PLATTSBURGH — Changes in latitude, without changes in attitude.
Chef and owner David Allen said he opened Latitude 44, located at 5131 U.S. Ave., in May 2012.
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“We’ve been well received,” he said.
It has since doubled in size, both in its capacity and staff.
“We started with 42 seats. Now, we can seat 90,” he said. “We have 18 employees now.”
Allen started the latest renovations in January, which took about two months. They resulted in a modern decor, with warm colors and textures.
Hardwood flooring is featured extensively, and a large saltwater aquarium makes an interesting backdrop. There is even a private room with seating for 32 for meetings and special events.
There are a couple of lounge areas, with arm chairs. Allen said those make a nice place to relax or to wait for the rest of your party to arrive.
“It makes it feel more like a home environment,” he said.
The menu features moderate-priced entrees to more elegant dishes. Everything is prepared fresh, Allen said, and he aims to have something for all tastes.
One of the big sellers is a grilled chicken and chorizo sandwich with aged cheddar cheese and chipotle mayo.
The restaurant’s macaroni and cheese features smoked gouda and pancetta.
“It’s very rich,” Allen said.
Many of their patrons are repeat customers, stopping by two or three times a week. Because of that, the chefs try to have a variety of specials in addition to the regular menu.
That recently included a lobster poutine.
Other choices include a number of fare-you-can-share selections, such as coconut-crusted shrimp with ginger dipping sauce, fried calamari with chipotle dipping sauce and bacon-wrapped scallop skewers with apricot-hot pepper glaze.
“I love it when customers order a lot of food, then share and discuss it with each other,” Allen said.
The menu also includes soups, salads, flatbread pizzas and desserts.
Allen said he likes to support local farmers. He is at the Plattsburgh Farmers and Crafters Market every Saturday, and also is a big supporter of Cornell Cooperative Extension and Adirondack Harvest.
“I try to use as much local produce as I can here,” he said.
Latitude 44 has a full liquor license. Allen said that only took about two weeks.
Brunch on Sunday
The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner Tuesday through Friday and for dinner only on Saturday. Allen said they serve brunch on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
“Chef Bevan oversees that. He does a wonderful job with it,” he said.
A graduate of New England Culinary Institute, Allen has held a number of jobs in the food industry, including in the Nutrition Department at Fletcher Allen Health Care.
He also worked in the 13 restaurants at the Breakers resort in West Pal Beach, Fla.
Another chef, Bevan Gertsch-Cochran, is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America.
The chance to work with chefs with that type of background has helped attract chefs who are passionate about the industry, Allen said.
“It’s fun to work with some who loves to do this,” he said.
Latitude 44 also offers catering. Allen said he has a lot of events scheduled, which is a surprise so early in the restaurant’s existence.
“There’s been amazing word of mouth,” Allen said.
Parking has not been an issue, as the lot meets the restaurant’s needs. There is also additional parking across the street on U.S. Oval and at Skyway Shopping Center.
“A lot of other restaurants have struggled here. We’ve done well,” Allen said.
He leases the building.
“Peter Whitbeck has been the best landlord you could ever have,” Allen said.
Latitude 44 accepts cash, checks and credit cards, but doesn’t accept reservations. For more information, visit www.latitude44bistro.com or call 310-1311.
Email Dan Heath:firstname.lastname@example.org