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Recently reviewed restaurants:

Midtown Tap & Tea Room, 289 New Scotland Ave., Albany, 435-0202. An inventive array of tapas, soup and salad to accompany a good wine list, lots of fancy tea or whatever beverage you fancy, served in handsomely appointed rooms. Serving Tue-Sat 11-11, Sun 11-6. AE, D, MC, V.

Azteca, 4 Central Ave., Albany, 436-4795. Standard Mexican fare with a number of innovative additions, all at bargain prices. Good mole poblano available here! Serving Mon-Thu 11-10, Fri 11-11, Sat noon-11, Sun noon-9. AE, D, MC, V.

Tops American Grill, Bakery & Bar, 351 Duanesburg Road (Route 7), Schenectady, 356-0697. A 70-year fixture has a new look, new menu, and reliably good food, including such comfort fare as meatloaf and fried chicken and an extensive array of homemade baked goods. Serving Mon-Thu 6 AM-midnight, Fri-Sat 6 AM-1 AM, Sun 6 AM-11 PM. AE, D, MC, V.

Anthony’s Canalside Restaurant, 1 Riverside Road, Rotterdam, 887-3100. Pizza, burgers, pasta and more in a pleasant family-run restaurant, with $7 Mon-Wed dinner specials. Try the steak pizzaiola! Serving Mon-Thu 11-9, Fri-Sat 11-10, Sun noon-9. AE, D, MC, V.

Marché, 74 State St., Albany, 434-7410. Contemporary French-American cuisine exquisitely prepared and elegantly served in the handsome, soft-lit dining room of downtown Albany’s new boutique hotel. Serving breakfast 7-10 Mon-Sat, lunch 11:30-2 Mon-Sat, dinner 6-10 Mon-Sat, brunch 10-2 Sunday. AE, D, MC, V.

Afghan Grill, 952 Troy Schenectady Road (Peter Harris Plaza), Latham, 783-5553. Kababs, curries, vegetarian entrées, rice dishes—and pizza, in this newly refurbished eatery that gives our area its first taste of the delicious Afghan cuisine. Serving daily 10-10; lunch buffet Mon-Fri 11-2. AE, D, MC, V.

Otis & 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. 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.


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