Cafe 217


OK, so Linda and I already celebrated our anniversary with our traditional pizza last night. Tonight we decided to do a more “normal” anniversary dinner. Linda has become a fan of Groupon and she found a deal for a dinner for two at a local restaurant we had never been to before. We figured it would be a great opportunity to get out for a change.

The place was easy enough to find and we got parking right outside – which is kind of unusual for Albany. It didn’t look like much from the outside, but when we went inside, it had a nice feel to it. It wasn’t exactly fine dining, but it wasn’t too informal either.  It just felt cozy and I didn’t have to dress up (something I try to avoid whenever possible).

Our waiter Kyle was friendly and was thrilled to hear that we chose Cafe 217 for our anniversary dinner. My wife told him how we met online 14 years ago and were married 9 years. He met his boyfriend online, which was cool to hear too. It’s surprising how many people can say that these days. He took our appetizer order and brought out our drinks. The mozzarella sticks were delicious.

While we were enjoying our appetizers, Lauren brought out more wine for my wife. She explained that they only serve New York wine and beer, which is really cool. We’ve gone to the Farmer’s Market to get locally grown food as well. Since NY isn’t really the best climate for grapes, she said they had a really good apple wine and offered to bring my wife and I a taste. It wasn’t as sweet as you would think an apple wine would be. In fact, it wasn’t as sweet as the Riesling that my wife had. She asked that they bring her the apple wine when our dinner was served.

For dinner, both Linda and I selected the New York Strip Steak. It had some kind of demi-glaze that was pretty good. We both had green beans which were served in the same. I opted for the mashed potato since I am generally pretty safe with that. I’m not a huge fan, but I do like them. However, something about them didn’t quite taste right to me.  Linda tried some and noticed that they were mashed with sour cream, which I don’t like. She had the rest of my potatoes.

Linda was a little more daring in her order. Instead of getting mashed potatoes, she went with the spinach-parmesan risotto. Neither of us had ever had a risotto of any kind. Kyle explained it to Linda and she thought it was worth trying. Since I didn’t care for my potatoes, Linda let me try her risotto. I was quite surprised to find that it was pretty good. In fact, Linda let me eat most of her risotto and she finished off my potatoes.

After dinner, we were both kind of full, but when Kyle went over the dessert menu, one dish grabbed my attention. It was a chocolate chip lava cake with ice cream on the side.  We opted to split one. It was amazing! I do love my sweets, and this was no disappointment.

We had a great time at Cafe 217 and would definitely recommend it to anyone in the Albany area. The food was good and the staff was very nice and helpful. We got a nice lesson in local wine from Lauren too. They were even gracious enough to let me snap a picture of them before we left.

So it seems that Groupon has once again helped us find a nice place to eat. First, the Brickhouse Pizza & Grille, and now Cafe 217. I wonder what else lies in our future.



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