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Grilled cheese hits new highs at Capitol Melts

ALBANY

Grilled cheese hits new highs at Capitol Melts

Grilled cheese is simple, inexpensive comfort food, improved only by proximity to a cup of tomato soup. Capitol Melts has them both, and awesome desserts as well.

Hollow Bar + Kitchen a hit for food, ambiance

ALBANY

Hollow Bar + Kitchen a hit for food, ambiance

The Hollow offers an upscale pub menu and more in a pleasant, brick-walled setting.

Imaginative cuisine, patio dining at 62 Beekman

SARATOGA SPRINGS

Imaginative cuisine, patio dining at 62 Beekman

We’ve all heard of farm-to-table cuisine. But how about a restaurant where veggies grow inches away from where you sit and dine?

Barcelona raises the bar for Mediterranean fare

ALBANY

Barcelona raises the bar for Mediterranean fare

Mediterranean cuisine is a melting pot of cultures from Europe, Northern Africa and the Middle East. Barcelona takes the best and adds an American twist, resulting in spirited and enduring flavors.

Focus on quality makes lunch sublime at Bella Napoli

LATHAM

Focus on quality makes lunch sublime at Bella Napoli

Bella Naopi has homemade soup, terrific sandwiches and a great bakery.

Chen’s flavorful fusion makes Ninja worth a visit

Chen’s flavorful fusion makes Ninja worth a visit

Ninja, on North Broadway in Schenectady, is among a boom in Asian Fusion eateries in the area.

I-Go-Inn offers big margaritas to go with OK tacos

I-Go-Inn offers big margaritas to go with OK tacos

The I-Go-Inn has a laid-back, tropical vibe. About 200 feet from the Great Sacandaga, it has an enormous elevated deck topped with a cheerful yellow-and-white awning and ringed with tiki torches.

City Line has upscale feel but needs seasoning

City Line has upscale feel but needs seasoning

City Line Grill looks sharp. The new from scratch, modern industrial-inspired building houses two large rooms, and the bar opens out onto a large patio in good weather. City Line positions itself as a traditional sports bar with an upscale, fashionable ambiance, serving classic bar fare along with new continental dishes. It satisfies those requirements, but falls short of excellence.

Backstage Pub a good bet before or after show

SCHENECTADY

Backstage Pub a good bet before or after show

The Backstage Pub & Grill is a modestly priced, casual restaurant that will harm your waistline more than your wallet.

Diners feel like part of family at Nonna Maria’s

Diners feel like part of family at Nonna Maria’s

The heady scent of spring lilacs was replaced by the complex aroma of Italian cooking as we entered the door of Nonna Maria’s Italian Kitchen in Halfmoon.

The meatballs stand out at Saratoga’s Three Vines Bistro

The meatballs stand out at Saratoga’s Three Vines Bistro

At Three Vines Bistro in Saratoga Springs, the first meatball bar in the Capital Region, they call their creations “meet balls” because you can eat them at a extra-long tables near the bar in a casual atmosphere that encourages mingling and casual conversation.

The Shop’s varied menu includes to-die-for corn fritters

The Shop’s varied menu includes to-die-for corn fritters

They had me at the corn fritters, but lost me on the kale. The Shop, on Fourth Street in Troy, is in the old Trojan Hardware store and retains its spirit in the decor.

Hidden Café offers sampling of Mediterranean fare

DELMAR

Hidden Café offers sampling of Mediterranean fare

Tucked away in the quiet interior of the Delaware Plaza in a short tunnel, away from annoying traffic, reminiscent of off the beaten path shops and restaurants on a small Caribbean Island is the aptly named Hidden Café.

LATHAM

Bull & Barrel serves barbecue in casual setting

The Bull & Barrel Smokehouse Grill turns out everything you’d expect from a barbecue place, and not-to-be-missed mac and cheese.

Henry’s Tavern offers comfortable food, setting

Henry’s Tavern offers comfortable food, setting

Our recent visit to Henry’s Irish Tavern, a bar and restaurant that opened more than a month ago across the street from The Whistling Kettle in Ballston Spa, was the ultimate in weekend relaxation.

Impressive Morgan & Co serves up unusual flavors

GLENS FALLS

Impressive Morgan & Co serves up unusual flavors

Morgan & Co. feels more like a rollicking English pub than a stuffy, high-end restaurant.

Zinc Bistro offers classic cuisine in an elegant setting

Zinc Bistro offers classic cuisine in an elegant setting

On a quiet street in Lenox, Massachusetts, we visited a gray clapboard building with white trim and bright blue sign reading “bistro zinc.” The restaurant had received high praise from dinner guest Rob, who had dined there several times.

Rustic American fare in a stylish suburban setting

SLINGERLANDS

Rustic American fare in a stylish suburban setting

Roux is a stylish suburban restaurant that is working hard. There are many bright spots, including the bar, which was in demand during our visit, and the desserts, which are homemade and well chosen.

Muddaddy offers twist on American sandwich

TROY

Muddaddy offers twist on American sandwich

Muddaddy Flats on Third Street bills itself as a “quesadillary” selling American sandwiches with a twist. Good idea.

The Scotia Diner: Good food, with a dollop of Elvis

SCOTIA

The Scotia Diner: Good food, with a dollop of Elvis

The Scotia Diner combines nostalgia from the 1950s with good, wholesome food.

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