Pontillo makes memories for Blu Stone Bistro patrons

GUILDERLAND — Local restaurateur Sam Pontillo has settled in as general manager of the Blu Stone Bistro in Loudonville.

Pontillo grew up in the business, with his parents running a restaurant in Batavia, N.Y., but he said he wanted to do something different, so he went to the State University of New York College at Buffalo, where he majored in graphic design.

He married his college sweetheart, Karen, and they moved to New York City, where he worked as an illustrator for 14 years, and dabbled in catering on the side.

Eventually, said Pontillo, the “demands of Manhattan became too great,” and he, his wife, and their four children moved back to western New York, where he went into the restaurant business full time.

“I think the business was always in my blood,” said Pontillo.

He has sinced worked in restaurants in Florida, as well as in Saratoga, while his family settled down in Guilderland. All of his children attended Guilderland schools.

Blu Stone Bistro, formerly Parc V, owned by the Scaring family, where Pontillo started as manager on Oct. 1, serves what he called “modern American cuisine.”

The dinner menu includes dishes like organic kale salad, filet mignon with bleu cheese scalloped potatoes, and flat-bread pizzas.

 The restaurant also prepares artisanal cocktails, made with fresh ingredients, such as an organic Meyer-lemon martini, a cucumber jalapeno margarita, and seasonal sangria.

“We strive, every night, to provide great hospitality, and the best quality food we can,” Pontillo said. “We also strive to keep it unique.”

He said the menu is revamped about four times per year, and offers seasonal selections.

Blu Stone Bistro has been open for five years, but, said Pontillo, he feels like he has brought in a new energy.

The staff, he said, is “obsessed” with food and makes his job easy.

“I think the atmosphere here is very warm and receiving,” said Pontillo. “Knowing that someone has had a memorable experience in my restaurant is my favorite feeling.”

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