& Oliver's, 979 Troy Schenectady Road, Latham, 785-9291.
Barbecue-grilled ribs and pulled pork are the specialties,
along with a menu of sandwiches, burgers, steaks and more
served in a friendly, casual setting. Serving Mon-Thu 11:30-10,
Fri-Sat 11-11, Sun noon-9. AE, D, DC, MC, V.
The Reluctant Panther, 17-39 West Road, Manchester,
Vt., (802) 362-2568, (800) 822-2331, www.reluctantpanther.com.
Excellent innovative continental fare with Asian notes prepared
by chef Daniel Jackson. Asian-lacquered duckling, salmon with
epazote pesto and seared sea scallops with risotto are but
a few of the ever-changing entrées. Serving dinner Tue-Sat
5:30-9:30. AE, D, MC, V.
Nicole's 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.
Fresco's, 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.
Tosca 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.
Tortillas, 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.