AOA birthday drawing: Brown's & Bilinski's

bilinski's chicken sausage package

Made in Cohoes.

Drawing is closed

This week AOA celebrates our 6th birthday, but we're giving you the presents. Each day we'll have a drawing for some fun Capital Region stuff. You can enter to win a new "present" every day.

Today's drawing prize: Beer from Brown's Brewing Co. in Troy and a big basket of products from Bilinski's in Cohoes.

From Brown's: A growler and a $15 gift certificate to Brown's Brewing Co. (Must be 21 or older.)

From Bilinski's: A basket of products including:
+ Bilinski's All Natural Spinach & Garlic Chicken Sausage - 2 packages
+ Bilinski's All Natural Mild Italian Chicken Sausage - 2 packages
+ Bilinski's All Natural Sun-Dried Tomato & Basil Chicken Sausage - 1 package
+ Bilinski's All Natural Apple Chardonnay Chicken Sausage - 1 package
+ Organic Italian Herb with Porcini Mushroom- 2 packages
+ Buffalo and Blue Cheese Chicken Meatballs- 1 package
+ Chicken Parmesan Chicken Meatballs-2 packages

To enter the drawing, please answer this question in the comments

Since today's drawing is about birthdays and food and drink, what is your favorite birthday dinner?

We'll draw one winner at random.

Important: All comments must be submitted by noon on Wednesday, April 16, 2014 to be entered in the drawing. You must answer the question to be part of the drawing. (Normal commenting guidelines apply.) One entry per person, please. You must enter a valid email address (that you check regularly) with your comment. The winner will be notified via email by 5 pm on Thursday, April 17 and must respond by 5 pm on Friday, April 18.

*The gift basket has changed slightly, but is just as delicious. The last three items are substitutions as Bilinski's is no longer making the items originally listed.


Celebrating my birthday at Yono's - they do a great job of making celebrations very special!

My favorite birthday dinner is with my closest friends and family and a really nice bottle of wine to share, as simple as that!

I love a nice steak dinner and lots of wine for my birthday!

Fettuccine Carbonara at D'Raymonds.

Mine and my husband's birthday meals are always the same - a pizza from the Fountain, beer from Ommegang and an ice cream cake!

My favorite birthday dinner isn't the dinner, but the birthday CAKE, also some bubbly (use to be champagne, now it's Prosecco made into a Bellini). It's not a birthday without birthday cake.

I always get a bunch of friends together at the Albany Pump Station.But I also did a special meal at the Gingerman this year.


And Bananas Foster for dessert.

Tequila cane shrimp!

Pizza from DeFazio's or The Fountain!

Sushi. Anywhere around, I really don't care.

Garden Bistro 24 has been our go-to spot for birthday dinners the past few years -- quiet atmosphere, simple yet dedicated menu, and always deliciously executed.

Champagne throughout
Shrimp Cocktail - hot cocktail sauce please
Filet Mignon - add appropriate items to enhance (e.g., sauteed mushrooms, onions)
Garlic mashed potatoes
German Chocolate cake with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top

I love making my own white wine/clam sauce over pasta for my birthday, as I am a summer gal. But I think my best one was foraging for scallops on Martha's Vineyard and then grilling them. Birthday seafood, basically!

Absolutely anything on the menu at D'Raymonds except the veal, partial to the seafood dishes. My go-to place every birthday!

Homemade pulled-pork sandwiches and coleslaw

If I'm out...Yono's or Athos...if we are eating in....a big ole Seafood bake with lobsters, king crab, corn....and of course a good bottle of wine...Conundrum usually pleases most.

The best birthday dinner is a family-style meal that I can cook for my "framily" -- large, comfort-style carby dishes like baked mac & cheese (made with gruyere -- this is a special occasion!), home-baked crusty, rustic bread, paried with many bottles of wine -- eaten elbow-to-elbow around a too-small living room table.

This perfect birthday dinner is best burned off, of course, with a post-dinner walk around town to cash in on all of the free birthday "desserts": a scoop of Ben & Jerry's finest, a teacup at Olde English, and a margarita at Bomber's that all will be required to share!

Steak, maybe on toast points; potatoes; and something green to make the meal just a bit healthier

Melting Pot in Crossgates Mall

Pizza!!! (But then again, it's always my favorite)

Tossup between tasting menu at Yono's and sushi from Sushi Tei... Always depends on my mood!

I'm cheap, and I like good food. Count me in for the salad bar and a half price steak at the Barnsider!!

Hibachi from Sake in Latham

Chinese hot pot at home with a couple bottles of nigori sake.

My favorite birthday meal: the open-faced steak sandwich w/ bleu cheese at Brown's with a Whiskey Barrel Aged Porter.

(Brown's, if you see this, bring this menu item back please :-) )

Veal Parm.

Lobster dinner!

Booze and Cake.

Any meal where I don't have to cook - preferably with a nice homemade apple pie (homemade crust and fresh apples) for dessert. :-)

Cadbury Mini Eggs

Picking up some local cheese, veggie, and treats from the Farmers Market and then gathering with some friends and grilling and chilling on the patio over a nice growler of locally brewed beer.

My favorite birthday dinner is one shared with my family, beer and something on the bbq. Also, with key lime pie instead of cake!

Best birthday dinner...Filet Mignon wrapped in falcon with risotto and fresh green beans...and chocolate cake with whipped cream for dessert! YUM!

Family dinner at The Bears Steak House. Chateaubriand and Papa bear slices of cream pie!

My mom's spaghetti and meatballs.

Cheesecake and a really nice bottle of wine. On your birthday you can eat only desserts, right?

Seafood paella!

Pasta a olio

as long as i am with the people i love most, and i have something to eat, it would be a happy birthday.........a sushi feast from sake cafe couldn't hurt though!! and cheesecake machismo is always a delicious dessert.

Dinner at Cafe Cappricio! I LOVE it there for any special occasion!

Oysters. Raw.

Steak and Potatoes

Mexican-La Fiesta

Breakfast: Bilinski's All Natural Blueberry Maple Chicken Littles,
Dinner: Oatmeal Stout and a burger from Brown's! :)

dinner at New World Bistro


dinner at home on my couch, wearing just my underoos eating GF chicken nuggest and sweet tater salad from Flying Chicken.

A dinner with family and friends where I don't have to cook or buy.

Anything from New World Bistro, I am always obsessed with their selection and food pairing.....also Sushi Tei, this little hole in the wall on Western Ave, it's life changing.

Birthday wings at the Rusty Nail in Clifton Park (one for each year of age)!

My favorite birthday dinner is grilled pizza! So delicious and great on a summer night!

Dinner at 677 Prime, oysters and steak

Birthday wings at the Rusty Nail in Clifton Park (one for each year of age)!


Dessert! Any kind! And a bottle of good red wine, of course. Accompanied by a warm gathering of my family and friends...

I love the side room at the Mexican Connection in Saratoga. Nice big table with a bunch of friends and family, toasting with margaritas.

I always ask my wife to make a sausage, pea and pasta casserole. Yum

Chicken Parmesan for any old school Italian Restaurant

Steak, baked potato and beans, same thing every year!

The Pump Station

I usually love celebrate at El Mariachi for some enchiladas and margaritas!

Sushi, followed by a piece of cheesecake from Cheesecake Machismo!

Sushi! By far and away the most special, followed closely by hibachi. So a Japanese theme works for my birthday meals.


Prime rib at the Barnsider... and cake with rainbow chip frosting!

Birthday tradition is Browns! Wings with extra blue cheese and lots of beer!

big slab of beef at 677. then homemade chocolate cake with mint frosting and a scoop of vanilla ice cream. yum.

Corn on the cob and whatever else is fresh at the market that week.

Pump Station and a burger/beer!

Delicious, fall-off-the-bone baby back ribs, covered in an overabundance of BBQ sauce. Added bonus, on your birthday, no one can complain that you have food on your face/are eating like a cave man :)

Mexican at El Loco and all the beer

I wouldn't say no to a night in with friends, a nice girl, and a snifter of Prohibition Punch (Appleton Estate Rum V/X, Grand Marnier, passion fruit juice, cranberry juice, fresh lemon juice, topped with Moet et Chandon Champagne).

Any meal with my family is my favorite.

a slice of cheesecake from Cheesecake Machismo and a bottle of champagne!

In my family, birthday person is always allowed to choose the meal. We have had a lot of fun with that, from homemade grilled pizzas to take out from First Choice. My favorite ever was when two of my best friends took me to Taste where we ate round after round of delicious small plates (oysters with mignonette and a shot of vodka!) and then this massive dessert sampler with like 12 different things on it. AMAZING.

Pizza and beer

utica greens and steak at delmonicos!

Since middle school, every year my mom takes me (and now my wife and kids) to the Barnsider for my discounted birthday dinner.

The Pump Station is great place to get good food and beer with friends on your birthday.

A great steak, roasted potatoes, sauteed spinach and a great red wine.

anything sea food

The Cochinta Pibil at El Mariachi on Washington Ave. You're welcome.

Eggplant parm.

Ravioli, homemade by my grandma with some homemade sauce on top. Maybe some Crisan goodies for dessert!

Ropa Vieja at New World!

New World Bistro is my favorite celebration restaurant!

Rosemary Lamb with red wine sauce
garlic mashed potatoes
grilled asparagus

My favorite birthday dinner is one where I don't have to cook, clean the dishes, or pay for it!! If it's at New World, it's a bonus!


I'd have to say Lombardo's for a delicious Italian meal.

A large sausage and pepper (or Meatball and Eggplant) pizza from The Fountain washed down with some Brown's Whiskey Porter.

My birthday meal and death row meal are the same - tacos! Always tacos....

Mingle with friends and family

Any meal with family and friends.

surrounded by friends & family & cake! (:

Homemade French toast using homemade cinnamon swirl raisin bread and local maple syrup!!! :) breakfast for dinner is awesome

The Curried Beef dish from My Lihn! Their Spring Rolls are delish too!

A pot luck at home with an awesome cake from Crisan!

steak, corn on the cob, salad

Linguine w/red clam sauce and asparagus

I celebrated my last 3 birthday dinners at The Point and it was excellent on all 3 occasions.

birthday is 7/11
anything cooked a charcoal grill & a ICE cold beer
i love summer

Anything by candlelight!

Dinner with my husband, with no TV, no wait for service, and, did I mention, no TV? BBQ is high on the list.

Every year my birthday is either below zero, a blizzard or an ice storm and my husband gets me a buffalo chicken pizza from DeFazio's and some really good beer. Usually all I want to do is postpone the day until summer!

4 course dinner:
starter - beet salad w/ goat cheese and roasted walnuts
pasta course - cavatelli al pesto w/ shaved ricotta
entree - dry-aged beef burger w/ caramelized onions and cheddar on a brioche bun
dessert - crepe w/ butter, pinch of sugar and drizzled chocolate

Dinner at New World Bistro Bar, every year.

This year was a grass-fed Ribeye steak with crème brulee for dessert. Perfect.

Brown's! For the food and the flight

My birthday is on Christmas, so I always have traditional ham dinner w/ cake and ice cream on the side! Can't say I mind it!

Fresh homemade pizza and a fun beer sampling from Oliver's.

Sushi! With that yummy unfiltered cold sake...mmm

My favorite bday dinner WAS Blue Spice in Colonie. Finish off with sliced mango and coconut sticky rice - YUM! Looking forward to trying Orange Mango for this year's festivities.


Dinner at a nice restaurant and then a drink or two at a different spot. This past year was dinner at Javier's and a pint at Druther's. Fantastic.

A splurge at Sushi Tei!

Favorite birthday dinner? Enchiladas, made by my husband. And cake from Crisan.

I love going to Harvest & Hearth up in Saratoga. Would make a good birthday dinner, methinks.

The homey food at Sushi Tei.

Pizza, wings & beer!

Dinner at NWBB, the best!

Favorite birthday cake: chocolate, made by my wonderful sister.

booze, with a side of booze, plus more booze ...ugh aging...

Lobster Fra Diavolo!

My favorite birthday dinner is one shared with friends. It's all about the atmosphere!

If it's in the "capital region" (using the term loosely) it would be a gathering of my closest friends at bar vino in north creek, ordering at least one of each dish on the menu that night. I'd have a dogfish head 90 minute ipa with my frites then some red wine with dinner. Wouldn't get much better than that!

A home brew, sliders and sweet potato fries.


Carmelized onion Risotto with poached eggs and beer

Dinner at Mom's, whatever she makes

Bday cake from Schuyler, Bombers for drinks, and usually more drinks at Browns. As long as friends and family are around anywhere!!

tonkatsu and curry or filet mignon with creamed corn

I love to celebrate my birthday at Lake Ridge in Round Lake!

My ideal birthday dinner is at home with my Dad grilling, drinking wine on the porch with friends and family.

Jerk Chicken at New World.

I just celebrated my 30th at Dino BBQ in Troy with fried green tomatoes, mac & cheese, and chili (shared) with a long Game of Thrones (but happy) table of beloved friends. I would do it again in a heartbeat!

dinner at New World Bistro!

The best food I've had for my birthday was at the Culinary Institute in Hyde Park in the now gone Escoffier Room.

Corned Beef and Cabbage, always, anytime!!

I love going to the La Mexicana Grocery Store and Restaurant in Schenectady.

Favorite birthday dinner is a homecooked Korean dish called miyeokgook (seaweed soup). It's a traditional Korean dish that's made on someone's birthday.

I don't live in the Capital Region anymore, but if I were teleported there for my birthday - WHICH IS COMING UP IN A WEEK EVERYBODY - I have a really easy proposition: give me forty five bucks and I could totally crush an EL LOCO experience. That said, I have a whole birthday party planned out at a Korean fried chicken place by Ocean Beach this coming Monday, so any interested ex-pats should get at me.........................

steak on the grill and corn on the cob.

Gastropub hamburg xtra curd.

Believe it or not, I'm a fan of a nice dinner at the Melting Pot. Most restaurants, you're in and out in roughly an hour ... give or take. At the Melting Pot, you can be there for 3 hours just relaxing and enjoying the fondue. And because it's a chain, I don't feel like I have to review it :D

Steak dinner and a bottle of wine at home with my wife!

this isn't a dinner but every birthday growing up my mom made a pizza size chocolate chip cookie. My favorite part wasn't eating it on my birthday but finding a slice of it in my lunch bag every day after until it was gone. Such a treat!

Since my birthday is in the winter I love going to the Melting Pot. It's a nice cozy, intimate dinner with family.

Spaghetti and meatballs - my grandmother's recipe!!

Don't really have a current fave birthday dinner but when I was young mom would make me sweet and sour meatballs; and, my favorite birthday dessert has always been angel food cake.

My ideal birthday dinner would be some amazing maki rolls at Sushi Tei, followed later by a margarita at Bomber's!

Penne alla vodka with shrimp & fresh banana chocolate cake all made by mom. The best cook there is.

This year we had some folks over for "Thanksgiving dinner" at our place. I really like Thanksgiving dinner.. and it worked out pretty well, some logistical issues aside.

Much of our childhood was spent with Mrs. Grimes who lived behind the wall. Our parents left us in her care and then set out alone to explore the West and become blackjack dealers in Reno. Mrs Grimes, having no ethnic background (Mr Grimes had ordered her from a Sears catalog along with some bigger tines for his rototiller) did not excel in the kitchen. Much of our daily diet was stewed cabbage, still water, and children's chewable aspirin. Birthdays were the same, although we were allowed to play with a large jar of wheat cent pennies Mr Grimes kept in his old army locker. Mr Grimes was a veteran who had suffered some awful ordeal, although in what war or conflict was never brought to light. Loud noise made him anxious and he would have to cross the street to the VFW where loud noise did not make him so anxious. The standing order around the Grimes house was quiet, and we lived our days there in big socks and whispers. On my fourteenth birthday however, something happened. We were polishing the wheat cents when Mr Grimes burst in and said "who's the birthday girl?" We had no sister then. He threw me on his shoulders and we went over the the VFW where I was given a Utica Club and a red hotdog on a stick that came out of a large jar much like the penny jar. "What war were you in little man?" they asked. I was confused. "I live with Mrs Grimes behind the wall," I said. Great laughter at that and Mr Grimes bought everyone a Utica Club. A giant cake was wheeled out and everyone started to sing happy birthday, although not just for me. Mr Lewin, who would later be my 10th grade teacher, and who had spent three years locked in a small box in Southeast Asia in career preparation, was the birthday veteran. The singing stopped and the men started yelling "Kiki! Kiki!" Suddenly the top of the cake came off and a gorilla jumped out. Mr Lewin jumped off a table and tackled the gorilla, ripping its head off. Inside was Mr Grips who made toast at the hospital canteen. "Grips! Your not Kiki!" cried Mr Lewin. A roar of laughter! Tricked! Mr Lewin responded with volleys of cake. As an ex-artillery man, he could even lob them into the men's room. A furious food fight! Mr Grimes grabbed some cake out of the air for me. "Happy birthday!" he yelled. The party only ended when the fire department came and hosed the place down. Mrs Grimes became even more silent when Mr Grimes returned me holding a police summons. But for me it was a magical night. I couldn't wait to become a veteran too. Every birthday is now celebrated with Utica Club, stripper cake, and fire foam.

Happy birthday AOA!

Champagne and raspberries, ice cream cookie sandwich (both homemade) and cheesecake machismo cheesecake!

My favorite birthday dinner is anything that I used to order at Katrinella's. I hope it doesn't disqualify me Katrinella's is now closed, but I really loved their food and it was close enough to walk to.

Dinner at home with a specialty cut of beef from the Meat House.

Beer and Cake..

I just celebrated my birthday last week with some good friends and amazing Asian Fusion food at Rain on Lark Street - it doesn't get better than umbrella drinks in Tiki glasses,chicken served in half a pineapple, and homemade Reese peanut butter birthday cake!! Of course, that was followed up with stops at Bombers and City Beer Hall :)

Chocolate cake for dinner!

My favorite birthday dinner is Chicken Chimichangas from El Mariachi!! YUMMMM!!

Champagne and lobster - a birthday is a wonderful excuse to be decadent!

Belgian waffles with vanilla ice cream and fried eggs!

anything as along as I am with my friends and family (plus funfetti cake)

Wherever I can have dinner with my wife and our friends. Home is nice. :)

What can I say, many of the people I know are foodies, and make pretty great food! ;)

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