Valentine's Day is coming up, so I figured I would round up some of my favorite restaurants in Albany. This is by no means limited to couples and date nights, just nice restaurants that I think are great for special occassions.
What are some of your favorite restaurants in the area? I'd love to hear from you in the comments!
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Where: 683 Broadway, Albany, NY
This is one of my all time favorite restaurants. They service mainly english, pub style food. It's so delicious and definitely a comfort food of mine. The atmosphere is so cozy with the big leather couches, antique furniture, exposed wood beams, and large fireplace. They also often have live music and host private events. There is a lovely courtyard and outdoor bar in the back for when the weather is warmer. The building itself is one of the oldest in Albany still standing. Read more about it here and on their website.
"Locals call The Olde English Pub, The Quackenbush House. The exact year of the home’s construction is estimated to be 1736 and is named for the Dutch family who called Albany home for over 200 years. The front half of the building facing Broadway is considered the oldest, while the back half of the home dates to the late 18th century. The front boasts classic Dutch brick patterns and building techniques that give our Pub its charm today.
Descendants of the Quackenbush family lived in the home until 1864. Since then, the home has been a bakery, and antique store, a boarding house, drug store, lithographer, furniture store and tavern. By the mid-70s, New York State purchased the home with plans to demolish, making way for the highway ramp. Thankfully, a team of concerned citizens recognized the historical significance and convinced the City of Albany to save it.
The Quackenbush House became the anchor for Quackenbush Square. The area surrounding the home became a pedestrian walkway and the 1870s water pump station next door was restored for commercial use. Today, it is home to the Albany Visiting Center and the Albany Pump Station. The final piece to the square was the restoration of the Quackenbush house into what is now The Olde English Pub.
The owner leased the building in 2010 to the pub owners (Graydon, Vann and Baumgartner) when Mark Graydon was homesick for the neighborhood pubs in his homeland of England. While great pride was taken in the preservation of the historic integrity of the Quackenbush home, they mde sure to add personal touches throughout the building including family photos and keepsakes. The garden, with its beautiful wisteria trees and flowers, is a hidden treasure of downtown Albany.
Where: 23 Dove St, Albany, NY
I personally think Rosanna's is one of the best Italian restaurants in this area. The food is absolutely delicious and the bar and restaurant have been beautifully designed. The current owner's took great care in keeping the historic details of this building while creating a more contemporary design. It's a wonderful place to go for any special occasion or for date nights. The building itself is rich in history dating back to the early 1800s. There is much more to read about the history on their website, but here is a brief description.
"Our historic property has been an Albany landmark for 175 years and a restaurant for the last 90. That’s why it took 15 months of careful restoration to bring you Rosanna’s– a true labor of love.
In 1978, first generation Italian immigrants Felix and Rosanna Bongiorno purchased 23 Dove Street and debuted their namesake restaurant, Bongiorno’s. Their partnership remains a legacy in the Albany restaurant scene. Rosanna’s is a tribute to their 41-year tenure."
Where: 301 Lark Street, Albany, NY
The vibes in this bar are very New York and the food is incredible. They have an incredible drink menu (alcoholic and non-alcoholic). Savoy is definitely a mix of bar, dining, and jazz club atmosphere. They also often have live music. In the warmer months, they have an awesome back patio. Definitely worth a visit if you are looking to grab drinks or for a nice dinner out.
"Savoy Taproom was originally established in 1936 and is located on the historical and storied Lark Street in Albany’s Center Square neighborhood. Visitors can expect a diverse drink menu featuring a curated selection of reasonably priced local and regional craft beers, wine, classic, signature, and seasonal cocktails from Savoy’s award winning bartenders, and a rotating menu of scratch made food."
Where: 286 Lark St, Albany, NY
Villa di Como is an excellent, traditional, authentic Italian restaurant. Their food is excellent and they also have their own liquors! Check out this video of them preparing their famous cacio e pepe. So delicious...
"Owner and Executive Chef, Ali Celik, opened Wine/Aperitivo Bar 288 Lark Wine & Tap in 2019. He then opened Villa Di Como Ristorante & Farm Distillery at next door 286 Lark St in 2020. Chef Ali purchased 286 & 288 Lark Street in 2017, taking extensive measures to historically preserve and renovate the properties. Chef Ali is from Lake Como, Italy cooks unique authentic Italian food, makes super premium Limoncello & Orangecello Liquor, gourmet jarred Italian sauces for you to take home. Our restaurants feature a big wine list and locally sourced craft beverages in the ambiance of an Italian villa."
Where: 556 Delaware Ave, Albany, NY
Another fantastic restaurant for special occasions or a date night out. The food is fantastic and there is an intimate feel in this restaurant.
"Nicole’s is a family-owned business established in 1986 offering a diverse menu of upscale Italian cuisine with many continental and modern American influences. Our team of chefs work daily to create new and exciting dishes, such as our constantly-changing Chef’s Specials.
In addition to Nicole’s intimate dining room with a 1930’s tin ceiling, romantic lighting, and leather banquettes for comfortable seating, Nicole’s also offers a quiet, secluded back deck for outdoor dining in the summer months.
What are your favorite restaurants for special occassions in Albany? Comment them below!
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