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Albany (for Springsteen) Where to eat?

I'll be in Albany on a Thursday evening in November to see Springsteen. I went to law school there and used to be quite familiar. . .but, sadly, my favorite place, Cavaleri's, is gone. Where to have a great Italian meal in Albany these days? Casual or business casual.

Thanks!

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  1. A perennial favorite is Cafe Capriccio, off of Madison, behind the Times-Union Center.

    www.cafecapriccio.com/

    1. I went to SUNY undergrad--there's a place big enough to hold a Bruce concert now? Guess things have changed since 1981...We used to love burgers at Sutter's, on Western Ave., but clearly not what you are looking for. And by the way, no business casual for Bruce, if you can help it.

      17 Replies
      1. re: Shayna Madel

        Madela, I've seen Bruce more than 100 times, and I have the T-shirts and stubs to prove it. But I'll be traveling from work,and won't change clothes until right before the show.

        Sutters was a mainstay in my years in the Capitol District, along with the Ginger Man, the Elbow Room, and Lark Tavern. Is Grandma's Pie Shop still there?

        BTW, I was in Albany from 1982-85 for law school. I was poor, but ate well.

        1. re: rruben1

          Ah, you have me beat. It's only been about a dozen or so for me. And if the t-shirt from the River tour still fit, I would be VERY happy. My place was WT's (Washington Tavern, apparently renovated, and now long gone). Loved those $1.05 rum and cokes. With mixed drinks at that price, it was financially manageable not to be a beer drinker. Heard of the places you mentioned, but don't know whether they still exist.

          Enjoy the show--like there would be any doubt?

          1. re: Shayna Madel

            WT's is GONE??? Say it ain't so!

            1. re: L_W

              How about O'Heaney's???

              1. re: ChefJeffe

                Don't know if it's still there, but will ask friends. Was trying to remember the name of the place somewhere downtown, in the middle of some block somewhere between Washington and Western, really small and overcrowded and kinda notorious for being for particularly heavy drinkers/partiers...

                Miss that WT's pizza...

                1. re: Shayna Madel

                  That's the one. They still had a trough for a urinal.

                2. re: ChefJeffe

                  Could it be the Long Branch? That's where I hung out back in 80 - 84. On weekend days they used to have drink specials that if you had ? drinks you got a free t-shirt. They changed to colors every so often so I collected quite a few different colored shirts...

                  1. re: vinouspleasure

                    Is Jack's the fancy seafood place downtown, with the cloth napkins and silverplate flatware? I think I had graduation dinner there in 1981!

                    1. re: Shayna Madel

                      Yes it is

                  2. re: L_W

                    re WT's It ain't so - remodeled to resemble an Irish Pub, but Mike Byron still owns it

                    1. re: swarttav

                      Guess I was given misinformation. Sorry.

                      1. re: Shayna Madel

                        i also attended sunya back in the '80s

                        anyone remember the grinch? what a great hangout

                        agree with mentions of: sutter's (cheddar burgers/cheddar fries) and loved wt's for the bar pies (also long isl. iced teas & bloody marys)

                        what was the place that had the great wings (by central ave.)?

                        partridge pub had good burgers back then

                        how about frank's living room, jb scott's, the a frame (wolf rd), across the street pub, o'heaney's, etc...

                        thanks for letting me reminisce

                        1. re: rindy2k

                          Mild Wally's? I was an early 90s attendee of SUNYA

                          1. re: L_W

                            i think the wings place i was trying to remember was called hurley's

                            don't recall a mild wally's...

                          2. re: rindy2k

                            The place by Central Ave with the great wings - could be Ralph's Tavern on Central, near Fuller Road. Still a great place for wings and other tasty (but decidedly non gourmet) fare like chicken parm subs, fried scallops, decent pizza etc.

                  3. re: rruben1

                    The Ginger Man, Elbow Room, Lark Tavern, and Grandma's Restaurant and Bakery are all still there. But for pre-concert dining I would agree that Cafe Capriccio is a good choice for Italian. Albany Pump Station or Jack's or Nicole's Bistro or La Serre would also be good if you're not limited to Italian.

                    1. re: AmyH

                      I may be in the minority, but I hate Cafe Cappricio. Too many bad meals.

                      I would opt for Nicole's Bistro or Lombardo's in that area. But if I had time I would head down Central Ave for some fried eggrolls and shrimp over vermicella at Van's.
                      Or perhaps you can get an early seating at Yono's?

                3. I like Albany Pump Station. Their Thai Peanut Wings are great! And I guess the beer is good too, but I don't drink.

                  PS the Times Union Center (formerly Pepsi Arena) was built in 1990 and seats 17,000.

                  1. McGuire's (on Lark) is great

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: laurenko

                      If you have a few people, Buca di Beppo
                      http://www.bucadibeppo.com/
                      has great family style Italian food. We had lunch there last week and it was excellent.
                      We ate in Albany Pump Station last Thursday and the food was very good. I liked their beer, which is brewed on-site.

                      ~Fred19

                      1. re: Fred19

                        Buca di Beppo is over by Wolf Road and not particularly convenient for the arena. I've been to the Pump Station a few times and always enjoyed their stuff (of course, all we order are burgers and wings, but they're both really good). And while it's not walking distance from the arena, it's relatively close.

                    2. How about D'Raymond's in Loudonville before the concert; old school Italian, no parking issue, easy shot downtown?

                      -----
                      D'Raymonds Restaurant & Lounge
                      269 Osborne Rd Ste 4, Albany, NY 12211

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: PSZaas

                        great plce - I totally agree

                      2. I'd recommend Mercato's on Delaware ave in Delmar. They're a nice red sauce type joint with great food and fair prices.

                        1. Try the Pearl for quiet dining or Jack's Oysterhouse, both pretty close to the arena. D'Raymonds has a great veal and crab dish.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: jspear

                            I like Jack's Oysterhouse. Good Prime Rib.
                            ~Fred19