Bistro at Quackenbush Square, 25 Quackenbush Square, Albany,
465-1111, nicolesbistro.com. Old World charm and inspired
French bistro cooking (with a few twists) are hallmarks of
this restaurant, now an old standby amid a surge of trendy
downtown dining spots. Consistent, quality food and service
keep this on the “A” list. Serving lunch Mon-Thu 11:30-2:30,
dinner Fri-Sat 5-10. AE, D, DC, MC, V.
Tai-Pan, 1519 Halfmoon Parkway (Route 9), Halfmoon, 383-8581.
An unusual mix of many Asian cuisines, served in an eye-catching
building that also is an unusual Asian mix. The weekend dim
sum is unique to the area. Serving daily 11-10, dim sum Sat-Sun
10-3. AE, MC, V.
569 Route 20, New Lebanon, 794-9339. Wood-fired pizzas are
the specialty, with an array of good pasta dishes rounding
out the menu for this charming, intimate place. Serving Sun-Thu
11:30-10, Fri-Sat 11:30-11. AE, D, MC, V.
The Real Seafood Company, 195 Wolf Road, Colonie, 458-2068.
An Albany institution for over 20 years, serving (albeit slowly)
a menu of fresh seafood as well as pasta dishes and a sprinkling
of Continental fare. Serving Mon-Thu 11-10, Fri 11-11, Sat
3-11, Sun 3-9:30. AE, D, DC, MC, V.
Grille, 200 Broadway, Troy, 272-3013. A standard of excellence
here, with chef Larry Schepici presenting a menu of creatively
enhanced continental fare, spectacularly presented. Serving
dinner Mon-Sat 5-10, brunch Sunday 10-3. AE, D, MC, V.
138 Broadway, Rensselaer, 434-1080. A low-priced variety of
terrific food, including burritos, tacos, gyros, burgers and
more. Takeout and delivery, too. Serving Mon-Sat 11-8:30.
D, MC, V.
Lounge, 99 Pine St. (at S. Pearl), Albany, 694-3689. www.envyalbany.com.
Chef James Demers offers an innovative and delicious menu
that includes bison hangar steak, risotto-stuffed quail and
his own dry-aged beef. Serving lunch Tue-Fri 11-2, dinner
Tue-Sat 5-9. AE, D, MC, V.
Butcher Block Grill, 1632A Central Ave., Colonie, 456-1653.
An area mainstay, the classic steak and seafood restaurant
with a generous salad bar. Prime rib available daily; fresh
fish is also a feature. Serving Mon-Thu 11:30-9:30, Fri 11:30-10,
Sat 4-10, Sun 4-9. AE, D, DC, MC, V.