Sunday, August 21, 2011

ALEX & IKA redux does it right in Cooperatown, NY (8-15-11)

As ALEX and IKA's has always been my top choice in this area, we returned again on our final evening in town with several clients. On Monday, it was much quieter, the server (from Randy) was much better and the food just seemed to have an overall better impression that we got on Saturday night (I always say that dining out on a Saturday can reek disaster). Since we had no opera that night I was able to indulge in their signature drink the SWEDISH MARTINI, a huge martini glass filled to the brim with Svedka Vodka, Aquavit, Lingonberry Saft and Lime. The lingonberry liqueur sits at the bottom and needs a little stir up, but looks so pretty as the purple swirls into the clear vodka; the drink is divine. Our guest said we must try the FINGERLING POTATO FRIES which are skin- on potatoes cooked to perfection with a rich Chipotle Aioli Dip. Two orders of these disappeared fast, though Samuel would have none of them wanting only his standard fries and burger. While I enjoyed the Star Anise Duck main course on Saturday, the ROAST DUCK ANTIPASTO SALAD was an even better choice and just as big with tasty Garlic Mushrooms, Green Lentils, Marinated Artichokes, Sweet & Spicy Peppers, Roasted Tomatoes and a Creamy Sesame Dressing (there is a choice of dressings and they all come on the side so you can regulate the amount). This dish had everything anyone could want and was indeed one of the biggest appetizers around town. We ordered a bottle of Cloud Nine 2008 Oregon Pinot Noir which did not have lots of body, so we moved on to a 2008 RIDGE Lytton Springs Zinfandel which is 74% Zin, 21% Petit Sirah and 5% Carignan and is a dreamy intense red good for the tasty steak or even the grilled wild salmon our guests enjoyed. Will went for the RACK of LAMB with Saffron Porcini Risotto, Roasted Tomatoes (these are a big item here and are fab as well), Balsamic Glaze with White Truffle Oil & Pine Nuts. I opted for a second starter and loved the BABY LAMS & CHORIZO with Sweet & Spicy Peppers, Rosemary, Thyme and Chardonnay. This simple dish offered up a pile of tin succulent Manila clams wit small pieces of chorizo for flavor in a tasty broth. No room for dessert, but this meal convinced us we need to come back next season and just avoid Saturday night!