By Stefani Clark
In the heart of Armory Square lies a venue for weddings, corporate gatherings, and galas. Initially a high-end menswear store, SKY Armory provides an unconventional space for any kind of special event. Last week, it took part in Syracuse’s 12th Annual Downtown Dining Weeks.
The third floor loft, where dinner was served, had a warm and inviting atmosphere. The soft lights hanging from the ceiling and candlelit tables created a relaxing mood, and the staff was friendly and accommodating. Their elegant menu options were a bit intimidating, but the descriptions were helpful.
Torched SKY Mozzarella
Cheese plates are usually overlooked as basic appetizers, but this first course had more of an edge. Cubes of mozzarella were lightly torched on the top, covered with balsamic caviar, and paired with basil, pickled Zima (clear malt liquor that is fermented), and Asiago crisps. The caviar added a savory and tangy element to the mild mozzarella flavor. However, the Asiago was a little too crispy, but still had a pleasant saltiness.
Salads are no longer considered “rabbit food” thanks to restaurants upping the flavor elements. To bring it up another level, this salad is lightly dressed in jewel dressing and adorned with golden raisins, dried cranberries, and crumbly bleu cheese. The cranberries were a little on the chewier side, and there was a lot more cheese than I expected. The salad was perfectly dressed, though, and had a fresh smoky taste that paired well with the dried fruit.
Duck Leg Confit
For the final course, there were a variety of different kinds of entrees, but in lieu of being in a more upscale environment, I opted for the duck. It was placed on a white bean cassoulet and braised greens. Cooked perfectly, the duck was tender with a crispy seasoned skin. The over-seasoned beans didn’t do the duck justice, and the plate lacked some texture.
Chocolate and Cherries
When a place offers à la carte dessert options, you can’t just refuse. Their chocolate and cherries is made up of a cherry chocolate tart, chocolate ganache, a cherry compote and cherry sauce. The chocolate was rich and creamy, and mixed with tart cherries makes for the perfect dessert combo. The richness is a bit much at first, but it mellows out after the first couple of bites. The portion size of the dessert was perfect, adding just a little sweetness to an otherwise savory meal.
Though SKY Armory isn’t technically a restaurant, it offers customizable cuisines for any event. Trying food for Dining Weeks here helped satisfy my inner Blair Waldorf, and I can highly recommend that everyone book their exciting special events at SKY Armory. While the food was somewhat secondary to the atmosphere, I would dine there again for the experience.