54, 54 Clifton Country Road, Clifton Park, 688-1548. Chef
Mike Pietrocola is back in business, offering elegant new
American fare at this newly remodeled location. The potato-wrapped
sea bass is a killer. Serving dinner Tue-Sun from 4:30. AE,
D, MC, V.
Familia, 54 Philip St. (at Madison Avenue), Albany, 462-2190.
An unassuming eatery with terrific Oaxacan food, along with
burgers and such as gringo fare. Try the enchiladas rojas
for its great mole sauce. Serving Sun-Thu 11-9:30,
Fri 11-7. Closed Saturday! MC, V.
Mino: Sushi & Thai Restaurant, 1558 Central Ave.,
Colonie, 452-6878. Watch virtuoso sushi chef Mino at work
slicing and presenting your fresh fish, or try one of the
amazing curries or other Thai dishes. Serving lunch daily
11:30-2:30, dinner Sun-Thu 5-10, Fri-Sat 5-10:30. AE, MC,
Oyster House, 42 State St., Albany, 465-8854. Certified
master chef Dale Miller oversees a menu of classic fare and
his own inspiration at downtown Albanyís most famous restaurantóstill
going strong after 93 years. Serving daily 11:30-10. AE, DC,
D, MC, V.
Barnsider, 480 Sand Creek Road, Colonie, 869-2448. A 40-year-old
success presenting matchless, home-butchered steaks as well
as seafood and other meatstuffs, and a big, bustling salad
bar to boot. Serving dinner Mon-Thu 4-10, Fri-Sat 4-10:30,
Sun 4-9. AE, D, DC, MC, V.
237 Union Ave., Saratoga Springs, 583-3333. The venerable
home of wood-fired pizza has reopened with streamlined decor,
a pared-down menu, but the same great pizza along with sandwiches,
wings, and some Italian-inspired fare. Serving Sun-Wed 5-9,
Thu-Sat 5-10 (and later daily as warranted). AE, D, MC, V.
Japanese Steak House, 2027 Western Ave., Guilderland,
452-1445. It used to be on Allen Street; now itís near Route
155. Hibachi tables in one room, sushi and traditional Japanese
fare in another, including wonderful noodle soup. Serving
lunch Mon-Fri 11:30-2:30, dinner Sun-Thu 4-10, Fri-Sat 4-11.
AE, D, MC, V
Black Cat Ale House, 25 White St., Cohoes, 235-3199. Superior
pub food, all of it homemade, served in a welcoming atmosphere.
Steaks, burgers and sandwiches are great; grab the fish and
chips when itís offered. Serving daily 11:30-10. AE, D, MC,
Olde Shaker Inn, 1171 Troy Schenectady Road (Route 7),
Latham, 783-6460, www.theoldeshakerinn.com. An area favorite
with an innovative continental menu. Seafood is outstanding,
and the combination of bold flavors and exotic ingredients
keeps the palate happy. Serving lunch Mon-Fri 11:30-3, dinner
Mon-Thu 5-9:30, Fri-Sat 5-10, Sun 4-9. Sunday brunch 10-2.
AE, D, DC, MC, V.
Peaches Cafť, Stuyvesant Plaza, Albany, 482-3677. Ice
cream and cakes, for sure, but itís also a much-loved breakfast
stop (the Belgian waffles are towering) and a good place for
tasty sandwiches and terrific burgers. Serving Mon-Thu 8 AM-9
PM, Fri-Sat 8 AM-9:30 PM, Sun 8-7. AE, CB, D, DC, MC, V.