The Giffords have been in the barbecue business since 1995, when a single catering job helped them launch a fleet of food trucks and a brick-and-mortar restaurant they called Giffy’s Bar-B-Q. But before the family ever sold a single wing, they spent years perfecting their barbecue-chicken recipe and its attendant chicken dance. The result is a recipe they still serve today—marinated pieces of chicken slow-cooked in a charcoal pit and slathered in their housemade barbecue sauce. Glazed baby-back ribs and kaiser rolls piled high with pulled pork or smoked brisket round out a menu chock-full of slow-cooked meats and quality ingredients such as Idaho potatoes and locally made desserts.
Founded and run by childhood BFFs LJ Goldstock and Tom Coppola, LT's Grill sates Albany-area appetites by dishing out a hearty menu of family favorites. Sink incisors into a savory dinner entree such as a full rack of dry-rubbed or Kansas City–style wet, slow-cooked ribs ($19.95), or the grilled 12-ounce pork sirloin slathered in homemade Jack Daniels barbecue sauce ($16.95)., A fresh 12-ounce potato-encrusted haddock fillet topped with sour cream and dill, then finished with a crisp potato crust ($15.95), cures spud shortages like a self-cloning Mr. Potato Head.
At Brunswick BBQ and Brew, master brewer Gary "Goose" Gosselin prides himself on providing great barbecue, great beers, and great entertainment. The barbecue joint is Gary's dream realized?a place to eat delicious ribs washed down with superior beers; he even oversees the extensive beer list himself. But there's more than just ribs and brews. Four different menus offer a huge range of options beyond the signature barbecue. The bistro menu dabbles in steak, seafood, and pasta dishes, and the pizza and calzone menu offers creative pies such as the smoked-salmon white pizza. And to keep diners entertained while they peruse their menu options, local musicians perform each weekend, moving outside to the patio during warmer months.
Winner of more than 400 awards for its barbecue, Famous Dave’s caters to carnivores with a menu of hearty, flavorful American fare. Kick off the mouthcapades with a starter of sweetwater catfish fingers ($7.99), which pair the whiskered swimmer's cornmeal-crusted phalanges with rémoulade and jalapeño sauce, or begin by using onion strings ($6.99) to weave yourself a lightly breaded palate poncho. A 12-boned slab of St. Louis-style spareribs ($22.99), pit-smoked for three to four hours over a hickory inferno, gives sauce-slathered fingers the chance to enjoy an endless string of napkin hugs, while a Texas beef brisket sandwich ($8.49) provides a bread buffer for the benefit of tidy tasters. A sugary slate of desserts, including Dave's famous bread pudding ($5.99) with pecan praline sauce and vanilla-bean ice cream, give sweets-loving stomachs something to blog about to their gastro-friends.
Wings over Washington's friendly staff paints its menu of winged masterpieces with a delicious palette of 18 flavors and five buffalo-sauce styles. Chomp on the seven-wing paper-airplane plate ($5.99) while your in-flight crew devours the 60-wing B-17 bomber ($44.99). Boneless wings are hand battered, sold by weight, and provide countless hours of fearless feasting for dining dentures. Beat your personal best by speed-eating a half-pound DC-3 of boneless bites ($6.49), or gather a group of airship aficionados to demolish the 6 lb. zeppelin of spineless wings ($59.99), adding orders of french fries ($2.49 for a small) and onion rings ($2.99 for a small) to dam up teriyaki and honey-mustard reservoirs. Flight-phobic diners can stay grounded with hamburgers ($5.99) and half racks of ribs ($8.99), sharing napkins and sticky high-fives with their wing-eating amigos.
The kitchen staff at Sweet Basil Restaurant combines Italian classics and East Coast culinary traditions to create the offerings on its extensive menus. In addition to everyday lunches and dinners, the owners host weddings and banquets and team up with Saratoga Comedy Club to bring their diners live shows every Saturday night. Between laughs, diners indulge in lightly breaded chicken parmigiana, broiled Atlantic salmon in a white-wine sauce, and slow-roasted prime rib.