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Apr 28, 2009 03:25 PM

Rehearsal Dinner in Albany...

Does anyone have a suggestion for a rehearsal dinner in the Albany area? Our first pick, Franklin Tower, was booked. Nothing fancy like 677, Dale Miller or Marche. Just a place with a nice room and good food that can accommodate kids and adults alike.

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  1. Type of cuisine, price range (including drinks, tax, tip)? What age are the kids? Any special menu considerations for them?

    Cafe Capriccio (Italian) or Lombardo's (Italian) might work. Cafe Capriccio pasta courses are in the $20 range. I have only been to Cafe Capriccio but hear great things about Lombardo's. Lombardo's might be more casual.

    Assume Yono's and Tosca are out since you mentioned no Dale Miller (opens to the public 5/1) or Marche.

    You might want to check out this long thread for other ideas:

    8 Replies
      1. re: financialdistrictresident

        Thanks so much for all the ideas. I have never been to Capriccio, some people I know have loved it others have hated it. I wanted to keep it around $30 pp not including alcohol, tax and gratuity. Just wanted something a bit casual as the wedding is at Erlowest so it is a bit more upscale. Yono's may work, I never even thought of it. Thanks again!!

        1. re: kailin

          Yono's has 2 restaurants (one formal, one casual). I have only been to the formal dining room. The more casual restaurant might work for you. Worth exploring.

      2. re: financialdistrictresident

        Capriccio is great, but if you have to limit yourself to the pasta course, you'll be disappointed; maybe they could put together a special menu. They do have a cool private room. Lombardo's is atmospheric; I'd be hard-pressed to call it great food. Historic room, blast from the past, not great food. Maybe Justin's or Cafe Madison?

        Is the "Albany Area" the same as "Albany"? Lots of other places outside of Albany, but in the vicinity. Our rehearsal dinner was at Hattie's, in Saratoga Springs, which gave us the whole restaurant and lots of fried chicken. Come north a dozen exits or so, and you've got a lot of choices.

        1. re: PSZaas

          PSZaas, I have not been to Hattie's. Heard it can be inconsistent. The fried chicken sounds so good. I always get apps, pasta (duck ragu is very good) or fish at Cafe Capriccio. Agree Saratoga Springs has the best dining options. Still need to get to Justin's and Cafe Madison (they should be included in the threads I posted earlier).

          Kailin/OP was looking for "good food" so Lombardo's might work.

          Congrats on your wedding! The Inn at Erlowest is lovely. We went there for New Year's Eve.

          1. re: financialdistrictresident

            Umm, thanks for the congrats, but it was a while back, before there was an Inn at Erlowest; I think another poster recently had a wedding there. Hattie's is consistently good, so far as my (fairly extensive) experience is concerned, and a Saratoga landmark. Lombardo's is an Albany landmark, but consistently mediocre.

            1. re: PSZaas

              PSZaas, the congrats was for kailin/OP re: rehearsal dinner. That said, maybe it's not Kailin's wedding either :)
              Thanks for the info, I didn't know they were both landmarks. Interesting because I've heard just the opposite, that Hattie's is inconsistent and Lombardo's is a good red sauce Italian. I'm sure other hounds may chime in with their experiences. I'll have to get to both and do my own taste test.

              1. re: financialdistrictresident

                It is in fact my wedding, thanks for the well wishes. I have been to Hattie's many many times through a couple of owners. I love the feel of the place and they make a great mojito! Having said that I find their chicken to be consistently good, not great but good. I think the sides are decent, I have never had dessert. Jasper has definitely brought the quality of the food up a notch. I never thought they would rent the place out, and given how packed they are I imagine it will cost me, but I will give them a call. Thanks for the suggestion.

      3. I like Buca di Bepo in Albany. They have a lot of individual rooms of different sizes. You may be able to book a private room there.


        4 Replies
        1. re: Fred19

          Buca di Bepo is on Wolf Road and serves family style in a fun, "old fashioned red sauce style" atmosphere. Definitely kid friendly. I have eaten there and it is much better then the Olive Garden. The Buca di Bepo suggestion made me think of Carmine's:

          1. re: financialdistrictresident

            I think we have settled on Tesoro, we tried it this weekend. The food was good, apparently the chef from Lombardos left to open this place, it was just like I remembered Lombardos years ago.

            1. re: kailin

              kailin, we have not been to Tesoro's. Please report back on your experience. Have fun and congrats!

          2. Why not Provence in Stuyvesant Plaza? The dinning area is large and I am sure they could close the back off for you. Plus, the design is aesthetically appeasing. As for kids, they make excellent pom frites and I am sure they could accommodate any requests (i.e., grilled cheese). I recently took my out-of-town family there for a late-lunch and everyone greatly enjoyed the food and atmosphere.

            1 Reply
            1. re: LimonZang

              LimonZang, Provence (French) is a good suggestion. I like lunch better then dinner. Not sure it meets OP's request for <$30 pp for dinner (w/out alcohol, tax, tip). Plus there are better restaurants at that price point.