As most visitors to the SPA and to Saratoga Race Course make Crush & Cask and YOURS TRULY their first stop....I am asked constantly about where to dine and drink in our little corner of Paradise. Below, you will find my "GO-TO" list which includes a few favorites from last year, as well as some scratches and changes. Bon Appetit.
In no particular order...
Pennell's Restaurant: Jefferson St.
A perennial favorite. Just had their Veal Parm last night and it is THE best around these parts. Leave the gun...take the cannoli. Seriously, you can HAVE Chianti. THIS winechick prefers Pennell's.
The Brook Tavern: Corner of Union and Nelson
My second home? Some people think it is. Bob Lee's attention to detail does not go unnoticed. I still adore The Wishing Well if we are feeling a little fancier...but The Brook? I'm surprised my fanny hasn't made an indelible mark on the barstool in the corner. Jimmy is a barkeep extraordinaire (and one HELL of a great guy) who KNOWS his booze and crafts a superb cocktail. BEST BET.
15 CHURCH: (duh...15 Church St)
Probably THE best restaurant in downtown Saratoga. SUPERBLY crafted and inventive cocktails (the Burke Lemonade is a particular favorite), a wonderful and thoughtful wine list, a superb menu. What more can you ask for? OH...RIGHT!!!! There is also a NEW, spacious OUTDOOR dining area, complete with a retractable roof a la Cowboys Stadium. Go say hey to my friend Janine behind the patio bar.
Bravo: NEW Addition (located where Jack Dillon's used to be...and if you're REALLY old...Joe Collins WAY back when. lol)
Recently opened by the owner of Mama Mia's Pizza and Restaurant. The original plan was a steak and seafood place...but there are a lot of other options here as well. I wish they would shorten the menu just a bit since it's difficult to pull off THAT many dishes flawlessly...but...we shall see. The last time Hubster and I dined there (at the bar), it was great. But---we all know track season can make even the most WELL-oiled machine get squeaky...and they are new...so proceed with optimistic caution.
9 Maple Avenue: (duh again...9 Maple Ave)
NO explanation required. You want the best scotch and bourbon selection in town? Look no further. Period. End of story.
Shake Shack: (Saratoga Race Course...adjacent to the paddock)
I'll admit it. I am obsessed. We just completed our Burger Smackdown in Saratoga...and Shake Shack wasn't included because they weren't open yet...good thing as they would have been my vote without question. There is JUST something about them that I CANNOT resist. My countdown to Opening Day is as much about the fact that I can have a Shake Shack burger as it is about horse racing and cocktails.
The Barrelhouse: (Beekman Street)
Disclaimer: One of our best friends is an owner. As of last season's writing, they had just opened and were still tweaking things a bit. Happy to report they are thriving in their little spot. Tyler STILL makes the best Bloody Mary in town...their craft beer offerings are wonderful and ever-changing. Try The Michigan Dogs.
The Lodge: SCRATCHED. SADLY, they will ONLY be open this season for weddings and special events. Which COMPLETELY bums me out. Someone's gotta get their shit together with this. No offense...but let someone run it who is passionate about it and knows food...drink...and proper MARKETING (like ME..but I digress)
Siro's: Changes: (NEW company to be in charge of the INSIDE area, including the kitchen...Hunt & Fish Club from NYC)
Nothing will ever say "I am in Saratoga" as much as Siro's does. It's an institution for a reason. Expensive? Hell, yes. Worth it? It's a bucket list thing. Seriously. Where else can you have dinner sitting next to Bobby Flay?
NOVE: Route 9, Gansevoort (but it still feels like Saratoga to me)
Yeah--this list is probably a little Italian-heavy...BUT...that's only because of the wealth of quality Italian restaurants we have around here. We love eating right at the bar here and Danilo has got the hospitality thing down to a T. He also loves to chat about vino.
Village Pizzeria: Galway
When we want to get a little out of the 12866...we head to see our friend Sandy. The wine list is EXCEPTIONAL..oh, and it's NOT mind and pocket numbingly expensive either. Are there $200 Barolos? Of course..but Sandy wants her customers to enjoy wine as much as SHE does. And it shows. Hubster is obsessed with the Lobster Pizza and I am obsessed with just about everything else.
Hattie's: I really don't need to elaborate here, do I? And...you really don't need directions, do you? Just follow the aroma.
Panza's: (Saratoga Lake)
TRY to go there on a Friday night when my friend Jay is bartending..,oh, and please...do me a favor and order 5 different kinds of annoying drinks...he LIVES for that stuff. They have recently resurrected a location on Brown's Beach as well that's a bit more casual. This is old-school EYE-Talian at its best.
Mangino's: (Saratoga Lake)
Another TOTAL old-school spot that will make you think you're an extra in Good Fellas. The Shrimp a la Mangino is fantastic.
And...there you have it. The list is shortened ONLY because of space constraints...be sure to follow me @winechick24 or @saratogafare for more information or to just drop me a HOLLA.