My dad and I are very different, but one thing we’ve always had in common was our love of food. Now that I am older, and more adventurous, our shared love of food has been a great way to spend some quality time together. It also means dining out at restaurants I can’t afford. Thanks Dad!
Most recently we were lucky to enjoy a wine and food pairing at Tala Bistro in Latham. Tala has an interesting menu including a fusion of Asian inspired dishes, like the Tala dumplings with edamame filling, and more traditional classics like shrimp and linguini or filet mignon. During our food and wine pairing we were able to truly get a taste of Tala, and it was pretty darn good.
Our entire tasting menu was pre-determined by the chef and sommelier. Starting with the amuse bouche for the evening, a seared day boat scallop on top of a creole remoulade and locally grown micro fennel. Amuse bouche is a single, bite-sized hors d’œuvre. Amuse-bouches are different from appetizers in that they are not ordered from a menu by patrons but are served gratis and according to the chef’s selection alone.
For the official first course we dove into the Tala Chop Salad. A chop salad is the kind of salad that seems like it would be easy to replicate, but is just never as good as the restaurants make it. This one included a trio of lettuce; it included radicchio, iceberg, and romaine lettuce, plus bacon, feta, dried cranberries, candied pecans, granny smith apples, and a maple & mustard vinaigrette.
Moving onto course two we were served one of the restaurants most recognizable dishes, the Tala Dumplings. Filled with pureed edamame, white truffle, and scallions on top of a porcini broth, once you bite into a dumpling, the sweetness from the edamame may take you by surprise. Despite the initial uncertainty, the dumplings are tasty, light, and easy to eat.
When the third dish appeared in front of me, I was immediately sure this was going to be my favorite course of the evening. Slightly deviating from the typical shrimp scampi, this dish was a game changer. Served above a capellini nest sat 3 colossal shrimp, bathed in tomato and garlic herb butter, and topped with micro greens, this small plate packed big flavor.
Course four was a porterhouse steak with both strip and filet cuts. The steak was served medium rare with a luscious balsamic glaze, cabernet roasted cherry tomatoes, and plenty of Maytag blue cheese. I think I may have mentioned this before in a post or two, but I am not a huge fan of tomatoes. I am also not a huge fan of blue cheese. Yet despite these hurdles, I had no trouble enjoying this plate.
By the time dessert came around, we were really starting to feel stuffed. But when a brown sugar creme brûlée appears in front of you, you put your spoon in the whipped cream and dig into those mixed berries with no complaints.
Tala Bistro is a small restaurant. Dark, quiet, and seemingly perfect for a date night, GNO, or birthday celebration. Plenty of options, both food and drink, and a kind and attentive staff mean that you’re (almost) always guaranteed a great time. Unfortunately this wine and food pairing menu included a few items that may not be permanent menu staples, it was a great indication that the team behind Tala knows what they’re doing.
As always, don’t forget to follow along on Instagram for a real-time look at all the photo worthy eats in my life.