BY MAUREEN WERTHER
Danny and Patti Petrosino have opened their newest culinary venture, Osteria Danny, at 26 Henry St. in Saratoga Springs, formerly home to Capriccio Saratoga and Dine restaurant.
The Italian term “osteria” refers to places that serve mainly wine and simple food. The menus are typically short and focus on local specialties. Chef Danny Petrosino has been using local products for his entire culinary career.
A native of Amsterdam and graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, Petrosino is a highly regarded chef who honed his culinary skills at such restaurants as Glen Sanders Mansion in Scotia and Saratoga National Golf Club. In 2012, his restaurant, Mio Posto, captured the attention of Bill Donovan, a faithful patron and one of the owners of Maestro’s at the Van Dam and Harvey’s Restaurant & Bar, both in Saratoga Springs.
In September of 2014, Petrosino sold Mio Posto to a colleague, Danny Urschel, who continued to run that establishment. Petrosino became executive chef of Maestro’s and Harvey’s. When Donovan and his partners decided to open Symphony Catering, Petrosino became its executive chef. He will continue to be in charge of menu development there, concurrent with the operation of Osteria Danny.
"I've always loved this restaurant," said Petrosino, referring to the building that is now home to Osteria Danny. He and Jim Rua, owner of the former Capriccio, are old friends. When Rua made the decision to close the Saratoga location and return to Albany, Petrosino, along with Patti, his wife and business partner for the last 34 years, made the decision to open at the 26 Henry St. location.
Osteria Danny will offer a variety of small plates, appetizers and entrees, accompanied by an assortment of wines and a full bar.
"We have a real wood-fired oven imported from Italy," said Petrosino, who is already planning on using it to offer a variety of dishes in addition to pizzas. One dish, a vegetable terrine, is an assortment of grilled vegetables layered in a pan and cooked in the oven. It is then served sliced like a bread.
They will also be serving a variety of veal dishes, chops and steaks from local sources. Edelweiss Veal Co. in Albany is currently working to supply Petrosino with dry-aged beef.
The Osteria Danny appetizer menu includes several different shrimp recipes, mussels, octopus, eggplant dishes, and meatballs. Small bowl pasta dishes and larger entrees will round out the menu.
The restaurant has an assortment of seating options, with booths as well as tables and a 10-foot-long communal high-top table near the bar. There is also a large banquette in the rear to serve larger parties.
Initially, Osteria Danny will open Tuesday through Saturday at 4 p.m.
"We don't have a set closing time," said Petrosino. "If a customer calls and says they want a table, even if its later in the evening, we'll accommodate them."
"Once the weather gets warmer, either in March or April, we will expand to six days a week and, as of June 1, we will be open seven days a week," he said.
The phone number is 423-7022.