Turning Stone Resort, 5218 Patrick Road, Verona, (800) 771-7711.
A Brazilian-style churrascaria, where an endless succession
of marinated, grilled or barbecued meats is presented by a
superb waitstaff, along with a creative salad bar and a dessert
selection, all for $37.50. Serving lunch Sat-Sun 11-2, dinner
Sun-Thu 5-10, Fri-Sat 5-11. AE, D, DC, MC, V.
16 Caroline St., Saratoga Springs, 587-7359. Three separate
rooms and an outdoor dining area allow this to be a pub, restaurant
and sports bar without one intruding on the other. The dinner
menu is eclectic and tasty, with pork roulade a deserved favorite.
Serving lunch Mon-Fri 11:30-3, Sat 11-3, dinner Sun-Thu 5-10:30,
Fri-Sat 5-11, brunch Sun 10:30-3. AE, MC, V.
Cabernet Café, 1814 Western Ave., Albany, 452-5670. Elegant
dining with a casual feel, and a menu that does terrific things
with favorite ingredients. The rack of lamb is a winner; the
paella is superb. Serving Mon-Sat 11:30-11, Sun 11-10. Brunch
Sunday 11-3. AE, D, MC, V.
Franklin’s Tower, 414 Broadway, Albany, 431-1920. Enjoy
sandwiches and wraps in the downstairs pub and elegant, eclectic
dinners upstairs. An impressive rebirth for the old Plaza
Grill. Pub menu available Mon-Thu 11:30-9, Fri 11:30-10, dinner
Mon-Thu 5-9, Fri-Sat 5-10. AE, D, MC, V.
95 Ferry St., Troy, 272-6100. Sam Zolio’s renowned Mediterranean
Italian cuisine, once again served at a location he made famous.
The pasta Anselmo is a worthy signature dish. Serving dinner
Wed-Sat from 4 PM. MC, V.
Restaurant & Catering, 1736 Western Ave., Guilderland,
452-6342. From deli sandwiches to wonderful configurations
of hummus, falafel and all your Mediterranean favorites, this
eat-in-or-take-out restaurant offers elegant and, when desired,
heart-healthy meals. Serving lunch Mon-Sat 11-4, dinner Mon-Sat
4-9. AE, D, MC, V.
Thai Bistro, 268 State St., Schenectady, 374-3048. Albany’s
Wolf Road mainstay now has a Schenectady branch in the old
Maurice’s building, serving an impressive array of classic
and unusual Thai dishes. The crazy bowls are an entrée highlight.
Serving Mon-Thu 11-10:30, Fri 11-11, Sat noon-11, Sun noon-10.
AE, MC, V.
Mia Ristorante, 385 Route 9W, Glenmont, 463-4331. One
of the Cecunjanin family’s several area restaurants, with
a consistently good offering of classic Italian fare. Excellent
veal and seafood dishes. Serving Tue-Fri 11-10, Sat 4-11,
Sun 4-9. AE, DC, MC, V.
House Grille, Holiday Inn Turf, 205 Wolf Road, Colonie,
458-7250. An upscale but unsurprising oasis in the midst of
Wolf Road’s chain-restaurant frenzy, with a $20 prime rib
buffet on Saturdays as a feature. Serving lunch Mon-Fri 11:30-2:30,
dinner daily 5-10, brunch Sun 10-2 (except holidays, which
have dinner menus). AE, D, MC, V.