The Kitchen Table, formerly New World Bistro, closes July 23

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ALBANY — The Kitchen Table, the renamed name since December of what had been known as New World Bistro Bar since its founding at 300 Delaware Ave. in 2009, will close permanently after service on Saturday, July 23.

Annette Nanes, owner of the restaurant with her husband, Scott Meyer, said in a statement that several factors contributed to their decision to close, including Meyer’s health issues, the decline in business since the start of the pandemic and the problems of staff.

“It was a good time to close the doors,” Nanes said, adding, “We’ve had a great run for over 13 years.” She said they planned to retire. The restaurant building and property will be put up for sale, she said.

In 1983, Nanes and Meyer were co-founders, along with another couple, of an independent movie theater that grew into what became Spectrum 8 Theaters, on the same block of Delaware Avenue as The Kitchen Table. The company was sold in 2015 to the Landmark Theaters chain, which continues to operate it.

The couple opened the 80-seat restaurant, housed in the former Farrell Bros. plumbing supply business, in the winter of 2009. It had instant cachet as the head chef was Ric Orlando, who licensed the New World name , after his Saugerties New World Home Cuisine restaurant, opened in 1993, and recipes to create New World Bistro Bar. Many dishes had been famous in the region for years, including jerk chicken, blackened green beans, Cajun pepper shrimp, Purple Haze shrimp, ropa vieja, Thai-Italian Love Panang Bolognese, and a relatively recent indulgence – smoked meatloaf, wrapped in bacon and stuffed with gouda cheese. .

The New World Bistro was immediately busy and drew rave reviews, including from then-Times Union food critic Ruth Fantasia. She compared reading the menu to listening to the Discovery Channel, as much of the food featured “exotic flavors and cooking methods from distant lands that many people will never visit”. Fantasia noted, “Even boring food is interesting.”

The crowds continued for years, whether at dinner or a Sunday brunch that fed hundreds each week.

But the pandemic has hit the New World hard. It had the hiccups of being opened and closed for the first few months, closed again when the restaurant parted ways with Orlando in June 2020, retaining the rights to the name but not the recipes. It reopened in August 2020 with a New World alumnus as part of a married team running the kitchen, returned to take-out a few months later, then closed again during the resurgence of the winter pandemic at the start. of 2021. The new heads, on board for less than nine months, left.

The restaurant seemed to be finding more secure footing after it reopened in late April last year with the hiring of respected chef Ian Brower, who offered a pared-down menu closely focused on seasonal produce from local farms and charcuterie and charcuterie programs. of house marinade. . The name was changed in late fall to The Kitchen Table as part of an effort to develop a new identity by dropping a name associated with Orlando, which by then had been gone for nearly a year. year and a half.

Current Times Union reviewer Susie Davidson Powell responded favorably to the changes, writing in February this year: “The kitchen table is comforting, partly for its familiarity, but also thanks to food as cozy as a sweater. and saying, “The takeaways are that the cocktails are creative, the food substantial and the service friendly.”

In her statement, Nanes said: “I will cherish all of the wonderful memories of our valued customers, our distinctive food, our wonderful staff over the years and the relationships we have cultivated over the years by being not just a restaurant, but a community center.

Unused gift cards must be redeemed by July 23. There is no provision for them to be cashed or otherwise refunded after the restaurant closes, Nanes said.

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