GLENS FALLS – Dazzling orange flames erupt from the stove. The pans sizzle and sizzle. The chefs – three of them – chop and stir.
At Farmacy in Glens Falls, one can watch the chefs do their jobs from the sidewalk tables under the front window or step inside and sit at a chef’s table, a counter just inches from the action .
Has there ever been something like this in Glens Falls?
“I’ve never been to a place where the kitchen is the first thing you see,” says Hubby.
You’ll find Farmacy – a restobar that offers as much imaginative drinks as it does experimental farm-to-table food – on Ridge Street, home to two other chef-owned restaurants: Radici Kitchen & Bar and Morgan & Co. AJ Richards and his wife Christina opened Farmacy in April 2019, it has become the talk of the town, not only for its kitchen theaters, but also for its occasional comedy nights and drag queen Sunday brunches.
At 6 p.m. on a Monday, one of the chefs greeted us as we were shown to a reserved table at the back of the restaurant. When we requested a table closer to the action we were moved to the bar as the chef’s table was booked. We were more than happy with our new seats, as we had a clear view of the chefs, and we could watch the bartender mingle and shake those crazy cocktails.
My husband sipped on a tequila concoction and I savored a dark malt beer as I browsed the menu, which is divided into small, medium, and large plates. Homemade sourdough bread, baba ghanoush, blistered shishito peppers, lobster rolls, grilled fennel, steak tacos, and a three-way radish (tempura, marinated, pesto) are on the list.
Half a dozen oysters, Hubby’s small plate choice, were the first to appear. Nestled in a dish of small pebbles, the seashells encircled half a lime crowned with a feathery white cap of freshly grated horseradish.
“What the hell is this?” he said, picking up a dropper-type medicine bottle filled with a pale yellow liquid. A menu check revealed it in the form of mignonette sauce, a vinegar potion to squirt on oysters.
We noticed right away that all the serving plates and cutlery are vintage mismatched pieces, another fun touch.
Our large platters arrived together, Pork Belly & Scallops with mashed potatoes as a replacement for coconut rice for him, and a Vegan Stuffed Pepper with roasted jackfruit and a coconut scallion sauce for me.
My husband gave his dish a thumbs up although I found it a bit boring, perhaps because he chose not to eat rice. But I have to sing the praises of my stuffed green pepper, which was so delicious that it will all on its own bring me back to Farmacy.
I was in love from the moment I dipped my fork into the cascade of creamy coconut sauce that dripped over the fat, straight pepper and onto the plate. Extreme coconut flavor with a bit of spiciness contrasting nicely with the texture and warmth of rice, pieces of jackfruit and tender pepper. It’s vegan comfort food at its best.
Due to a snafu order, my little field farm salad was the last dish to appear. Fresh froufrou lettuce was spread over a pool of chipotle cheddar dressing and sprinkled with an assortment of nuts dusted with cocoa powder. But where was the smoked duck heart? It was disappointing. Maybe it was chopped with the nuts, but I couldn’t find it.
Our dessert, Red Velvet Cookie Sandwich, was a winner and the perfect size for sharing; a chocolate trio of slippery mousse, fresh goat cheese ice cream and a brownie-like cookie. However, the presentation might need some adjustment – maybe a necklace of whipped cream or a little fresh fruit.
After dessert, we lingered, mesmerized by the sights and sounds of the kitchen a few meters away. And as the restobar filled with customers, there was more to see, like an array of yellow-colored cocktails in bong-shaped glasses (glass tubes for smoking marijuana). Called Bong Appetit, this heartwarming mezcal drink features a plume of CBD smoke, like a magical witch’s brew.
Our bartender / waiter, who explained the bang drink, apparently noticed our fascination with the show kitchen.
“You can hang out and watch them cook,” he said. “There is no emergency.”
Jackfruit is a bumpy tropical fruit from Southeast Asia. Dense, nutritious and easily grated, it’s a trendy vegan ingredient. At Birch Bark Eatery, a vegetarian Shangri-La that’s also on Ridge Street in Glens Falls, they make jackfruit barbecue sandwiches.
W: 22 Ridge Street, Glens Falls; 518-409-8451; www.farmacygf.com, Facebook, Instagram
WHEN: 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday, 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, Sunday brunch from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
HOW MUCH: $ 81 without drinks, taxes and tip
MORE INFO: Reservation suggested. Take out meals available.
More from The Daily Gazette:
Categories: Food, Life and the Arts