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B.A. Nilsson

B.A. Nilsson

Various Artists

by B.A. Nilsson February 26, 2015


  Seeking the living heritage of American song, John Lomax visited a number of Southern prisons in 1933 with recording gear in tow. Not the most dignified of scholars—Lomax had a racist streak that supported his ...

Here’s the Beef

by B.A. Nilsson February 5, 2015

Attached: Chef Waldy Malouf preparing to carve the beef.

  Two hours into the event, the lights went out. The glare of spotlights in a rear balcony took over. As the band swung into a rousing processional, the first platter of beef entered the hall, ...

Culinary Institute of America

Anonymous 4 with Bruce Molsky

by B.A. Nilsson February 5, 2015


  The opening strains of the opening song—“Weeping, Sad, and Lonely”—are so ethereal, so gorgeous, that when we reach the lyric—“Oft in dreams I see thee lying/On the battle plain/Lonely, wounded, even dying/Calling, but in vain.”—it ...

When the Weather Outside Is Frightening

by B.A. Nilsson January 29, 2015


  I hit the supermarket on Monday. I wasn’t sure that I needed anything more to get me through the predicted apocalypse, but I felt reluctant to miss a chance to surge through the crowded aisles ...

Get Loose, Get Comforted

by B.A. Nilsson January 15, 2015


  Marguerite Gautier sported a white camellia when she was available to lease her love and a red one when she wasn’t. The heroine of Alexandre Dumas’ Lady of the Camellias put these lovely blooms to ...

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The Year in Dining

by B.A. Nilsson December 31, 2014


  It’s not just community support that necessitates the pursuit of locally grown and raised food. It’s the health of it. Try to get a medium-rare burger in any of the chain eateries. Food-service people know ...

Gift Guide: Classical Music

by B.A. Nilsson December 11, 2014


  Four years ago, Sony Classical released all of Leonard Bernstein’s symphony recordings (with the New York Philharmonic) in one 60-CD box set that quickly sold out its initial pressing. Bernstein’s conducting is always reliable, often ...

Gift Guide: Cookbooks

by B.A. Nilsson December 11, 2014


  Our God, who art in the living room, flat-screen be Thy name. We flock to wrest possession of them when the shopping fever hits, then structure our time and sensibility around What the TV Tells ...


A Little Bit on the Sides

by B.A. Nilsson November 26, 2014


  Buttery mashed potatoes. Creamed pearl onions. Sweet potatoes with brown sugar. And butter. And even, heaven help us, marshmallows. Which doesn’t even get us to dessert. Thanksgiving has the impressive ability to swab the most ordinary ...

Please Pass the Pheasant

by B.A. Nilsson November 20, 2014


  Back in the unenlightened ’60s, we elementary-school wretches celebrated the run-up to Thanksgiving by collecting dying leaves, cutting endless amounts of corn ears and turkey tails out of colorful cardboard, and most annoying of all, ...

Leave Nothing on the Table

by B.A. Nilsson October 16, 2014


  As an arrogant waiter working at a fancy Westchester County eatery nearly 40 years ago, I helped institute a policy of writing a 20-percent gratuity onto every check. We believed that we were offering superior ...

A Pub of Flavor

by B.A. Nilsson October 2, 2014


  Mohawk Taproom & Grill, 153 Mohawk Ave., Scotia, 357-8005, mohawktaproom.com. Serving Tue-Thu 11-10, Fri-Sat 11-11, Sun noon-9. AE, D, MC, V. Cuisine: pub fare Entrée price range: $8 (two hot dogs) to $19 (steak frites) Ambiance: classic pub I ...

1 comment Mohawk Taproom & Grill

In the Lebanese Kitchen

by B.A. Nilsson September 25, 2014


  The Phoenicians, 1686 Central Ave, Colonie, 464-4444, phoeniciansofalbany.com. Serving Tue-Sat noon-9. AE, D, MC, V. Cuisine: Lebanese Entrée price range: $8 (shawarma pita wrap) to $20 (lamb kebab platter) Ambiance: colorful and lively Allspice. Black Pepper. Cinnamon. Cloves. Fenugreek. ...

The Phoenicians

Family-Style Farming

by B.A. Nilsson September 18, 2014


  “Jenny is a watch-donkey,” Kirsten Fredericks explains as the large, angry animal approaches. Woolly brown fur makes the donkey look like a plush doll, but her ears are up in a wary V, and she ...

All Good in Altamont

by B.A. Nilsson September 11, 2014


  Mio Vino Wine Bar & Bistro, 186 Main St., Altamont, 595-5095, miovinowinebar.com. Serving dinner Tue-Thu 5-9, Fri-Sat 5-10, Sun 5-9; brunch Sun 10-3. AE, D, MC, V. Cuisine: gourmet Italian Entrée price range: $10 (sausage & peppers ...

Mio Vino Wine Bar & Bistro

A Bar-B-Q Tour

by B.A. Nilsson September 4, 2014


PJ’s Bar-B-QSA, 1 Kaydeross Ave. West (at Route 9), Saratoga Springs, 583-RIBS (7427), 583-CHIK (2445), pjsbarbqsa.com. Serving Mon-Thu 11-8:30, Fri-Sat 11-9, Sun noon-8. AE, D. MC. V. Cuisine: barbecue, grilled and smoked Entrée price range: $3.25 (slider) ...


by B.A. Nilsson August 28, 2014


Man of Kent Tavern, 4452 Route 7, Hoosick Falls, 686-9917, manofkenttavern.com. Serving 11-10 Mon-Thu, 11-11 Fri, 11-10 Sat, noon-10 Sun. AE, D, MC, V. Cuisine: ambitious pub fare Entrée price range: $7 (cheeseburger) to $13 (fish and ...

Market to Cafe

by B.A. Nilsson August 21, 2014

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The Local Flavor Café, 620 19th St., Watervliet, 270-1880, thelocalflavorcaafe.com. Open 7-8 Mon-Fri, 7-5 Sat. AE, D, MC, V. Cuisine: soup, salads, sandwiches Entrée price range: $5 (Ultimate PB&J) to $9 (Caesar salad with chicken) Ambiance: small and ...

Master Director

by B.A. Nilsson August 14, 2014


  “The performing arts, literature, the visual arts—these are what draw our attention to aspects of our lives that we otherwise wouldn’t notice,” says Jonathan Miller, who celebrated the uniquely human ability to suspend belief during ...

Glimmerglass Festival

A Romantic Weekend in Annandale

by B.A. Nilsson August 14, 2014


  In the end, Malcom Bilson was right. The distinguished pianist and early-music specialist spoke and performed during a 10 AM panel titled “Invention and Reinvention: Who Was Schubert?” and, comparing a piano from Schubert’s time ...

Bard College Olin Hall

Timeless Audacity

by B.A. Nilsson August 14, 2014


  It’s a story of great sweep, a David Lean epic, but, as Shakespeare wrote it, laced with comedy of the Richard Lester variety. Henry IV is one of the Bard’s history plays, which right there ...

Shakespeare & Company

High and Low

by B.A. Nilsson August 7, 2014


  Two fish-out-of-water stories that nevertheless couldn’t be more dissimilar find a young Japanese woman trying to please her American lover by herself becoming as American as possible--and a starry-eyed composer forced to allow a commedia ...

Glimmerglass Festival

Doom, Glorious Doom

by B.A. Nilsson August 7, 2014


  Poor Grace Brown! She was a small-town factory worker who would have lived an anonymous life had she not drowned in Big Moose Lake in 1906. Instead, she achieved a posthumous fame that lives on ...

Glimmerglass Festival

Bang on a Can Summer Music Festival

by B.A. Nilsson August 7, 2014

The bass drum got a workout during Bang on a Can’s Summer Music Festival. Its capacity for dramatic punctuation proved irresistible to most of the young composers whose works premiered during this high-spirited event, and ...

Hall of Family

by B.A. Nilsson August 7, 2014


Nicoletta’s Italian Café, 96 Main St., Cooperstown, 607-547-7499, nicolettasitaliancafe.com. Serving dinner daily 4-10 (later if warranted). AE, D, MC, V. Cuisine: traditional Italian Entrée Price Range: $13 (spaghetti with sausage) to $26 (filet mignon gorgonzola) Ambiance: classic café What ...