In this link to a short capsule review by the East Bay Express that has a link to a longer review, it says of the chef
Wong is a relentless innovator, combining ingredients and culinary techniques in novel ways and layering flavor on top of flavor. Sometimes his experiments dont work, but dishes such as fresh steamed lobster with chow mein noodles, pistachio-crusted rack of lamb, and quail with stir-fried cabbage are stunners.
That pistachio-crusted lamb is currently on the menu. Also, the highly praised ginger gelato is on the dessert menu. The link also has a review to the restaurant website.
Albany Bistro has a seriously delicious menu this month and the price is beyond a steal. After enjoying a nice $4.99 lunch, the three course prix fixe dinner needed to be revisited. It is now offered all night, every day except holidays.
The flavorful, sliced braised lamb, fanned across the plate with light gravy was fork tender and almost melted on the tongue it was so tender.
It was served with light buttery polenta and fresh green beans. It was memorably delicious. This dish is different from the pistachio lamb on the regular menu.
Whole crunchy romaine lettuce leaves were generously sprinkled with fresh grated parmesan cheese with the unique twist of being sprinkled with black sesame seeds. The soup option tonight was onion.
Wonderful fresh baked bread comes with the dinner.
The torta deiliza is a thin slice of a bundt-like cake with a marzipan frosting and some almonds. It was moistened with a light orange liquor sauce.
Add to this, the dinner is served in a lovely room, the tables covered in white table cloths, and the service as professional as that in restaurants where an appetizer would cost more than Albany Bistros prix fixe. With the lights lowered at night, the atmosphere is intimate, cozy and romantic.
Theres a small bar area. Albany bistro has a full liquor license and currently has wintry drinks like a hot toddy. There are eight alcohol spiked coffees available and topped with whipped cream if requested. Look under the dessert menu as well as the cocktail list on the website for a full list of cocktails.
The Chef, King Wong worked at the Carnelian Room over 16 years ago before opening a number of very favorably reviewed restaurants in Concord and Danville. About two years ago, he and Linda, opened Albany Bistro.
The restaurant started serving Asian fusion, but seems to be changing direction perhaps. I asked Linda if they had someone new in the kitchen since there were so many German dishes and not the Asian fusion menu I remembered.
My understanding is that Wong has a large repertoire dating back to the Carnelian days. She said he has had a new dish on the menu every day for the past 16 years. This month seems to be German inspired.
On the regular menu the ostrich (seared rare), is served with sweet potato, spätzle, red wine poached pear, and Cumberland sauce.
This is a review from the Chronicle.
My first visit to Albany Bistro last summer left me unimpressed. I may have selected wrong. However, as both reviews mention, the highs are impressive and the prices can not be matched.
Not on the website, heres the ridiculously inexpensive New Years Eve and Christmas Eve dinners:
New Years Eve again, consider what other restaurants will charge on this night
Maine Lobster with prawns, sweet potato, gnocchi, and brandy cream $33.95
Chicken Coq au Vin with butter egg noodles, pearl onions, wild mushrooms and bacon $14.95
Venison chop with au gratin potato, winter vegetables and juniper berry sauce $24.95
Beef Wellington with au gratin potato, winter vegetables and red wine sauce $24.95
Salmon Encroute with mousse of scallops, shrimp, scalloped potatoes, Chinese long beans, and nantua sauce $16.95
Prime rib with stuffed baked potato, tomato Florentine au jus $25.95
Pork Chop with au gratin potato, brussel sprout, roasted beets, mango chutney and pan jus $16.95
Chicken sautéed with butter noodle, winter vegetables and whole grain mustard $14.95
I have got to check out that Sunday brunch next with the German donuts and $1.50 mimosa. Linda said the Schnitzel with eggs ($4.99) was tender and excellent. The Chronicle review above gave the Sunday brunch a big thumbs up.