Tonight I stepped out of my food-comfort zone of Chipotle and Paesan’s pizza (by the request of my parents) and went out to a restaurant I’ve never been to before. Innovo Kitchen came to Latham, New York a few years ago in 2015. I’m unsure why it took me so long to finally go check this place out; but I’m very happy that I did.
My experience with Innovo Kitchen didn’t start out perfect, however. When I called the restaurant regarding some questions I had, the front desk employee rushed me off of the phone, cutting me off and hanging up before I could finish my last question. Although, I was drawn back from my first negative encounter, I still decided to give it a try. After all, people make mistakes and it might even be that they were busy or she was helping other customers at the time.
Walking into the restaurant, we were warmly greeted by the manager who showed us to our table and wished us a good dinner. I don’t know what it was about him, but he made both myself and my family feel very welcomed and somewhat at home. As I sat down, I immediately noticed the unique atmosphere of the restaurant. It was fairly big, consisting of both indoor dining, outdoor dining, and a bar. These areas each included their own features which made them more attractive. For example, the outdoor seating area included padded lounge chairs and a firepit to keep customers warm while enjoying their meals. We chose to sit inside, which consisted of a vintage, yet modern feel. Wooden pillars, one of a kind light designs, walls with windows on them to separate the different parts of the restaurant from one another, all tie into the formal, yet hipster, feel. These physical features like the lights or the fire pits outside, and even the friendly and welcoming staff, all tie in to create an overall amazing aesthetic while dining at Innovo Kitchen. While reviewing their menu consisting of all kinds of food from parmesan cheese tater tot appetizers to a juicy burger meal with fries, our waitress came over. The first encounter I had with her was great. She was extremely outgoing and friendly, she even made small jokes here and there to maintain a lightened mood and make my family feel comfortable.
With all the different options of food, I went with the mac-and-cheese dinner. Probably one of the safest things to order from a restaurant you’re not familiar with – in my opinion. I also ordered a french bisque as an appetizer. Being someone who’s never previously had a bisque, I was a bit skeptical of my decision, but there were no regrets once I had my first bite. It came in the perfect size dish and wasn’t too hot when I got it, so I didn’t have to wait forever to eat it. It tasted great and although it was a creamy dish, it didn’t fill me up so much that I couldn’t finish my main meal. The appetizers took no time at all to get to us, however, the dinner was a different story. Though the dinner did take quite a while to get out to us, the manager was extremely helpful and reassuring in that he came over without being asked to, and let us know the situation behind our awaited food and assured us that the food would be out in no time, which it did. While doing so he was very apologetic and offered us anything else in the meantime to make sure we were satisfied. The waitress also noticed the food was taking a while, and brought us over bread and butter with iced water. This was done without us asking, showing us as customers that the restaurant and its employees main concern is customer satisfaction. This is something that draws many people into businesses, and surely drew me and my family in.
I’ve gone to many restaurants around New York and have tried many different baked mac and cheese dinners, but Innovo Kitchen’s has definitely been the best. It came right in the pot and there was the perfect amount of it in there. Not too much that it’s overflowing and you know it’ll go to waste, but also not too little in that you wonder why you spent your money on it. It was also cooked very well, it wasn’t too hot when I got it and it also wasn’t too cheesy. I didn’t finish it at once but I totally would’ve if I could. It included a multitude of flavors and different toppings such as bread crumbs and bits of crispy bacon. My dad got the burger meal and ordered it well done, which came out perfectly, I even had to steal a few bites. My mom, on the other hand, was slightly overwhelmed by the spiciness of her dish. However, she did say that other than the spices, it was very delicious and tasted good. Overall, the food was done really well and was crafted in a way that I haven’t seen before, making me eager to go again and try something different.
Towards the end of my dinner, we decided to get dessert. Their menu was a bit limited but consisted of one of a kind desserts that you typically wouldn’t see at other restaurants. For example, my dessert was pumpkin latte ice cream on a warm waffle topped with salted caramel sauce. Although it was extremely rich, it was undeniably one of the best tasting desserts I’ve had from a restaurant. I had trouble deciding between that dessert and the triple chocolate layer cake that I noticed the people next to me order. Ending our visit there, our waitress boxed and bagged up each of our meals individually and then came over to offer us pieces of bark chocolate with almonds from a little dish. It’s the little gestures like this that go a long way, and certainly did in my family and I’s case.
Overall, my first experience at the new Innovo Kitchen in Latham was definitely memorable and I would without a doubt recommend this to someone who wants to try out somewhere with a diverse menu and unique desserts. Not only will they be satisfied with the amazing food, but they will be content with the friendly staff and distinctive ambience.