Greater Albany NY Area incl S'ern Adirondacks & N'ern Catski

Albany County

Cafe Madison/ The Point - $10 corkage - (Albany) - Excellent food, just passble stems -" onclick=";return false;

Creo - CLOSED -$20 corkage - (Guilderland) - Excellent food, nice stems -" onclick=";return false;

Provence and Milano’s - Provence is a French Bistro in Guilderland, very good food and Milano’s in Loudonville is it’s sister Northern Italian Restaurant. - Corkage @$15. Ken Vastola’s Tasting Grp uses the Boom Boom Room @Provence for some of there offline tasting events.

MezzaNote - $20 corkage - (Guilderland) -Excellent Italian/Med food, nice stems -" onclick=";return false;

Cafe Capriccio - IIRC @$15-$20 corkage - (Albany) - always rated one of the best restaurants in the area. Took my fiancee their on our first date…" onclick=";return false;

*677 Prime - @$25 corkage - (Albany) - Reidels - Haven’t been but Highend Steakhouse with great reviews. also has pretty extensive winelist -" onclick=";return false;

The Hollywood Brown Derby -CLOSED- $35 corkage - (Albany) Haven’t been, but highend place in the Downtown area." onclick=";return false;

New World Bistro Bar - $15 corkage - (Albany) - decent stems -great ecelectic food with some spice…" onclick=";return false;

Sam’s Italian-American - no formal policy call ahead -(Albany) - Ken’s go to place for Italian-American staples. I haven’t been in 10 yrs but remember it always being very good family place…" onclick=";return false;

Yono’s/DP’s - $20 corkage - (Albany) - Reidels - extensive wine list." onclick=“;return false; -” onclick=";return false;

Indulge - CLOSED-$15 corkage but call ahead - (Latham) - Nice Stems and good food -" onclick=";return false; -Update 2/25/11: Restuarant has Closed…

Rensselaer County:

LoPorto’s - $20 corkage - but call before to confirm, - (Troy) - Nice Italian food and Martin Scorsee favorite when filming Age of Innonence…" onclick=“;return false;

Chez Mike’s - $12 corkage - (East Greenbush) - Very good continental restaurant with great daily specials - passable stems -” onclick=“;return false;

Garlic Lover’s Corner - BYO- Awaiting Liquor License - (East Greenbush) - Mediterrean Food - bring stems or drink from rock glasses… Update 8/12 - received Liquour License call ahead for corkage policy…

River Street Cafe - $14 corkage - (Troy) - Excellent food and nice stems to boot… Unfortunately no website.

Schenectady County

Cello Bistro - -CLODED-$20 corkage - (Schenectady) - passable stems - favorite restaurant in the area. Nice selection of Small Plates/Tapas and nice Med/Italian Entrees -” onclick=“;return false;

*Aperitivo and Tavolo - $25 corkage - (Schenectady and Scotia) - Reidels - Nice Med/Italian cuisine. They are part of the same restaurant group with the Prime Steak houses in Albany and Saratoga -” onclick=“;return false; ,” onclick=“;return false;

Saratoga County

Max London’s - $20 corkage - (Saratoga Springs) - Excellent elecetic menu -tapas- med influenced -” onclick=“;return false;

Maestro’s - @$15 corkage - (Saratoga Springs) - Tuesday Night 1/2 off on everything on winelist -” onclick=“;return false;

51 Front St Bistro - -CLOSED-$20 corkage - (Ballston Spa) - decent stems - Southern influence bistro with some of the best fried chicken and fried green tomatoes in these parts. -” onclick=“;return false;

Harvest and Hearth - $10 corkage - (Saratoga Springs) - Woodfired Pizza’s and Salads on Saratoga Lake - don’t miss the Woodfired Brownie with a scoop of Vanilla Ice Cream…” onclick=“;return false;

*Prime @ Saratoga National Golf Course - $25 - (Saratoga Springs) - Saratoga National Golf Club - Saratoga Springs, NY” onclick=“;return false;

Siro’s - $50 corkage - (Saratoga Springs) - A post Saratoga Race Course favorite for people watching and fun outdoor bar with entertainment. Inside very upscale dining.-” onclick=“;return false;

Salty’s Pub and Bistro - IIRC@$15 to $20corkage - (Halfmoon) - From pub grub to surf and turf… Pot Roast is awesome. John Marzilli is the chef/owner and does a great job…” onclick=“;return false;

Lake Ridge - $25 corkage (Round Lake) - Never been to the restaurat, however, heard good things.\

One Caroline St - $15 corkage - (Saratoga Springs) - Good food and jazz, this may also apply to their sister restaurant the Mouzon House.” onclick=“;return false;

Limoncello - No BYO - (Saratoga Springs) - however nicely priced wine list.” onclick=“;return false;

Sushi Thai Garden - No BYO - (Saratoga Springs) - however good Japanese and Thai food.

Columbia County

Swoon Kitchenbar - $25 corkage - (Hudson) -” onclick=";return false;

*Although not wine related- if you are a fan of coconut cream pie, this is a must for dessert at these reataurants, it doesn’t suck… [thumbs-up.gif]

Chris, that’s a terrific run down.

I tend to bring wine only to places I’ve known for a long time, so I don’t know what their general policies are. Our tasting group has had a lot of success with Provence (now that they have that private room), Cafe Capriccio, and the Fort Orange Club (but you need to know a member) in Albany. Also, Salty’s Pub in Clifton Park. Salty’s is odd because it really is a local pub with burgers and fried fish, but in the back room they do fancy upscale food that really meshes well with our wine dinners.

My favorite local local place to BYO is Sam’s Italian-American Restaurant, 125 Southern Blvd in Albany. I’ve known the owner (Carmela, daughter of Sam) for 20 years, so I BYO and say “feel free to charge me a corkage fee.” She never did. Then one day she said apologetically “I’m sorry, but had to charge you a corkage fee.” I said “That’s fine, it makes me feel better about BYO’ing.” When I looked at the bill, I had to restrain myself from laughing out loud. She charged me $6 for 2 bottles. Note that Sam’s food is classic Italian-American. Don’t expect major innovation. Go for the Veal Parm, the Linguine with Clam Sauce, and the Pasta Fazool. My favorite dish there is Clam’s ala Sam, basically red clam sauce with a little sherry over small pieces of bread.

My favorite restaurant in Albany (but more expensive) is Cafe Capriccio. More authentically Italian. There is always a bottle or two worth drinking on their list, but they always let me BYO. You’d have to call to get their official policy.

My favorite BYO place in this area is my place. The food isn’t great, but the wine is!!!

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Thanks Ken, I updated the post… Forgot all about Salty’s, brother and sister in law had a party there not too long ago. Food was excellent, and John M was a truly nice guy and very talented chef…

Cracked open a Swanson Alexis 3L, which John was very happy to partake in…

More from Saratoga:

Limoncello - no BYO but they have a reasonable collection of Italian wines on the list which unfortunately is not updated for vintages. We got a Chiarlo and a Pio Cesare Barbera and the total for the two bottles was $80.

One Catherine - they said $15 when we called and we brought one bottle but it never ended up on the final bill.

Sushi Thai Garden - no BYO. Nothing on the list worth buying.

Swoon Kitchen Bar in Hudson-$25

Thanks for the updates Jay and Jordan [welldone.gif]

The Brown Derby in Albany - $35 per bottle.

Hi David,

Did you eat there? What did you think? It’s gotten mixed reviews.

Thanks David… Ken, I have heard some good thing lately since Larry S. (from Tosca fame) has taken the reins of the kitchen but I myself haven’t tried first hand…

So are all his places in Troy closed now? I haven’t been downtown recently. He’s a very talented chef, but the prices were just too high at Tosca.

The Brown Derby is owned by the Mallozzi family, I believe. Between them and Mazzone, the Schenectady Italians are taking over Albany! [cheers.gif]

[/quote] So are all his places in Troy closed now? I haven’t been downtown recently. He’s a very talented chef, but the prices were just too high at Tosca.

The Brown Derby is owned by the Mallozzi family, I believe. Between them and Mazzone, the Schenectady Italians are taking over Albany! [cheers.gif][/quote]

His three places in Troy did close… I think E Stewart Jones was going help finance a comeback, however once he and his team looked at the books, that idea went by the wayside.

A young couple who are both chefs did re-open the Ilium Cafe and I have heard the food is very good… but that’s all I got…

I went there for the first time over the weekend…I thought the ambiance was fairly upscale for an Albany restaurant, but the food was just OK…there wasn’t anything affirmatively wrong with it, but it was generally very heavy and not what I would deem “very good”. Mixed reviews sounds like what I would expect. I would not run back.

Thanks David for the update… Are you local, or just visiting the area? Any other places you have the lowdown would be great…

I grew up in Albany (actually Delmar), but have lived in NYC area for almost 20 years now. My parents still live in the area, so I get there once in a while still.

Hi Dave,

We’ve met at Pratt’s. I would not have guessed that your are old enough to be 20 years out of high school! (That’s a compliment.)

Thanks! Sad to say that it has been more than 20 years…but it isn’t the years, its the miles! I remember meeting you at Pratt’s…hopefully we’ll share some barolos some day.

So much for the comment about Larry being in the kitchen… Guess he is going or already gone… I did eat at Marche awhile back when the new Executive Chef Brian Molina was there and thought the food was good but nothing to write home about. Oh well…

Schepici leaves Brown Derby - Table Hopping" onclick=";return false;

They have remodeled the McDonald’s on Wolf Rd in Albany, but I do not know their BYOB policy…


Enjoyed Hamlet and the Ghost in Saratoga Springs and Kitchen Next Door in Ballston Spa. Both charged $25 to BYO but waitress at KND seemed to have made up a number. No matter because I thought that meal was best of the two and probably of any in the area. HG veered more to a casual Michelin and KND more to Guy Fieri food and vibe. Both kitchens are reaching way beyond what you expect to find there. Appreciate their permitting customers to BYOB despite their highly curated wine and cocktail lists. Went next day to Mrs. London’s Bakery on Broadway for perfect coffee, croissants, baguette (and tomato soup.) Felt like a winner despite a hard day at the races.

Brasserie Benelux in Saratoga is faithful in spirit to the cuisine of the region it’s named for even if the menu is more eclectic. Hearty, well made, satisfying food at friendly prices. Beer list is decent, wine list is mediocre. $15 corkage, stems are okay if you’re not fussy…