Capital Region’s 10 best eateries of the past 30 years
hard enough for a restaurant to stay in business for 30 years,
let alone offer a consistently excellent dining experience.
Café Capriccio has been on its corner of Albany’s Grand Street
since 1982, serving a captivating interpretation of northern
Italian fare in a charmingly idiosyncratic space. Owner Jim
Rua continues to share his creativity and charm, and his son
Franco now helms the kitchen to maintain the family traditions.
Our next-in-line winner, Jack’s Oyster House, has thrived
in Albany’s downtown since 1913, passing through three family
generations and gently reinventing itself to suit the succession
of decades. Oysters remain a specialty, but chef Luc Pasquier
offers a menu rich in seafood and quality steaks.
Third and fourth place were tied. New World Home Cooking Co.
was created in the Woodstock area by former Justin’s chef
Ric Orlando (who will open a new Albany restaurant shortly),
and reflects his restless curiosity about combining food and
techniques from a variety of cultures.
Chicken Shack is a Saratoga Springs institution that opened
in 1938 and for several decades showcased the down-home cooking
of Hattie Austin, featuring her second-to-none fried chicken;
now chef Jasper Alexander reinterprets that tradition with
an expanded, Southern-themed menu.
Speaking of Justin’s: It’s been through a succession of chefs
and a pair of owners and, under the guidance of John DeJohn,
it continues to offer fine full dinners, light fare, an accommodating
bar, live music, and probably someone you know already ensconced
You know how a tasty meal persists on your mind’s palate?
Joe’s Delicatessen has been gone for many years, but this
Madison Avenue eatery is fondly remembered for its overstuffed
sandwiches (ah, the chopped liver) and its crusty staff.
Sometimes you have to move around to stay alive. Yono’s
made a couple of moves before landing at the downtown
Hampton Inn a couple of years ago, and what an excellent location
it is, the perfect showcase for our 7th-place winner’s fare.
Yono Purnomo combines his native Indonesian cuisine with innovative
Continental items for a unique menu.
Another tie for eight, nine and 10. Youngest of the winners
is Saratoga’s Beekman Street Bistro, where chef-owner Tim
Meaney crafts an inventive menu using as many local ingredients
Milano, in Latham’s Newton Plaza, provides a charming bistro
setting for its northern Italian menu, and encourages your
own culinary adventuring with a neighboring retail shop of
Although Vietnamese cuisine has fought for a strong foothold
in the area, My Linh opened in Albany over 15 years ago and
continues to maintain its impressive reputation as a fine-dining
restaurant that happens to serve this most delicious food.
respondents ranked up to 10 choices, and points were tallied
as follows: 10 for 1st place, 9 for 2nd, and so on.
Café Capriccio (97)
2. Jack’s Oyster House (57)
3. Tie: Hattie’s Chicken Shack (31); New World Home Cooking
5. Justin’s (26)
6. Joe’s Delicatessen (25)
7. Yono’s (20)
8. Tie: Beekman Street Bistro (19); Milano (19); My Linh (19)
mention: Friends Lake Inn (17), Quintessence (17), Caffe Italia
(15), Chez Sophie (14), River Street Café (14), Van’s Vietnamese
Restaurant (14), McGuire’s (12), Bongiorno’s (11), Ogden’s
to Metroland 30th Anniversary