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Charming Burger Bar varies the standard fare

BALLSTON SPA

Charming Burger Bar varies the standard fare

Local 388 goes the better burger route in a tidy, charming camplike wood-frame building just off Route 50 in Ballston Spa.

Homey Steininger's has standout soups, sandwiches

Salem

Homey Steininger's has standout soups, sandwiches

Steininger's features mainly luncheon items, a few offerings like two eggs, bacon and cheddar on a croissant would be suitable for breakfast, and several entrées like chicken curry over rice and the wurst sampler would satisfy early supper appetites.

Gennaro’s generously topped pizza a real treat

SARATOGA SPRINGS

Gennaro’s generously topped pizza a real treat

I first heard about Gennaro's in Saratoga Springs a few months ago when a Gazette reader fired off an email praising their pies.

At Lombardo's, winning Italian fare served in a family setting

At Lombardo's, winning Italian fare served in a family setting

Lombardo’s has been serving old-school Italian food in its historic charming restaurant on Madison Avenue since 1919. In 1991, it was sold to the Mancinos, who have kept the tradition of serving fine Italian-American food with a family atmosphere.

BurgerFi slows down fast food

LATHAM

BurgerFi slows down fast food

If you wanted to remake fast food into real food, you’d end up with something like BurgerFi.

Nanola brings Cajun charm, tasty food to Malta

MALTA

Nanola brings Cajun charm, tasty food to Malta

Shane Spillenger opened Nanola CAjun American Restaurant nearly two years ago after renovating the former Malta Home Design Center.

Hometown crowd savors Clark’s flavor, ambiance

GREENWICH

Hometown crowd savors Clark’s flavor, ambiance

Clark’s is serious about its steak, and since Schuylerville native Jason Young opened it as “a hometown restaurant for the whole family” in April 2014, the place has been packed.

Beer, comfort food a delicious duo at Druthers

Beer, comfort food a delicious duo at Druthers

Druthers Brewing Company in Saratoga Springs has opened a brewery/restaurant in Albany’s South End, where it joins Nine Pin Cider Works and Wolff’s Biergarten in a creative and very cool re-use of old buildings.

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.

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