Morgan & Co
65 Ridge Street
Glens Falls, NY 12801
Dinner from 4 PM | Saturday & Sunday Brunch from 10 AM | Closed Mondays
We first heard about Morgan & Co last fall when we attended a fundraiser on the grounds of the Adirondack Museum in Blue Mountain Lake. We were there perusing the rustic furniture at the eponymous annual festival, when a uniformed young lady with a tray of victuals offered us a humus appetizer and a glass of wine. I filled a napkin with enough hors-d’oeuvre’s to cover the cost of admission and continued on my way. Two minutes later I was doubling back to find out who the caterer was, and please – Could I have some more? She said, of course, and that she worked for Morgon & Co.
Morgan & Co., the creation of husband – wife team, Rebecca and Steve Butters, has quickly established itself as a player in Glens Falls. We stopped in last week to see what all the fuss was about. The website is deceiving in that the pictures make the place look more upscale than it really is. It is quite nice, to be sure, but not at all formal, which is the impression you get from all of the suit jackets at the bar in the pictures on the website. You will not be out of place with a jacket, but you will not be uncomfortable in more casual clothes either.
We did not make a reservation when we visited, hoping to secure two seats at the bar for an early dinner. We arrive at 5:30 to a packed bar and a busy dining room. The hostess tried to rejigger her dining room seating chart to make room for us while I bribed a single diner at the bar to scooch over one seat and make room for us. I love it when a plan comes together.
We had not even ordered our first drink when I felt a hand on my shoulder, which obviously belonged to the person behind us who was saying hello. Wondering who we had run into in Glens Falls, I turned to be greeted by a person in chef’s whites, who turned out to also be the co-owner, Rebecca Butters. She proceeded to ask how we were doing, what we were thinking about for dinner, and where the fish on tonight’s menu had, until most recently, called home (Rhode Island). Friendly people, these Butters. We had only been there ten minutes and we already felt right at home.
The menu arrived and announced that cassoulet, one of my all time favorite dishes, was the evening special. Cassoulet, the peasant bean stew of Southwestern France is in the pantheon of classic culinary cultural signature dishes, along with Spain’s Andalusian paella, Alsatian choucroute garni, and, of course, Adirondack “hot and stinky” chicken wings from Sticks and Stones in Schroon Lake. Classics, all.
Rebecca informed us that she had just hand cut the freshly arrived calamari, so picking an appetizer was easy. Mary (@BulletPondCook) opted for the house hummus platter, which was actually more than enough for two, and probably dinner for one. The dish included a selection of vegetarian blends: carrots, beets, olives, including the one Mary was expecting – chick peas and tahini paste. My calamari was as good as advertised, fried with chunks of both sweet and spicy peppers, along with fried onions. Why have I never had calamari before that was cooked with fried onions? All calamari should henceforth be fried with onions. It’s fantastic.
The cassoulet arrived soon after the calamari disappeared. An American bistro version of the Languedoc classic, the beans were stewed separately, and then topped with a hind quarter of roast duckling, slices of seared duck breast, and slices of lamb sausage. Perched on all of that was a tong full of dressed frissee. The purists in Toulouse would disapprove of the presentation but hey, it really is just a bean stew, and a very good one at that.
Hudson Valley Duck breast is also on the menu, along with a few other favorites like hanger steak with frites, or seared diver scallops. The Quebecois casse-croûtes classic “poutine” continues its diaspora south from Montreal. Here you can top the frites, cheese curds and brown gravy with a $6 optional addition of braised short ribs, which I assume includes a chaser of Lipitor.
We opted for the almond crusted rainbow trout, served with pumpkin mashed potatoes and brussel sprouts, and we were glad we did. You can check out the entire menu here. I have my eye on the swordfish au poivre with garlic mashed parsnips for my next visit (which will be very soon.)
The wine service at Morgan and Co is worth mentioning. They offer a very nice selection of (mostly) domestic producers, well chosen but with a mid-market audience in mind. You could not spend $100 on a bottle if you tried, and most are half of that or less. Twenty wines are offered by the glass ($9 – $11). You can view Morgon & Co’s wine list here.
We came away impressed, in fact, we were very impressed. Obviously, we are not alone in that assessment as the place was rocking when we got there at 5:30 and they were lined up out the door when we left at 7:30. Amazing what happens when you offer a nice menu at reasonable prices and add a friendly waitstaff to a comfortable, welcoming atmosphere. Combine ingredients, stir gently and count the money. Why can’t everybody do this? Go try it.