credit: Alicia Solsman
By B.A. Nilsson
Steak and Seafood Restaurant
Columbia Turnpike (Route 20), East Greenbush, 477-9909. Serving
Mon-Fri 11-4, dinner Mon-Sat 4-10, Sun 2-9. AE, MC, V.
price range: $12 (chicken parmigiana) to $25 (stuffed lobster
friends and neighbors
This time of year reminds me of boyhood trips to my father’s
mother’s apartment in Queens, where each step along the narrow
entrance hall rewarded me with more of the toothsome aroma
of her holiday-season feast. A tiny Norwegian immigrant, she
produced a traditional American meal that endlessly seemed
to emerge from her equally tiny oven. Not gourmet fare, but
something that seemed more rooted to who we were and how we
celebrated the holidays.
I got that same feeling entering Teagan’s Steak and Seafood
Restaurant, where grandma turns out to be chef-owner Al Pollock,
who has created a place that he wants to be as comfortable
for you as possible.
Tucked among a series of retail and service shops on a stretch
of Route 20 between Rensselaer and East Greenbush, Teagan’s
identifies itself with a green sign and an unassuming exterior.
Inside is equally unassuming, divided between the dining room
and a bar area, the latter in full swing during both of my
Every night at least three specials are offered, and I took
advantage of a recent scampi extravaganza to order the Ultimate
Scampi, which turned out to be a huge plate of garlic-intensive
pasta with the items of my choice worked in (I selected sirloin
tips and scallops). I assumed shrimp also would be a part
of it: The word “scampi” is an Italian term, according to
one source, for a type of crayfish that has come to also mean
But my dish turned out to be a most generous portion of linguine
topped with the requested meats along with much else in the
way of flavor components—olives, capers, a good mix of herbs—in
a sauce far less oil- (or butter-) heavy than I expected.
This clearly was a dish created not as an assembly-line item
but rather to be placed with pride in front of a hungry customer,
and I was not surprised to be greeted, a short time later,
by Pollock, who emerged from the kitchen to make sure my table
How could we not be? While we’re not talking rarefied fare,
this is food crafted with feeling. Lily, my dining companion,
was working on her own plate of veal and artichoke hearts
over angel hair pasta, and found the caper-rich sauce an added
bonus. (But it was the veal and the artichoke hearts she really
wanted. I was awarded the leftover pasta for dinner the following
Pollock has been running his restaurant for more than 10 years,
and has gained a loyal following over that time. “I have regulars
who eat here three, four times a week,” he told me. He was
chef at a number of area restaurants, including Chaucer’s,
but “having my own restaurant was always my dream.”
He named it after his daughter, and the family feeling extends
into the dining room where the servers, who are well versed
in the menu’s offerings, are happy to help you choose your
meal. And if you’re completely stumped, the menu has an unusual
extra: “If you don’t see it, ask. We will make it if possible.”
do make requests,” says Pollock. “I get a lot of them, because
people like that personal touch.”
There’s an Italian feel to the veal, chicken and pasta items,
but that’s just part of the continental style of the menu
as a whole. Seafood starts the entrée list, with broiled or
fried items like shrimp, sole and scallops along with combo
platters, lobster tails and even pan-seared trout, all but
the lobster priced no higher than $17. The lobster or a choose-it-yourself
surf-and-turf dinner are $25 apiece.
Then there are the steaks. I can attest to the excellent flavor—and
cut of beef—in the steak au poivre ($20), a 12-ounce
sirloin dressed with cracked pepper and a brandy-cream sauce.
Look for unpeppered sirloin in 12-, 16- and 20-ounce sizes
($16-$25), or try what I’m heading back to taste: sliced garlic
sirloin ($16). Filet mignon is served with herbed butter ($19)
or au poivre ($22).
Pricing is significantly lower than similar west-of-the-Hudson
restaurants—veal parmigiana for $14, for instance—so I’m suspecting
that Rensselaer County regulars simply don’t tell us that
Teagan’s exists so they won’t have to share. I’m looking at
items like the Chicken Tuscany ($15), a vast dish of seared
breast meat with spinach, prosciuto and mushrooms tossed in
a cream sauce, another leftovers-yielding portion. Keep in
mind that dinners come with soup or salad, so you’ve got meal
enough right there.
But even if you’re looking for less, the appetizers can be
daunting. Eggplant roulade ($7), for instance, is a dinner
portion of eggplant slices rolled around prosciuto and cheese,
in a garlicky wine sauce. You could even make a light dinner
out of the onion soup au gratin ($3.50), which has a good
flavor and an amazing amount of cheese on top.
You’ll find nothing very fancy about the restaurant and its
food, but there’s nothing fancy about the prices, either—a
satisfying experience we’re looking forward to repeating.
here for a list of recently reviewed restaurants.
Gelman and Vicki Levy Krupp, authors of The
Book Club Cookbook, will be at the Schenectady
County Public Library (Clinton and Liberty Streets,
Schenectady) from noon-5 PM Sunday, Oct. 17, to
discuss and sign their book. The event is a fund-raiser
for the Capital Campaign to expand the downtown
library to include a new children’s center, gallery
and performance space. Samples of food made by
area restaurants from The Book Club Cookbook
recipes will be offered for sale. Gelman and
Krupp interviewed book-club members all over the
country to see what they were reading and eating;
the result is a collection of 100 entries, each
focusing on a literary masterpiece. . . . The
Hudson Valley Council of Girl Scouts will
hold its third annual Cookie Cuisine event from
6-9 PM Tue, Oct. 26 at the Italian-American Community
Center (Washington Ave. Ext., Albany). Honorary
Chair Carmine Sprio, Ric Orlando and a host of
talented culinary teams take on the challenge
of preparing gourmet entrées and desserts using
Girl Scout cookies. This year’s participants include
the Arlington House, Aromi D’Italia, Capital District
EOC, Carmine’s, Crowne Plaza, Magnolia’s, New
World Home Cooking, Real Seafood, SUNY Cobleskill
and 333 Café. Tickets are $35; pony up $75 and
you’ll be part of the honorary committee. For
reservations, call Sharon Smith 489-8110, ext.
105. . . . Remember to pass your scraps to Metroland
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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..