before I get into the review of our meals you may have noticed, we're not drinking. But why get a round at the bar if we don't want to drink you ask? Well thats because we are still waiting to be asked if we would like something to drink. Aside from my second glass of wine, the other three guests in my party who were served at the bar, don julio anejo on the rocks, and ketel on the rocks, were never asked if they wanted another drink. Their empty cocktail glasses sat in front of them the ENTIRE TIME we sat at the table. Also, our waters were never refilled, but I guess you would have to check on us to refill our waters. Not asking your guests if they would like a drink not only hurts us, but it hurts you, don julio on the rocks, anejo, thats no $8 drink.

Dinner was not as promised, with the exception of the sausage, that was inedible, as was promised. The scallops were spoiled. The ostrich was tasteless and almost inedible, the only reason I ate some was because I was starving, but the only way I was able to consume it was by putting the butter sauce it was served with all over it, it was terrible. Overall the ingredients used were below average, especially for $36 a plate. The service was horrible. The maitre d' at one point looked at our table cluttered with empty water and cocktail glasses and then just walked away. Although he did make time to stop and chit chat with the table next to us of suits. The waiter never came to check on our dinners, when he was trying to flit by us we flagged him down, asked for the check and told him the scallops were spoiled, he took them away reluctantly. He came back with the check and apologized about the scallops then walked away. May I also add, you are probably thinking the restaurant must have been very busy for such lousy service, and poor food quality, unfortunately thats not the case. At best the restaurant was half full at its peak of our visit. I will never go back, nor will any one in our party last night. As well I will make sure to tell everyone I know how horrible the food and the service is at the Epicurean. What a joke, thank you for ending my new year on a low note, I hope you guys enjoy this review as the new year starts.

  • Visited December 2012
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 8
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, January 15, 2013
Reviews like this fraught with so many inaccuracies are hurtful! Our restaurant was voted to be the Best French Restaurant in the Capital Region. We are one of only 25 Wine Spectator Restaurants in the Capital Region. Our Chef is one of the top chefs in the area based on the competitions he has performed in against his peers. Our restaurant was booked solid on New Years Eve and we had one of our biggest nights ever! We use real wine glasses that have a unique poor indicator to assure our guests receive a perfect pour consistently from all bartenders and servers.
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Albany
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
38 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“Excellent Lunch”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 21, 2012

Our boss took 5 of us for lunch. The escargo appetizers were fantastic, as was the dill cured salmon, but the scallops were beyond words. You have to go, and order the scallop appetizer. They also had a spectacular sea food bisque, which was more of a chowder, but one of the best I've ever had. I was then served a crepe, stuffed with "chicken pate", beans, and a cream sauce, that was incredibly good. For dessert, I finally decided on a key lime pie, which was unlike any key lime pie I've ever had, but also better than any I've ever had. The waitress was very professional, and very nice, even when one of our party didn't know what steak tartare was, and I changed my dessert choice after the order had been dispatched. The whole experience was very memorable, and I highly recommend this place.

  • Visited December 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 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.

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