Lombardis Ristorante, 104 West Sand Lake Road (Route
150), Wynantskill, 283-0202. A favorite for 16 years, offering
gourmet Italian fare in a pleasant setting. Traditional and
inventive dishes aboundthe scalloppine alla asparagi
combines veal and asparagus in a wonderfully rich way. Serving
dinner Mon-Thu 4-10, Fri-Sat 4-11, Sun 1-9. AE, D, MC, V.
47 Phila St., Saratoga Springs, 583-2755. Breakfast and lunch
served throughout the day in a pleasant downtown café.
Omelette, quiche and frittata specials along with homemade
soup and gourmet coffee. Serving daily 8 AM-3 PM. AE, D, DC,
MC, V. ***½
Italian Eatery, 1365 New Scotland Road, Slingerlands,
439-6022. Italian fare, plain and fancy, with wood-fired pizzas,
a terrific saltimbocca, homemade desserts and very comfortable
ambiance. Serving lunch daily 11-4, dinner Sun-Thu 11-10,
Fri-Sat 11-11. AE, CB, D, DC, MC, V. ****
Stage Deli, 2678 Hamburg St., Schenectady, 355-7791. Any
sandwich you can imagine, with great Reubens, massive subs,
chopped liver and even dinner specials later in the day. Serving
Mon-Sat 8-8. AE, MC, V. ***½
21 Phila St., Saratoga Springs, 581-0560. A crêperie
that serves savory and sweet concoctions for brunch, lunch
and dinner, with true-to-tradition Belgian pommes frites as
well. Serving Tue-Thu 11:30-8, Fri 11:30-9, Sat 10-9, brunch
Sat-Sun 10-3. MC, V. (Closing Tuesdays for the winter beginning
Oct. 29. ****
Restaurant & Pizzeria, 2850 River Rd., Niskayuna,
347-0002. Search out this popular, family-friendly eatery
for fresh, tasty pizzas, pasta dishes and other Italian specials;
the veal Mario is rich and filling. Serving Tue-Fri 11-10,
Sat 4-10. AE, D, DC, MC, V. ****
Square Café, 254 Broadway, Troy, 274-0167. The
former Capehouse is now a well-staffed café serving
continental fare with a Mediterranean touch: lots of good
pasta and fish, with many inventive appetizers. Serving lunch
Mon-Fri 11:30-2:30; dinner Mon-Sat 5-10. AE, D, MC, V. ****
Restaurant, 1415 Route 9 (Northway Exit 20), Lake George,
793-6601. An area staple, serving for more than 45 years,
with a solid menu of seafood and steaks (prime rib a specialty)
and excellent service. Serving lunch daily 11:45-2:30, dinner
Mon-Thu 5-9, Fri-Sat 9:30, Sun 2-9. AE, D, DC, MC, V. ****
Sedgwick Inn and Restaurant, 17971
Route 22, Berlin, 658-2334, www.sedgwickinn.com. An excellent
autumn destination, with a fine-dining restaurant specializing
in game and fish (the grilled venison is superb) and comfortable,
antiques-laden guest rooms. Serving dinner Wed-Sat 5-9 PM,
Sun 1-8. AE, D, MC, V. ****
Hidden Café, Delaware Plaza, Delmar, 439-8800.
Burgers, salads and wraps, yes, but the prize here is the
Mediterranean menu with great hummus, kebabs and spanakopita.
Serving daily 11-10. MC, V. ***½
Mexican Connection, 41 Nelson Ave., Saratoga Springs,
584-4466. A reliable, homey, comfortable source of Southwestern
farebig portions, nice flavors and a great selection
of tequila. Serving daily from 4 PM. (Closed Mon-Tue as racing
season winds down.) D, DC, MC, V. ***½
Vanilla Bean, 521 Troy Schenectady Road, Latham, 782-2326.
The excellent bakery is here augmented with a menu that promises
more than the kitchen and floor staff deliver. Serving Sun-Thu
7 AM-9 PM, Fri-Sat 7 AM-10 PM. AE, MC, V. **½
at the Saratoga National Golf Club, 485 Union Ave., Saratoga
Springs, 583-4653. Wonderful dinner menu with familiar items
given exotic touches; try lunch on the veranda or the famous
Sunday brunch. Serving lunch Sun-Fri 11:30-4, Sat 11:30-3,
dinner Sun-Thu 5-10, Fri-Sat 5-11, brunch Sun 10-3. AE, D,
MC, V. ****½
Lucia, 90 Church St., Lenox, Mass., 413-637-2640. A Lenox
standby, bringing out the best in fresh ingredients served
in spare, northern Italian styles. Somewhat hurried during
the Tanglewood season. Serving dinner Tue-Sun 5:30-10. AE,
CB, D, DC, MC, V. ****
Prospect Restaurant, Scribner
Route 23A, Hunter, 263-4211. Take the hour drive from Albany
and enjoy the sunset to a superior, inventive meal. Game and
fish and local produce are among the features. Serving dinner
Sun-Thu 5-10, Fri-Sat 5-11. AE, D, MC, V. ****½
44 Phila St., Saratoga Springs, 580-0900. A harmonious marriage
of cultures, with tempura and sashimi served alongside red
curry and pad thai. Try the basil and chili for a terrific
sautéed dish. Serving lunch daily 11:30-3, dinner Sun-Thu
5-10, Fri-Sat 5-10:30. AE, D, MC, V. ****
Cambridge Hotel, 4 W. Main St., Cambridge, 677-5626, www.cambridgehotel.com.
A remarkable job of restoration has turned this place gorgeous;
innkeeper-chef John LaPosta has made the dining room a culinary
triumph. Serving lunch Tue-Sun 11-3, dinner Tue-Sun 5-9, breakfast
buffet Sun 9-1. AE, CB, DC, MC, V. *****
Sophie Bistro, 2853 Route 9, Malta Ridge, 583-3538. One
of the areas absolutely finest restaurants, with a menu
of classic French fare brought up-to-date by chef Tonya Mahar.
Serving dinner Tue-Sat 5:30-closing. AE, DC, MC, V. www.chezsophie.com.
Phoenix Buffet, St. James Square Plaza, 2309 Nott St.
E., Niskayuna, 344-7518. Two hundred items on seven buffet
tables, as good as can be expected from chafing-dish fare,
but the Mongolian barbecue station lets you make your own
meal. Serving lunch Mon-Sat 11-3:30, dinner Mon-Thu 3:30-10,
Fri-Sat 3:30-11, Sun noon-10. AE, D, MC, V. ***
American Hotel, Main Street, Sharon Springs, 284-2105.
An inventive array of continental fare served in the elegant
surroundings of a handsome hotel in a historic resort town
busily making a comeback. Serving lunch Wed-Fri 11-2, dinner
Wed-Thu 5-8, Fri-Sat 5-9, Sun 5-7; brunch Sat-Sun 8-2. AE,
D, MC, V. ****
Miltys Diner, Route 9W, Glenmont, 434-3761. A classic
silver diner with a big breakfast and lunch menu along with
frequent specials like eggs Benedict, cheese blintzes and
potato pancakes. And the burgers are good, too. Serving Tue-Sun
7 AM-2 PM. Cash and personal checks. ***½
House, 6 New Scotland Ave., Albany, 935-2270. Terrific
sushisome of the areas bestalong with a
menu of other Japanese fare (tempura, yakitori, noodles) served
in a handsome teahouse setting. Serving Mon-Thu 11-10, Fri-Sat
11-11, Sun 11:30-9:30. AE, D, MC, V. ****
Olde Kristels Inn, 654 Saratoga Road, Burnt Hills,
399-7398. New chef-owner Bill Clark brings back the old Kristels
traditions with fare such as chicken and biscuits, pot roast,
meatloaf and a fancy chicken cordon bleu. Serving lunch Mon-Sat
11-4, dinner Mon-Sat 4-9, Sun 3-8. Brunch buffet Sunday 8-2.
AE, D, DC, MC, V. ****
Bar-B-Q, 1739 Route 9, Clifton Park, 373-9800. Grilled
chicken and ribs are the specialty, with mixed results: Good
chicken, boring ribs. Serving Tue-Sun 11-9. AE, D, MC, V.
& R Italian Ristorante, 136 Madison Ave., Albany,
626-0001. No-surprises Italian fare, nicely done (try the
rigatoni cantadina), served in a very attractive dining room.
The cheesecake is outstanding. Serving Mon-Fri 11-11 Sat-Sun
3-11. AE, D, DC, MC, V. ***½
47 Railroad St., Great Barrington, Mass., 413-528-7767. Steaks,
fish and game are the offerings, with superior items ranging
from meat loaf and fried chicken to spit-roasted duck and
venison sausage. Serving Mon-Thu 5-10, Fri-Sat 5-11, Sun 5:30-10;
brunch Sun 11-3. AE, MC, V. ***½
River Brewing Company, Latham Circle Mall, Latham, 786-6258.
Excellent beer and a varied menu are highlights of this comfortable
eatery, where you can have a religious experience if you ask
for the spicy version of the award-winning chili. Serving
Sun-Mon 11:30-9:30, Tue-Thu 11:30-11, Fri-Sat noon-midnight.
AE, D, DC, MC, V. ***½
499 House, 499 Second Ave., Troy, 238-0499. A revitalized
local landmark with a wonderfully gracious staff and a classic
steakhouse menu enlivened by the talent of youthful chef Brian
Hinckley. Serving Tue-Sat 4-10, Sun 4-9. AE, MC, D, V. ***½
Round-Up, 23 Main St., South Glens Falls, 761-0015. An
eclectic approach to Southwestern fare, served in a fun-to-look-at
emporium of different dining areas. The Pancho Villa quesadilla
combines chipotle pork, dilled Havarti and asparagus! Serving
Mon-Wed 4-9, Thu noon-9, Fri-Sat noon-10, Sun 2:30-9; Sun
brunch 10-2. AE, D, MC, V. ****
Pub & Grill, 153 Mohawk Ave., Scotia, 382-8909. Pub
fare with lots of sandwiches, hot and cold, and even vegetarian
items. The burrito el grande will fill you for a week,
and for only $7! Serving Mon-Thu 11-9, Fri-Sat 11-11, Sun
4-9. AE, CB, D, DC, MC, V. ***½
780 Route 9, Saratoga Springs, 583-8877. Family-style Italian
dining, which means you should bring a bunch of friends and
share the large portions. Serving Wed-Sat 5-10, Sun 1-9. AE,
CD, DC, MC, V. ***½
Ridge, 35 Burlington Ave., Round Lake, 899-6000. Former
Olde Dater chef Scott Ringwood offers fine dining at reasonable
cost at the former Sweet Nothings building; try the pork rack
or the duck breast for fresh takes on old favorites. Serving
lunch Mon-Sat 11:30-2:30, dinner Mon-Sat 5-8:45. AE, MC, V.
Chia Bob’s Bistro, 1036 Crane St., Schenectady, 386-2200.
An intimate, friendly spot in which to relax and enjoy a meal
presented with the flair of excellent home cooking. Filet
mignon for traditionalists; quesadillas, quiche, even hot
dogs and burgers are available. Serving dinner Wed-Sun 5-1.
AE, MC, V. ***½
Café and Restaurant, 144 Washington Ave., Albany, 694-5320.
Impressive mix of continental and Israeli fare, with bold
flavors and sharp service. The Greek baked salmon in phyllo
is a knockout. Serving lunch Mon-Fri 11-3, dinner Mon-Sun
5-10. AE, CB, D, DC, MC, V. ****½
Bay Clam Co., 2149 Doubleday Ave. (Route 50), Ballston
Spa, 885-0583. Solid, unsurprising seafood served fried, broiled,
baked—you name it. Steaks, chicken and pasta as well, with
daily specials that tend to be more interesting. www.greatbayclamco.com.
Serving Tue-Fri 11:30-9, Sat 4-9, Sun 12:30-8:30. AE, D, DC,
MC, V. ***
Raindancer Restaurant, 4582 Route 30, Amsterdam, 842-2606.
An old-fashioned steak house with chicken, pasta, and other
such items, and a generous salad bar with dinner. Serving
lunch (light fare) Mon-Sat 1-10, Sun 1-8; dinner Mon-Sat 4:30-10,
Sun 1-8. AE, D, DC, MC, V. *** ½
Baba, 2243 15th St., Troy, 273-1170. Terrific kabobs,
and the $5 durum (wrapped) kabob is the best gyro in the area.
Wood-fired oven pizzas, casseroles and more at great prices.
Serving Mon-Sat 11 AM-2 AM. AE, D, DC, MC, V. ****
Springwater Bistro, 139 Union Ave., Saratoga, 584-6440.
Excellent food and eager service in a casual setting with
formal food; the menu changes daily, but try the lamb shank
when it’s available. Serving dinner Wed-Mon 5:30-9:30. AE,
DC, MC, V. ****½
Russo’s Dugout, 43 Main St., So. Glens Falls, 793-9560.
Dine amidst vintage sports memorabilia and enjoy selections
from a wide-ranging menu of Italian and continental fare at
great prices, with a legendary wine list. Serving Mon, Wed-Thu
11:30-10:30, Fri 11:30-11:30, Sat 3:30-11:30, Sun 11:30-10.
MC, V. ****