“I love the brick.” My friend Roberta, an expert tipster about where to eat in Saratoga, Fulton and Warren counties, liked Clark’s Steakhouse before she picked up a fork.
In the late 1800s, the brick building at the corner of routes 4 and 29 in Schuylerville was owned by Clark’s Textile Company, maker of gloves for pilots and soldiers.
Inside, every wall is red brick, the ceiling pressed tin. The atmosphere is old-timey and kind of masculine.
WHERE: 120 Broad St., Schuylerville. 695-2073, www.clarkssteakhouse.com, Facebook
WHEN: 4 to 9 p.m. Tuesday to Thursday, 4 to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 4 to 9 p.m. Sunday.
HOW MUCH: $56.99 without tax, tip and drinks
MORE INFO: Major credit cards accepted, kids menu, street parking
And at each chunky wooden table, a hefty steak knife sits atop a black cloth napkin.
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.
A Greenwich friend advised us to get there early because “it’s usually very crowded and they don’t take reservations.”
Roberta and I arrived at 5:45 on a weeknight and didn’t have to wait, but by 6 there was a steady flow of people through the front door.
Roberta was eager to sample their steak and I had my eye on a chicken dish, but we decided to relax with wine and appetizers first.
The sampler platter, $18, with six fried or cheesy snacks nicely on a white square plate, was big enough for three to share.
We smeared blue cheese on the Parmesan garlic chicken wings and dipped them in the raspberry melba sauce. We devoured the stack of onion rings.
We agreed that the lively salsa, thick with corn, tomato and onion, and served with pita chips, was the best thing on the plate.
The bacon-and-cheddar potato skins were the low point. “A little too greasy,” said Roberta, who pointed out how some of that residue had unattractively oozed onto the platter.
For such a busy place, the service is exceptional. After the platter was removed, we didn’t have to wait long before our server, Casey, brought out the salads, which come with the entrees, and a basket of bread, and a choice of dressings, all homemade.
Roberta ordered the Signature Delmonico, $22, a grilled rib eye with a sweet bourbon glaze, and from the first bite, she was smitten.
“That glaze is to die for,” she said.
The thin curls of fried onion and baked potato that shared the plate were perfectly cooked, she noted, although the meat was a smidgen under the medium she had requested.
Clark’s offers eight kinds of Delmonico, New York Strip, filet and prime rib along with chicken, fish, pasta and burgers. Your kids like steak? There’s a New York Strip on their menu, too.
Vegetarians and the gluten-free will have trouble here.
My Tuscan Chicken, $16.99, was a gargantuan plate: penne, sun-dried tomato, broccoli and pieces of boneless chicken breast tossed in garlic, thyme and olive oil.
I liked that the pasta was firm and the cheese was light but this dish didn’t have enough bling. Perhaps it needed more veggies and less pasta. Or maybe different kinds of veggies, like peppers and onions. And while the garlic was evident, the thyme was scanty.
Roberta and I had no room for dessert but if we did, we would have selected tiramisu or lemon cake. There was also a chocolate ganache cake made with oatmeal stout from the Argyle Brewing Company in Greenwich.
Clark’s apparently has caught on quickly, even in quiet Schuylerville, because they serve above-average steaks at a decent price.
The easygoing, hometown ambiance is attractive, too.
Babies, grandpas, pilots and soldiers are welcome here.