Those of us in the Capital Region along with the rest of the world are trying to sort our way through the pandemic. While each of us have our own unique story to tell I want to take a moment to recognize the hospitality industry.

Going out to dinner used to be a regular experience for me as I am not much of a cook. The biggest struggle was deciding which place my son and I would grab a pizza or my girl and I treating ourselves to a date night.

Today we wrestle with being as safe as possible while still enjoying a night out from time to time. For the restaurant industry this year has been more than just a frustration. Many long standing establishments have either closed temporarily or permanently.

Here is a spotlight on a few of my favorite restaurants in the Capital Region. I hope that you will try them for the first time or visit them again. Of course there is no way to mention every place so if you have your favorites maybe order some take-out or have something delivered if you feel safer that way.

Here are some of my local favorites, in no particular order:

  • Blessing's Tavern 2 - 1116 Watervliet Shaker Road, Colonie - This is close to my home and where I learned what a "hero" is. In Connecticut we call them a "grinder". The name doesn't matter, the sausage and peppers hero is awesome at Blessings.
  • Ambition - 154 Jay Street, Schenectady - We found this funky coffee house and eatery one Saturday morning and had a great breakfast. In addition to the food and the folks, we loved the vibe at Ambition. Eclectic décor teamed with an eclectic list of celebrities that have visited made our time well spent.
  • Innovo Kitchen - 1214 Troy Schenectady Road, Latham - An American Gastro Pub described as "industrial-chic". I don't know what any of that means but I had the 50/50 Burger and it had peanut butter on it! Fantastic!
  • Canali's Restaurant - 126 Mariaville Road, Schenectady - This is the first restaurant suggestion we had once we moved to the Capital Region. We were told it is a MUST and we agree! When we ordered from Canali's it was take-out, catering trays and banquet orders only. Best Veal Parm I've had in years.
  • Carson's Woodside Tavern - 57 NY-9P, Malta - From what I understand the views of Saratoga Lake are priceless. We were there at night and didn't get to experience that. The staff was so kind to seat and serve us even though they were about to close the kitchen. We didn't arrive late, it's just that business was slow that night. Another reason to visit Carson's?...the food, duh.
  • Front Street Social Club - 54 Front Street, (Inside the Medbery Inn) Ballston Spa - How many times have you spent an hour looking for a place to eat only to find one with an hour wait? That is what happened to us at Front Street but we waited and it was worth every stomach growl. I suggest the "Fronkenburger". Just do it.

Take-out, dine in, delivery? Whatever you can do to support our neighbors would be appreciated.


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