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Smith's Tavern

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Smith's Tavern is located on Remsen Street in Cohoes and is a gem that needs to be given the attention it deserves.

When we approached the vintage brick building it looked like a shady bar, which was confusing given the intriguing menu we'd seen online. We walked through the large door that had me feeling as if we were walking through a dark castle chamber, and saw an expansively long bar off to the right (we later learned that the bar is in fact quite special). Where was the restaurant? This still looked like a shady bar.

At this moment in our confusion, a waiter/maitre de came out from a back dining area. He greeted us, was very pleasant, and led us into a back formal dining room. A formal fine dining room in the back of a bar!

We were seated, and promptly greeted by our server who was pleasant and personable, though seemed a bit shy so he might've been new. There were so many dishes to choose from, including specials. Finally, we settled on Chicken Cordon Bleu (for Brian) and Shepherd Pie (for me). Brian's dish came with a choice of soup or salad, which he chose a Crab & Tomato Bisque (I may or may not have had an influence in this) from their list of soups.

Let's start with the bread! Warm, soft, delicious and accompanied with an amazing, homemade garlic herb butter. Wow! The Tomato Bisque came out next. While I will say the texture was chunkier than your typical bisque, this is by far not a complaint. The flavor was amazing. The were chunks of crab and tomatoes. I ended up having the bisque for myself, and scraping the bottom of the cup. It was that good.

Our entrees came out. I looked at mine with wide eyes, the portion size was that huge. Chunks of seasoned ground beef and vegetables, topped with seasoned mashed potatoes and wonderfully melted cheese. There was nothing about the dish that wasn't amazing.

Similarly done to perfection was Brian's Chicken Cordon Bleu. The outside was fried to a crisp perfection while the inside was tender, and juicy. The swiss cheese oozed out. The ham was delish (and I'm typically not a ham person). The only 'detractors' were the side dishes (vegetables, anda mix of sweet potatoes and mashed potatoes mixed with bacon). They did nothing to complement the perfection of the chicken.

As I was tossing two-thirds of my Shepherd's Pie into a doggie bag, Brian inquired on desserts. He was so impressed with the amazing meal, he figured dessert had to be ordered, even if we just ate it later.

Our waiter said we had to have the carrot cake. We did. Wow. The cake was moist, and the flavors were pronounced. The frosting was a homemade whipped cream cheese frosting. There was no gritty taste whatsoever. My favorite kind of frosting. My only picky note would be the chunks of walnuts were a bit too large, and could have been chopped smaller. In bites that had walnuts, you only tasted walnut and very little cake.

All in all, not even the picky notes could outweigh the flavor perfection we found at Smith's. This is a restaurant to not only visit, but to frequent. I could go on, and on, but at this point I highly recommend you experience this gem for yourself.

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Shepherd's Pie Chicken Cordon Bleu
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Tomato & Crab Bisque