LAX on Lark specializes in two distinct cuisines. There's the Italian end of the spectrum, including options such as chicken-parmesan sliders, and then the Asian end, with choices such as chicken satay. LAX's culinary team doesn't keep these flavors separate for long. Besides classic Italian and Asian mains, cooks create their own fusion dishes, from coconut salmon and red-curry sauce tossed with linguine to pizzas crowned with chicken teriyaki and sesame seeds.The kitchen supplies such feasts until 1:30 a.m. nightly, while bartenders pour and craft myriad libations, including a lychee-flavored cocktail made with sake.
V & R Italian Ristorante nestles visitors in a quiet, low-key atmosphere, provisioning them with feasts of hearty Italian American baked pastas and steaks, as well as delicate seafood plates and colorful leaves of broccoli raab. Like Garibaldi's celebratory pizza party after the Capture of Rome, the bill of fare unites northern and southern Italy through the medium of food, serving dulcet slices of tiramisu along with southern specialties, such as a spicy penne alla arrabbiata. Seafood dishes feature prominently on the menu, with shrimp swimming in piquant fra diavolo sauce, and scallops soaking up a rich white-wine-and-butter concoction. Beef ribs and broiled pork chops satisfy carnivorous cravings with tender, juicy flavor and texture.
Chef and Restaurateur Carmine Spiro has proven his prowess in the industry, with previous eateries that include an Italian restaurant and a Brazilian churrascaria. Though his menus change and shed pages seasonally, his commitment to fresh food and a communal experience remains constant. At Carmine's Restaurant, his staff decorates risottos and fresh pastas with proteins such as gulf shrimp, pork loin, and veal. These dishes are given an extra bit of European oomph with finishing touches of limoncello, smoked mozzarella, and marsala wine. Diners savor each bite within the dining room's bright-red walls and colorful, tiled backsplashes or beneath a green umbrella on the outdoor patio.
Housed in a historic building originally erected in 1829, La Serre has been described as "frozen in [a] good moment in time" by Times Union. During dinner, the formal, wood-paneled dining room bustles with conversation as plates of truffle mousse pate, lobster ravioli, and beef au poivre travel out to tables draped in white. In the more casual bistro-style bar, forest-green leather seats cushion patrons as they sip old-fashioned libations or fold napkins into swans capable of real flight.
Sports-bar proprietor Maggie Smith got her start in the restaurant industry at 17, working as a server at local institutions such as the Bleeker, Mona Lisa's, and Alteri's before earning a coveted management position at Garlic John's. In the summer of '94, Smith hit the jackpot on a Pick 6 ticket at the Saratoga Track, winning enough to buy her place of work and add her victory to the annals of historic moments decided by horse races, alongside Secretariat's record-setting run in 1973, and Seabiscuit's elevation to the US Senate in 1936. After several years of building a successful business at Garlic John's, Maggie bought the old Son's Tavern building on Western, envisioning a warm, welcoming sports bar full of friendly neighbors, flowing beer, and crowd-pleasing pub fare.
Today, the restaurant entertains crowds of college kids, off-duty businessfolk and state employees, plying them with personal pizzas, Italian pastas, chicken wings, and burgers alongside frosty brews and cocktails. Visitors share hearty cheers and earth-shattering high-fives as they watch college and pro sports of all varieties on the array of LCD screens or pit their brains in gladiatorial combat with weekly trivia contests. Friday-night karaoke and Saturday-night live bands entertain multitudes with the sweet strains of popular music, and a tucked-away banquet room sequesters private gatherings of up to 100 from the welcoming revelry of the main bar area.
A lot can happen over the course of 55 years. People come and go, babies are hatched, and kids grow up. But some things never change, things like the family recipes used at Valente’s Restaurant. The Valentes opened the eatery back in 1958, and since then, have been serving many of the same dishes Nadine Valente created in Italy all those years ago.
The menu features a wide variety of familiar Italian classics, from veal cacciatore to fettucine carbonara, all served alongside grilled-to-order steaks, chops, and fresh seafood. It also features the more recently invented Three Little Pigs mac ’n’ cheese, which coats noodles, Italian ham, bacon, and salami in a creamy cheese sauce. This award-winning favorite is now available frozen at Price Chopper Supermarkets and other local stores.