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“New Venue for Old Friends”
Review of Rare Earth Wine Bar - CLOSED

Rare Earth Wine Bar
Price range: $12 - $36
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Restaurant details
Dining options: Late Night, Private Dining, Reservations
Description: Now serving twenty plus TAPAS items for between $3 and 5$..... Rare Earth is a partnership between a Chef who drinks a lot of wine and a Wine Producer who eats a lot of food. Between them they have only explored a fraction of the known FOOD-WINE Universe. The happy journey continues every day from open until close, or whenever the last person leaves, whichever is later. Fresh food, prepared in our own kitchen, from scratch, every day. Good wines and plenty of them, enough to make choosing an uncomfortable distraction. Casual atmosphere, like you might find at home or maybe in the quaint 4th arondissement in Paris, understated but over the top, art to feast the eyes on. Music to enjoy but not to distraction, talk to your hearts content, stay as long as you are able, leave whenever you feel like it, come back again whenever you wish. Come often enough and we'll give you a key! That's what I liked about Living in Florence....My new restaurant friends gave me a key!
Reviewed June 10, 2014

When Paul Parker and Cheryl Clark closed Chez Sophia in Saratoga Springs a few years ago, the New York State Capital District lost one of its greatest restaurants, ever. It was a special place for us because we had been to their original location when Paul's mother, Sophie was in the kitchen and were frequent visitors to the Malta and Saratoga locations where Paul carried on superbly in mom's footsteps. And our daughter's wedding reception was hosted by Paul and Cheryl at Malta. That was 10 years ago and the compliments of the greatest wedding ever are still coming in. We were thrilled that Paul and his partner, Michael, took the risky plunge into this unique venture. The wine bar is a visually stunning and comfortable space that offers exceptional fare and many fine wines in a casual but chic atmosphere. At our last visit we started with a flight of white wines that complemented the impeccably fresh oysters and moved on to the main faire and a glass of a superb Syrah blend from the southwest of France. The wine complemented our exquisitely prepared small plates of braised sweetbreads and rack of lamb perfectly. While we were enjoying our meals, Michael came around and gave us a sample of a lovely rose. Meanwhile, we had a delightful conversation with the couple at the next table, with whom we had jokingly offered to do battle over the sweetbreads should they have been in short supply. Fortunately that was not the case. In fact our new acquaintances went for seconds. They were that good. There is always a great offering of cheese available and many other familiar and unfamiliar delicious appetizers and main courses to choose from. It was impossible to forego the signature house desert, an incredibly rich chocolate cake. The excellent decaf coffee would have sufficed, but Michael gave us an even better accompaniment, a sampling of a rare Manzanllia sherry that he had been able to procure in limited supply. That was, in itself, worth the trip. Our neighbors quickly availed themselves of the last remaining bottle. Graciously, we did not challenge them to a duel over it. But it may have been worth it. Some customers have found the Ipad ordering system daunting, but after a while it becomes easy to use. You just have to go back a few times. And even though we live an hour away, we plan on making the trip frequently. Currently the Wine Bar is offering a special Friday Flights and Bites seating that features nine wines each accompanied by a small plate that complements it. On Sundays they offer a half priced prix fixe menu with half priced bottles. We are hoping the Wine Bar thrives so that we can continue to enjoy the great food and hospitality that we have always appreciated from the Parker family.

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Thank Norman D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviews (34)
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25 - 29 of 34 reviews

Reviewed May 29, 2014

One the way to dinner with friends, we stopped in for a glass of wine at Rare Earth - a relatively new place in downtown Glens Falls. It was Friday night and crowded so as we stepped through the door, we tried to look down the narrow space for a seat. A staffer - may have been a principal in the business from his interactions with other staff - proceeded to try and jokingly block our view - but it went on too long and just seemed inappropriate. He finally pointed out a table in the back and told us someone would be with us shortly. We sat - for ten minutes. When no one came, he stopped by the table and said he would take our drink order, then proceeded to show us an iPad menu of food and drinks, which he encouraged us to use. Since he also dropped a printed menu on the table, I just picked my wine out, yet he continued to show us his iPad menu. We ordered our drinks. Ten minutes later, still no beverages. We left.

Food may be good, wine may be great - but who would ever know? I think they need to lose the gimmicky menu and hire some waitstaff.

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1  Thank Christine H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mikeleb1959, Owner at Rare Earth Wine Bar, responded to this reviewResponded May 31, 2014

Thank you for the feedback Honest Ann. We appreciate hearing about any issues encountered by customers. This particular issue is one we grapple with largely because it deals, on one level,with a choice we made regarding the technology and on another level with the realities of trying to find a way forward in what has been a tough business environment, particularly as we are a startup just this year.
The technology choice though, is not simply a gimmick. Most people enjoy using the IPad menu system and understand the real benefits as they use it. However, it is not yet doing as much as was promised by the developers. It remains an elusive and occasionally difficult piece of our puzzle to get the full benefit from. But it is effective in being able to manage more effectively with fewer staff. It also ties directly into our inventory systems, accounting and financial systems making it extremely useful in managing our resources. Eventually it will get simpler and more effective but we understand it can be daunting.
Is there a solution to our vexing service problem by simply adding more people? We know that there is but, that comes with other issues. We have had, along with many others in the trade, an extremely slow spring. The problem is generally worse for us because we pay from $9-18 per hour instead of the restaurant average for tipped workers of $4-5 per hour. This means that adding a person is an expensive proposition and we can only do so if we have a business level that supports it. That has not been the case from March 18th to May 23rd. We have been able to cover current salaries and a little bit more but that's all. They do, after all, have to be paid.
The past week has been great and we have in fact interviewed several people and brought at least one on board so far. But we can only do so as business allows unfortunately.
If you came in yesterday before 5:30 I was probably the one who greeted you. And I am one of the two owners. I built the restaurant and my partner and his wife did much of the finishing work, and he is an incredible Chef (he kept me up til 3 last night talking about Food ideas!). We are very proud of the space and encourage an atmosphere of customer independence. Walk around, check out the art, go into the kitchen, talk to the chef, order fast, order slow, linger, enjoy yourself. Find your own way to enjoy the space and we'll try to be there to help. Sometimes we get busy and have not put enough processes in place to cover off everything but we are trying and counting on the faith of new friends to sustain us. I hope you guys will come back and try us again. And if you do let's talk about how it's working, flaws and all. Only if we do that will we figure out a better way.
Last nights miss was my fault. I was occupied trying out a new program (Friday Night Flights) and was not as much of a resource to the floor as they normally enjoy. Believe me, they told me that for most of the rest of the night, largely because they knew they weren't getting it all done and they genuinely felt bad about that. I'm sorry some of that was experienced by you in the form of poor service but I'll gladly by you a glass of wine myself when next you're in. Ask for Michael.

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 28, 2014 via mobile

It's worth the trip to Glens Falls to have Michael pour you a drink while Chef Paul fixes you a plate. The wine list ranges from inexpensive to luxurious, but all are an amazing value. Pair with a glazed duck breast, tenderly sliced and dressed with a strawberry glaze, or try the lamb lollipops with a maple demiglace and root vegetables. The raw bar is devine, the marrow, succulent. The service is attentive but not overbearing and the atmosphere is perfect for meeting friends or a date.
Rare Earth is truly that, a gem in Glens Falls.

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Thank Megh1031
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 25, 2014

The great wines and art, very knowledgeable owner/ staff and wonderful hospitality all combined to make this an extremely pleasant experience. We arrived having already eaten which seemed to be a shame since the food looked very appealing too.

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1  Thank Norma S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 3, 2014

First, this is a great idea and fits nicely into the community so I have to give kudos for originality. Ate here with friends on two occasions. The iPad ordering system is a bit clunky, but my understanding is that the owner is going to abandon that idea for printed menus. The bar stools are handmade, but uncomfortable. The wine selection is excellent and the food good. A bit pricey, but this is not your typical menu, and good food and wine are worth a little more.

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Thank Nancy P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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