(I know this is a bit of a long review, but I felt like the circumstances warrented some explanations. Since this is a bit of a "comeback" for this restaurant, I think it's worth taking a couple of minutes to read through, if you really want to try this place.)
We went out last night (Friday 7/26/13) at about 7:15, hungry and without having made a reservation anywhere. We don't usually even try the more "popular" places on a weekend night w/o a reservation, but took a chance at Bistro Talulah. It was packed and after checking with the hostess and finding out it would be well over an hour, we thanked her & said we'd pass and come back another time. A really lovely couple having dinner at one of the outdoor tables, saw us go in and then come right back out and recommended 132 Glen Bistro. We thanked them and said we were familiar with the place, (I have a review of it here on TA) but weren't sure that was what we wanted.
Then, they asked if we'd tried The Vagabond, which was the "new" place across the street. (formerly "Blackwatch") We told them that we knew it had opened a while back, then closed because they lost their chef or something and that now they'd re-opened, but we really hadn't spoken to anyone who'd been there. They said they'd heard it just recently re-opened and the "original" chef (Adriano?) was back and he was supposed to be outstanding. They said some friends had told them the food was excellent, so we thought "why not?" and headed over.
It took only a minute for the hostess?/a waitress? to notice we'd come in and as soon as she did, she said she'd be right with us. She finished what she was doing, came over and asked if we were there for dinner? We replied yes and she advised us that they were just getting a table in the dining room set up. She said we could either eat at one of the higher (2 top and 4 top) tables that were all set up with linens & silverware, etc. near the bar, or we could sit down at one of them temporarily, to wait for the table in the dining room. (We assumed she would normally have asked if we wanted to wait at the bar itself, but it was full) We opted to wait at one of the high tables, so we sat down and she took a drink order. The drinks came quickly and right as she brought them, another waitress came out and said the table was ready.
The dining room was pretty full and people seemed to be enjoying themselves and the food. Since we already had drinks, the hostess gave us our menus and said our server would be with us shortly. Sadly, our particular server, gets the only low mark of this review. Although she wasn't necessarily rude, she was unprofessional, acted like she was bored and really didn't seem to know or care to know much of anything about the food that was being offered. She went through the list of specials with us, but mumbled through them so quickly, we barely heard or understood her.
Once she'd brought our food, she seemed to disappear and never really came back to check to see if we needed anything. After a while, one of the other servers noticed that my husband's glass was empty and she came over and asked if he would like another beer. She even brought the fresh drink to the table. The next time I think we saw our server, was when she brought the check. She might have cleared a plate, but I'm not even sure I could swear to that. I can't say that she was the worst we've ever had, but she was a far, far cry from the best. However, from everything else we witnessed, the rest of the staff all seemed to be knowledgable, professional, friendly and efficient.
Now, for the food.... Everything we ordered was fantastic. We both started with green salads... Mine was a House (garden) salad and Hubby chose a Mediterranian. The only minus to the meal at all, was that my salad seemed pretty light on the "vinaigrette". Honestly, I think they forgot it altogether, but I forgave that, because the little squares of fresh warm focaccia bread they brought out was delicious and rest of the meal was so incredibly good.
We ordered the Meatballs to share as an appetizer and they were tender, moist, flavorful and topped with a good amount of gooey, yummy ricotta, mozzerella and parm, then baked casserole style in marinara sauce. There were only 2 meatballs in the order, but they were huge, so we actually ended up bringing some home. For our "mains"... Hubby had the Calamari Marinara, which he said was cooked and seasoned perfectly. The calamari was tender and the marinara was flavorful, but not at all overpowering. I had the Pappardelle (which I believe was house made and was also cooked to perfection) with Prosciutto and Porcini Mushrooms, in an almost slightly smoky cream sauce. We had no room left for what sounded like delicious deserts, but still took home doggy bags from each of our meals.
We realize this restaurant has had a bit of a rough start, but as long as things keep going in the direction that they are right now, we'll definitely be going back to The Vagabond and will also be recommending it to others and bringing friends and family there, as well. Downtown Glens Falls needs quality establishments like this and we really hope things just keep getting better and better for The Vagabond. (We wish we knew who that couple sitting outside of Talulah was, so that we could thank them!!)
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