Hungry for a good deal on fine dining? Save your appetite for next week and hit up one of the almost 40 restaurants offering a prix fixe menu before Travers Day.
From Sunday through Aug. 26, restaurants outside of Saratoga Springs are teaming up to offer the first-ever “Travers 1864 Restaurant Week” by offering a three-course meal for $18.64 to honor the year the Travers Stakes started.
The five-day event leads up to the Travers Stakes on Saturday, Aug. 28, at Saratoga Race Course.
Saratoga Springs restaurants were invited to participate, but none did. But more than three dozen eateries elsewhere jumped aboard — from Middle Grove, Albany, Schenectady, Clifton Park, Colonie, Latham, Mechanicville, Watervliet, Halfmoon, Troy and Guilderland.
“Businesses outside of Saratoga have been very anxious and eager to participate in some of the things we’ve done,” said Neema Ghazi, director of marketing for the New York Racing Association.
Ghazi hopes next year to expand the restaurant week to restaurants that are even farther away from Saratoga, and he also wants to bring businesses into the fold throughout the meet.
Schenectady is well-represented in Restaurant Week, with 13 establishments.
The restaurant lineup may illustrate what economic development people have been saying for years — that the racing meet is a boon to communities near and far away from the Spa City.
“The Saratoga race meeting is not restricted to Saratoga,” Ghazi said. “It extends well beyond even this immediate region.”
Some track visitors from out of the area stay in nearby cities — some with family members and others because hotels are cheaper or because they enjoy the sights that another town offers.
They’ll visit an out-of-town restaurant for the same reason, Ghazi said.
“Many of these people have driven here,” he said. “They’re more than willing to take a 20, 30 minute drive someplace.”
Although prix fixe restaurant week promotions are usually offered in the dead of winter and other slow business times, Ghazi said offering it in a busy time like summer will still help restaurants by bringing out different customers to try new places for a good price.
“Giving them more of a reason to dine out is never a bad thing,” he said.
Here’s a list of the restaurants that are participating:
Albany Pump Station/C. H. Evans Brewing Company, Albany
Angelo’s Tavolo at the Glen Sanders Mansion, Glenville
Aperitivo Bistro, Schenectady
Arizona Pizza Company, Clifton Park
Athos Restaurant, Guilderland
Bangkok Bistro, Schenectady
Brown Derby, Albany
Buca Di Beppo, Colonie
Cafe NOLA, Schenectady
Carrabba’s Italian Grill, Latham
Cornell’s Restaurant, Schenectady
Faldoni’s Delicatessen and Catering Company, Mechanicville
Giffy’s BBQ, Clifton Park
Indulge Restaurant, Watervliet
Jack’s Oyster House, Albany
Katie O’Byrne’s, Schenectady
Londonderry Cafe, Stuyvesant Plaza, Guilderland
Mallozzi Family Italian Club Restaurant, Albany
Manhattan Exchange, Schenectady
Paolo Lombardi’s Ristorante, Troy
Pinhead Susan’s, Schenectady
Provence, Stuyvesant Plaza, Guilderland
Salty’s Pub and Grill, Halfmoon
Samuel’s at the Holiday Inn, Schenectady
The Alto Grille at The Parker Inn, Schenectady
The Stockade Inn, Schenectady
The Van Dyck Restaurant, Schenectady
The Vista at Van Patten Golf Course, Clifton Park
The Waters Edge Lighthouse, Glenville
Two Brothers Italian American Restaurant, Troy
V & R Italian Ristorante, Albany
Village Pizzeria & Ristorante, Middle Grove
Wolf’s 1-11 Restaurant and Games, Colonie
Yoshi Sushi, Latham
Zaika, Clifton Park
To view the prix fixe menus, visit www.nyra.com/Saratoga/RestaurantWeek.shtml.