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Saratoga/Skidmore Celebration weekend Oct 18-20

Looking for dining recommendations for Saratoga while visiting Skidmore and my Freshman son October 18-20. The previous Saratoga discussions appear dated. The plan is for nice, but casual dinners Friday and Saturday and possibly brunch on Sunday. Local food, freshly prepared with care. Thank you in advance.

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  1. Local posters have tried to keep the local threads up-to-date, so don't be afraid to read through them. Some recent favorites are Javier's, Sperry's, Mia Posto, Maestro's, Wine Bar, Hatties all fit your description. You might enjoy Sunday brunch at 50 South, in Ballston Spa, lots of other choices, too. Don't know if anyone's tried Jack Dillon's Farm-to-Table yet, but it has pretty good credentials. Let us know what you decide, and how you liked it.

    5 Replies
    1. re: PSZaas

      i'll agree with all of those. i think javier's and mio posto are battling it out for the top spots right now.

      jack dillon's is off to a shaky start from what i've heard from some friends who have gone and the reviews i've seen.

      1. re: davmar77

        davmar77, we have not been to Jack Dillon's yet. I think I started a thread, need to see if any hounds have posted.

        Javier's, Mio Posto and Saratoga National are all in a similar price range.

        1. re: financialdistrictresident

          regarding dillon's, one of my co-workers who is a foodie went. his reaction was 'i don't think we'll be going back.'

          1. re: davmar77

            Thanks, davmar77.

            Still not much on this Board or Yelp. Not a good sign, but keeping an open mind.

            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/913409

            I have not been to The Brook Tavern yet but keep hearing good things:

            http://thebrooktavern.com/

      2. re: PSZaas

        I also agree with PSZaas suggestions. Hearing good things about Istanblue too. Your son might suggest some good places like The Merry Monk or The Henry Street Taproom while he's with you.

      3. My thanks to all the local posters, of whom I am one. Can't disagree with anything they have said, and I have eaten in most of them. I would just also throw Chianti II into the mix. Have never had a bad dining experience there. Couple of my friends are also hot on Druthers, our local brew pub/restaurant. Does get crowded on prime nights. Would also suggest Mamma Mias, on Route 50 just outside of downtown. Basic red sauce place, with a large menu, but they do it very well.

        1. Thank you all for your suggestions. We have reservations at Mio Posto on Friday, still working on a selection for Saturday. I guess there are no more secrets left, but if there's some local knowledge that adds to the discussion, it would be appreciated. After the weekend, we'll report back. Thanks again.

          4 Replies
          1. re: moreeatsathome

            if you're up for something different, cantina is very good for mexican. it's right on broadway in the heart of town. we also like the country corner cafe for breakfast.

            1. re: moreeatsathome

              The best local secret is 9 Maple, no food at all, just drinks. But what drinks!

              No one seems to have mentioned Max London's, Spanish- and Italian-influenced casual food, also a great bar. No reservations.

              Chianti is very good, sez me, although other respectable posters here disagree. (But it's not Chianti II -- the full name is Chianti Il Ristorante, Chianti the Restaurant. But come to think of it, maybe Trakman means it's the 2nd location for this restaurant, which is true. Nice kind of Roman Italian, takes reservations now, which is convenient. Terrific wine collection.

              1. re: PSZaas

                i like all of the dz restaurants; chianti, pasta pane, forno and boca. they each have something different to offer. pasta pane is only a few miles from me so it's an easy pick.

                1. re: davmar77

                  Boca or Merry Monk might work for OP on Saturday night. Casual and lively.

                  Or the eternally popular Maestro's. Different vibe.

            2. Max London's for brunch.

              We also liked brunch at Mouzon House. Service was relaxed. IMHO, Max London's is more interesting.

              Sperry's (Chef Dale Miller) another possibility for brunch.

              The Iron Roost in nearby Ballston Spa is good for brunch. If you are up to dealing with the weekend crowd.

              1. Just returned from Saratoga Springs. Thanks to all who responded with suggestions.

                We had dinner Friday night at Mio Posto. The food and service was excellent. I realize now why a reservation was only available for 6:15 PM when made nearly three weeks ago. There are maybe ten tables, and this Skidmore weekend was months on the calendar. Three of us split a large salad of field greens, a small portion of the rigatoni with Bolognese sauce that was incredibly rich and delicious. I can't imagine eating a portion alone and sleeping soundly. Then we had entrees of scallops, duck breast, and the "brick" pressed chicken. All were perfectly prepared. The wine list was well thought out, and fairly priced. We were happily stuffed after dinner and could not even consider dessert. Highly recommended.

                On Saturday, we started our evening at the bar located at 9 Maple street. Truly a remarkable selection of Scots, Irish and bourbon whiskies. Scores of single malts available. Great bartender who helped with tastes and choices. The same drinks in NYC would be double the price. For any Scotch drinker, this place is a must; and rivals any bar from NYC to Boston to Chicago for what's available, all at fair prices.

                Later we had dinner at Javier's. The space is an interesting old commercial loft surrounded by huge vintage paned windows, high wooden ceiling, really nice. But the experience was a little pretentious and stuffy. The waiters were in tuxes. The service was a little aggressively subservient if you know what I mean, and not at a level of professionalism to match the effort. They seemed slightly stressed. The food was good. Our entrees included a NY strip cooked perfectly cooked for my son, the tamale with wild mushrooms and an artisan blue cheese, and the branzino filet that was moist and fresh over a cauliflower puree (that had a cloying truffle oil taste). Overall, we liked our dinner, but it was a little pricey compared to the quality fare at Mio Posto.

                Nothing special on Sunday morning. Just that huge coffee shop and bagel place who's name escape my memory. But we got what was needed, and the time spent with family trumps all.

                Saratoga Springs has a lot to offer and for a small upstate city (that has a lot going for it, and seems to be booming), the food choices are top notch. We look forward to our return visits.

                2 Replies
                1. re: moreeatsathome

                  Thank you, Moreeatsathome, for filling us in on your experiences. Nice to hear that you left with positive thoughts of Saratoga.

                  1. re: moreeatsathome

                    Moreeatsathome, thanks so much for reporting back.

                    IMHO Javier's and Saratoga National are the most formal restaurants in Toga. Though I don't remember the servers wearing tuxes :)