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“Fantastic food, friendly service and a fair price!”
Review of Rare Earth Wine Bar - CLOSED

Rare Earth Wine Bar
Price range: $12 - $36
More restaurant details
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!
Saratoga Springs, New York
Level 5 Contributor
63 reviews
54 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Fantastic food, friendly service and a fair price!”
Reviewed August 12, 2014

My family and I just dined at the Wine Bar recently. This was our second time. The food was spectacular. We ordered the Escargot which was delicious. I had the rack of lamb chops and my husband had the Quail. Both were scrumptious. The waiter was very personable and helpful. The second time we went, I had the duck, which one of the best ducks I've ever had! My daughter had the fish special which she raved about. My other daughter ordered the clams which were divine. We really enjoyed the experience and will gladly return. You won't be disappointed.

  • Visited August 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Beachbums601
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

34 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Glens Falls, New York
Level 6 Contributor
97 reviews
69 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
“Definitely worth checking out”
Reviewed July 28, 2014

An interesting place, with menus on Ipads and a funky different approach. The Ipad ordering thing is a little less friendly than a paper menu, but you can manage. Great selection of wine (of course) but also good beer available. The food was good, and we made it for happy hour which included some free apps from the kitchen. Prices were a little high for the area, but I think the quality of the food makes it justified. The atmosphere is very comfortable, but not for the rowdy crowd, which is 100% fine by me. The best part is that no tipping is allowed, but if you insist on recognizing good service they donate it all to charity. Gotta like a place with an attitude like that. I read another review that criticized the chairs, but I thought they were comfortable...

  • Visited July 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank wmccoske
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Clifton Park, NY
Level 6 Contributor
375 reviews
340 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 164 helpful votes
“Food and Friendliness trump everything else.”
Reviewed June 16, 2014

As we were seated, our host input our table number into the iPad menu, which he then handed to us, and informed us that we were at Table 41. How ironic, my wife said, we are celebrating our 41st anniversary. You have to work through a lot of things to be able to survive 41 years. The Rare Earth Wine Bar is far from meeting that goal with only about five months under its belt. There is still a learning curve that is apparent, but that should be expected when trying out something new. However, none of the little blips or glitches can take away from the quality and enjoyment of the food and drink being served. Our experience on a rather slow Sunday evening allowed us to feel like we were members of the family.

I had already heard about there being some difficulty with the iPad menus and that paper menus were available if requested. But I like to try new things so I was determined to soldier on and make do. One of the first things you notice with the iPad is that some of the contrast of colors make text almost impossible to see on the screen when sitting outside on the patio. There are also some features in the Beta software that still don’t work. But the staff are more than helpful and willing to compensate for a bad Apple.

Sundays are a wonderful day to come to Rare Earth if you are a wine drinker because bottles of wine are half-priced. We started with a 2012 bottle of Tokaj Affinitas Furmint ($43), a white wine from Hungary that was not overly sweet and would go well with the raw oysters we were about to order. Initially, there were three different variety of oysters ($3 each) available on the menu. But as we fumbled with the iPad attempting to order two of each, another party of three entered the restaurant and ordered the last of the Irish Point. As staff informed us of this we agreed to having three each of the Katama Bay and Osterville oysters. The half-dozen were delivered to our table and, when asked which were which, our server explained she was not sure. We attempted to discern the difference and just as we were eating the last two oysters the server returned, with three more oysters on a plate, and told us that all the previous oysters were the same because she had mistakenly picked the wrong ones. Thank goodness we really enjoy eating oysters.

The dishes that are prepared here tend to be smaller servings. Plenty large enough to enjoy the flavors and adequately large enough to satisfy a craving. My wife ordered the Sautéed Veal Sweet Breads ($16) with potatoes that reminded her of my Mom’s delicious oven roasted potatoes, and vegetables that included a whole baby carrot. Beautifully plated, the sweet breads were tender, tasty and definitely sweet. The chef did a fantastic job on preparing this dish.

I ordered the Red Wine Fazzoletti di seta (Silk Handkerchiefs) ($23) – house-made red wine pasta, lamb, and baby greens. When fresh pasta is made and cooked correctly it is absolutely wonderful. The lamb was tender, mild, with baby greens, and in a delicious stock.

Somewhere among all these delicious dishes we also shared a Curried, Fried Pork Lettuce Wrap ($7). Probably after the oysters and before the sweet breads or pasta. Without our requesting it, the kitchen kindly proportioned the Lettuce Wrap for the two of us to share. This may have worked to our disadvantage as there was more vegetable and mango in each bite and less fried pork. It was very good, but not over the top like everything else.

We did finish with a selection of La Tur 3 Milk Soft Ripened Cheese ($7), a glass of Esprit Sarrail Carcassonne wine ($7.50) and excellent, robust coffee. The cheese was served with some nice crusty bread, olives, and some sliced fig. Yum!

Because business was a bit slow, we had the opportunity to sit and enjoy the company of the manager and the chef for a bit. We shared our comments on the food and exchanged thoughts on the restaurant business in general. It was a truly enjoyable anniversary experience. The little blips here and there seem so insignificant when we think back on the food and the friendliness.

  • Visited June 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Roger K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Albany, New York
Level 5 Contributor
64 reviews
21 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“New Venue for Old Friends”
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.

  • Visited June 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank Norman D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Adirondacks, Ny
Level 5 Contributor
75 reviews
44 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
“Might be good if you can find someone to wait on you”
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.

  • Visited May 2014
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
Helpful?
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 review, 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.

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