If you don’t think you would enjoy the food in a building that used to be a plumbing supply store, you might want to think again. New World Bistro Bar is a unique dining experience nestled in a residential neighborhood in Albany. The restaurant makes a genuine effort to keep sustainability in mind, so you can feel good about having a nice night out.
Most of the furniture was bought from a bar that closed down the street, and as much of the produce and meats as possible are purchased locally. There is a warm and laid back atmosphere, reflected in the warm color choices and rich wood tones. The waiters are great, and remain attentive without being intrusive. And the menu exemplifies the name of the restaurant; there are Latin, Indian, French, and Asian influences that are seen in all of the different dishes served. Finally, there are featured items and specials that change daily.
The appetizer for the night was steak fries with banana ketchup and chipotle aioli. Six steak fries are served with dipping sauce on the side for $6. However, this side is much more than your typical order of fries. The steak fries themselves are wedges of potatoes seasoned and served fresh out of the oven. The banana ketchup is store-bought ketchup mixed with plantains, making it sweeter than normal and complementing the seasonings on the fries. The chipotle aioli didn’t have as distinct a flavor as the ketchup, but it added a subtle heat that was nice.
For an entrée, the yellow curry shrimp and big fat noodles with crisp veggies and fresh basil was ordered; however, tofu was substituted for the shrimp which made the price $17 instead of $18. I couldn’t ask any more from this dish; it was an amazing and complex blend of flavors with a portion large enough to bring home leftovers. The presentation was beautiful; it was full of noodles and appeared with multi-colored julienned vegetables sprinkled with fresh basil. The yellow curry sauce was delicious with a little bit of heat and spice that did not overpower the other ingredients. When everything was mixed together, it was perfect; there was crunchiness from the vegetables contrasting with the warm, soft noodles, coated in a light curry sauce. It was a perfect adaptation of Indian style to American cuisine.
Just when I thought the night couldn’t get better, the dessert menu arrived at the table. The homemade ice cream sandwiches were delightful, and served with chocolate ganache for only $5. The chocolate chip cookies are baked on the premises. They are thinner—providing a sweet crunch—and buttery, adding a salty touch to compliment the sweetness of the ice cream. The evening that I went for dinner, the sandwiches were filled with lovely coffee ice cream. It was a match made in heaven. The ice cream was subtly flavored with coffee, which accentuated the sweetness of the cookies and creamy ice cream.
All in all, this was a wonderful meal. This restaurant seems better suited for Soho than an Albany suburb, but I’m not complaining. The quality of the food is impeccable, and the dishes are delightful. The environment just adds to the experience, and the waiters are welcoming and friendly. The only complaint this reviewer had is that the restaurant only serves dinner, with the exception of Sundays when brunch is also served. Otherwise, this establishment would have received a perfect score. This is all that I look for and more when I’m going out to eat, and if you are looking for something new, I highly recommend you try the New World Bistro Bar.