Water’s Edge Lighthouse
Freeman’s Bridge Road, Scotia, 370-5300. Serving light fare
daily 11 AM-midnight, dinner daily 5-10. AE, MC, V.
continental with red sauce
price range: $14 (pasta alla Lighthouse) to $23 (filet
mignon cipolla fritto)
It was a soft opening, but if you crossed the river over Freeman’s
Bridge Road during the past eighteen months, it was obvious
that something was going to happen here.
The Water’s Edge Lighthouse took shape on the site of the
former River House, but where was once a loud bar with burgers
is now a much more refined (but still fun) place to dine.
Being at the water’s edge means you want to take advantage
of the view over the water, and the handsome terrace does
just that, offering a pleasant al fresco dining spot.
“My wife and I were in Italy last year,” says owner Pat Popolizio,
“and that’s where we got the idea for the look of our patio.”
I mention this to tantalize you, I’m afraid, because outdoor
service is drawing to a close for the season. The patio harmonizes
nicely with the interior design, which features very high
ceilings for an airy ambiance, and a use of colors like deep
reds to maintain an earthy look.
The property began as an 18th-century farm, and it was once
owned by the same Volney Freeman who put up the bridge on
the site that bears his name. A 19th-century Greek revival
farmhouse was the basis of the building, flourishing during
the broom- making era of this part of the Mohawk Valley. The
building opened as a tavern in the late 1950s; the Popolizios
bought it last year.
The floor staff is well organized and very attentive, with
service manager Diane Marsh, a longtime veteran of area dining,
to thank. Once you’re seated and nibbling some bread, you’ll
study a menu that’s well-tuned to the area.
Start with a cup of minestra ($4, $5 if you want a
bowl). This is reliable ground, a nostrum that includes the
best of garlic, stock, beans and a selection of greens, including
escarole and cabbage. It’s a delicious appetizer, and Popolizio
insists that he consumes a bowl of it every day. I can taste
The greens were cleverly repackaged as an accompaniment to
grilled ahi tuna ($23), a beautiful pair of filets on a plate
decorated with parsley and wasabi, with a mound of risotto-like
jasmine rice as the foundation of the dish.
I was torn, I told the server, between that special and the
crumb-coated Mediterranean Sea bass that’s a regular menu
item ($19). “Get the tuna,” she advised. “It’s very fresh.
Then come back and get the sea bass.” Fair enough. And she
was right. The contrast between the rich, pink meat and the
creamy rice was transitioned by the sautéed greens, a skillful
But there’s a solid core of red-sauce dishes at the heart
of this menu, a menu concocted by Popolizio and his three
chefs, local talent wooed from other restaurants. Chicken
cacciatore ($16), for instance, is a classic dish nicely done,
with chunky breast segments tossed with onions and peppers
and served over linguine with a chewy marinara.
Eggplant roulade ($17), a worthy signature dish for the restaurant,
presents thin eggplant slices that have been breaded, sautéed
and then rolled around prosciutto and a three-cheese combo.
But it hardly stops there. The rolls are laid over artichoke
hearts, peppers and mushrooms, and then all of that goes on
top of a huge dish of pasta, with the marinara set off this
time by pesto.
The seafood roster includes preparations of salmon, shrimp,
clams, lobster and scallops. There’s also a best-of assortment,
the frutti di mare alla Fra Diavolicchio ($22), that
combines clams, scallops, shrimp and calamari in a spicy broth,
with—you guessed it—a pile of angel-hair pasta and marinara
We had all those red sauce dishes during one visit; the next
day, as we microwaved the prodigious amount of leftovers,
bits of tomato exploded within the oven, leaving it looking
like a crime scene.
During a subsequent visit, we put together a completely different
dinner array that also included a taste of chicken Francaise
($16), this time presenting tender boneless breast cutlets
that have been egg-battered and sautéed, then finished in
a lemony, garlicky white wine sauce.
A side dish of potatoes and vegetables gave a pasta respite.
There’s a light menu, served outdoors and at the large bar
area, that includes salads and wraps and burgers and wings
and a selection of deli sandwiches, priced in the $7 to $8
range. As the weather chills, this menu will be folded into
the regular dinner menu, so your options will be plentiful.
Desserts are a fairly conventional assortment of well-chosen
items, of which the chocolate-chip canoli is hard to resist.
The place is busy, especially on weekends, so you should make
a point of calling ahead. We’re kicking ourselves for discovering
the outdoor dining option this late in the season, but you
can bet we’ll be there next spring.
here for a list of recently reviewed restaurants.
Sophie Bistro (2853
Route 9, Malta) announces its first cooking class
of the season, to be held from 11 AM to 4 PM Sun.,
Oct 23. Tentatively titled “Fall Harvest,” the
class is limited to 12 people and will be a real
hands-on experience. The students will work together
to prepare a number of dishes, focusing on techniques
that can be used in the home kitchen, after which
everyone will sit down to a late-afternoon lunch
to enjoy the fruits of those labors—with the added
fruit of wine. The price is $125 per person. Also,
the restaurant’s first wine dinners of the season
take place at 6:30 PM Wed., Nov 9 and Thu., Nov
10. The theme will be “Seraphic Syrah,”and the
dinner will focus on the divergent ways in which
the French use this versatile grape to make everything
from rosé to Chateauneuf du Pape. The dinner will
include five courses designed by Chef Paul Parker
to complement each wine. The cost is $75 per person
plus tax and tip, and seating is limited to 20
people per night around a single banquet table.
For more info and reservations, call the restaurant
at 583-3538. . . . Remember to pass your scraps
to Metroland (e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org).
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very much enjoyed eating dinner at Daniel's
at Ogdens. You review described my dining
experience perfectly. This wasn't the case
with Pancho's. I much prefer Garcia's or
Lake View Tavern for Mexican fare. I agree
that a restaurant can have an off night
so I'll give the second unit on Central
Avenue a try.
yes I miss the star ratings, bring it back.
Second, I haven't had a chance to visit
Poncho's yet, but I especially like reading
would travel to Amsterdam to this restaurant
- it's not that far away. People traveled
from all over to eat at Ferrandi's in Amsterdam.
From his background, I'm sure the chef's
sauce is excellent and that is the most
important aspect of an Italian restaurant.
Sometimes your reviewer wastes words on
the negative aspects of a restaurant. I'm
looking forward to trying this restaurant
- I look forward to Metroland every Thursday
especially for the restaurant review. And
by the way Ferrandi's closed its Amsterdam
location and is opening a new bistro on
Saratoga Lake - Should be up and running
in May. It will be called Saratoga Lake
Bistro. It should be great!
comments about the Indian / Pakistani restaurants
being as "standardized as McDonald's"
shows either that you have eaten at only
a few Indian / Pakistani restaurants or
that you have some prejudices to work out.
That the physical appearances are not what
you would consider fancy dancy has no bearing
on the food. And after all, that is what
the main focus of the reviews should be.
Not the physical appearances, which is what
most of your reviews concentrate on.
A restaurant like The Shalimar, down on
Central Avenue, may not look the greatest,
but the food is excellent there. And the
menu has lots of variety - beef, lamb, vegetarian,
chicken, and more..