Executive Chef Alex Carusone and Peter Blackman (photo by Jim Franco/Spotlight News)
ALTAMONT — If you just got done mowing the lawn and want a cold beer and a burger, Veronica’s Culinary Tavern is for you.
If you want to get dressed up and have a nice bottle of wine and some pan seared Atlantic Salmon, then Vernoica’s Culinary Tavern is for you, too.
Peter Blackman, who bought the former Mio Vino restaurant in the center of the quaint little town of Altamont just over a year ago, knows it’s hard to cater to both crowds but figures if the food is good, and the service is good and they are consistently good then it will work.
“We are trying to be a little more versatile, whether it’s a special occasion and you want to go fancy with a big bottle of wine or you want to do something when there is nothing left in the fridge and you just want to get out of the house for a little bit,” he said, adding he can’t wait for the local farm produce to ripen. “We are trying to be creative and not take ourselves too seriously.”
The menu reflects that diversity with appetizers starting at $9, wood fried pizzas going for between $14 and $17 and topping out with a New York Strip or a Pan Seared Tilefish at $35.
The name too represents both worlds, he said. The interior is tastefully done with dark trim and a polished bar, but there are also picnic tables out back.
And happy hour, every day from 4 to 6 p.m. can get lively.
Blackman ran Mangia in Slingerlands for some 20 years and then went into business with Angelo Mazzone at Aperitivo Bistro in Schenectady for nine years before taking a break and ultimately purchasing Veronica’s.
He and executive chef, Alex Carusone, a graduate of Johnson & Wales University, are working hard to maybe not be everything to everyone, but cover enough bases to provide a “fun, approachable welcoming service with fantastic food.”
The restaurant, located at 186 Main St., is open from 4 to 9 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday and 4 to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday. Reservations are recommended but not required.