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Recently reviewed restaurants:

Trattoria Rustica, 26 McKay St., Pittsfield, Mass., (413) 499-1192. Chef-owner Davide Manzo explores the flavors of ancient Italian cooking with a big brick oven as his principal tool. Excellent pasta, superb roasts and a wonderful atmosphere. Serving dinner Wed-Mon 5-9. AE, D, MC, V.

El Mariachi III, 2955 Route 9, Ballston Spa, 581-5901. A generous menu of Mexican fare that goes beyond burritos by offering mole poblano, pipian de pollo, and much in the way of Spanish fare. Serving Mon-Fri 11:30-10, Sat 3-10, Sun 4-10. AE, MC, V.

Chez Sophie, the Saratoga Hotel, 534 Broadway, Saratoga Springs, 583-3538. The best restaurant in the Saratoga area is now moved to downtown, in a beautiful custom-built space where owners Paul Parker and Cheryl Clark offer fabulous dining. Serving breakfast Mon-Fri 7-10:30, lunch Mon-Fri noon-2, dinner nightly 5-11, brunch Sun 10-2. AE, D, MC, V.

Gotchyaís Trattoria, 68 Beekman St., Saratoga Springs, 584-5772. Enjoy chef Dominic Coloseís homemade pasta and a menu of Tuscan-inspired meals of which the excellent porcetta is but one example. Serving dinner Tue-Sat 5-10. AE, MC, V.

Hobsonís Choice, 159 Water St., Williamstown, Mass., (413) 458-9101. A rustic-looking dining with an open kitchen, salad bar, and a menu of excellent preparations of traditional fare, with beef and chicken and seafood the stars. Serving dinner nightly from 5 PM. AE, D, MC, V.

The Publik House Pub and Restaurant, Routes 9 and 9P, Malta, 587-7479. Pizza is the speciality, but thereís also a full menu of sandwiches, pasta, some seafood and daily specials, in a friendly, publike place. Serving Sun-Thu 11 AM-11:30 PM, Fri-Sat 11 AM-12:30 AM. Serving pasta until 9:30, full menu until 11, light menu thereafter. AE, MC, V.

The Card Lake Inn, 29 Main St., W. Stockbridge, Mass., (413) 232-0272, www.cardlakeinn.com. Fine or casual dining in a friendly place that offers three different dining areas, including an expansive covered patio. Serving lunch daily noon-3 PM, dinner daily 5-10. MC, V.

Samís Italian and American Restaurant, 125 Southern Blvd., Albany, 463-3433. www.go-sams.com. Traditional Italian fare served in a welcoming place that has thrived here for 35 years. Make sure to try the clams alla Samís. Serving lunch Tue-Fri 11:30-2, dinner Tue-Thu 4:30-9 Fri-Sat 4:30-10. AE, MC, V.

Lake Ridge, 35 Burlington Ave., Round Lake, 899-6000. Chef-owner Scott Ringwood serves a menu of elegant continental fare with original twists; his pecan-crusted pork is a deserving signature dish. Serving lunch Tue-Sat 11:30-2:30, dinner Tue-Sat 4:30-8:45, Sun 3-8. AE, MC, V.


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