The Tastes That Define Our Towns

Pan Seared Scallops served with 1844 House’s own barrel aged bourbon and canned cherries.

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Local is on the menu

Nathan B. Whittaker, chef at Bella’s Bistro, Clayton, with some locally grown produce. The restaurant incorporates locally sourced ingredients in many of its dishes. Photo by Norm Johnston/ NNY Living

‘Farm-to-fork’ movement gains traction with restaurants [Read more…]

Wine list honored by Wine Spectator magazine

The 1844 House in Potsdam has been awarded a 2013 “Award of Excellence” for its wine list from the national magazine Wine Spectator, in its August issue. The American bistro’s wine list includes wines from across the country, South America, the Finger Lakes and Europe, from Riesling to Malbec to Chardonnay.

Recipients of Wine List awards must have lists that “offer interesting selections, are appropriate to their cuisine and appeal to a wide range of wine lovers,” according to Wine Spectator’s website. The list must also include “vintages and appellations” for all wines and complete producer names. The list’s presentation and overall appearance is also a factor. Wine Spectator recognizes 2,870 restaurants with the Award of Excellence, for lists that “offer a well-chosen selection of quality producers, along with a thematic match to the menu in both price and quality” and that usually contain at least 100 different wines. Wine Spectator also awards the Best of Award of Excellence to 850 restaurants and the Grand Award to 73 restaurants, which usually have lists with 1,500 or more wines.

The 1844 House reopened in May 2006 under new owners, husband and wife team Brian and Jenny Walker. It uses an array of local foods from suppliers including the North Country Grown Cooperative in Massena and the Potsdam Food Co-op.

To view the 1844 House’s wine list and menu, visit

Holiday wine pairing made easy

Palate-pleasing picks that won’t break the bank

Jenny Walker

“Good wine, good food, good company – life’s most civilized pleasures.” – Michael Broadbent

With the holidays quickly approaching, we will all be doing our fair share of entertaining and socializing. Whether it’s a grand Thanksgiving Day feast, a jazzy cocktail party or a simple evening with friends, why not feel like a pro when guests are over and break out one of these no-fail wines that retail for less than $25.

So, you’re invited to Thanksgiving dinner complete with all the trimmings. Here are three suggestions that are sure to please your hosts. Two of them are produced in the Finger Lakes region, just a few hours from the north country. Ravines Dry Riesling from Keuka Lake is a well-done and masterfully balanced Riesling that screams to be paired with poultry. A truly dry and intensely mineral Riesling that is lip-smacking good.

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Simple, elegant crab cakes

Jump lump cakes with shaved fennel slaw an all-occasion treat

Brian and Jenny Walker at their restaurant, the 1844 House, Potsdam. Photo by Jason Hunter.

By Brian and Jenny Walker
Chef / proprietors 1844 House, Potsdam

Everyone can appreciate a great crab cake. I am sure we have all had our fair share of good, bad and the ugly when it comes to sampling the many different versions that are available. From region to region the differences are vast. This dish dates back to America’s colonial days and is thought to have been introduced by English settlers.

To create a wonderful crab cake, you must start with the freshest and best quality ingredients. It is absolutely vital to get the main ingredient right. The quality of the crab meat will either make or break this dish. So, know your grades. Commercial crabmeat is generally separated into four grades. Jumbo lump, back fin or lump, special and claw. Jumbo lump crab meat is what you are looking for in this dish and can be found in most higher end supermarkets. [Read more…]