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.
Nové Italian Restaurant’s chefs whip up feasts of Italian cuisine with an eye towards authenticity and freshness, blending rich tomato and basil sauces with meats and seafood delivered to the restaurant daily. They craft dishes of broiled and sautéed fish and shrimp and tender steaks of chicken breast and veal, and pull crispy pizzas from brick ovens. The décor surrounds diners with an atmosphere that's both regal and cozy, much like a crushed velvet cape, with warm light from chandeliers bathing dark hardwood tables, half-brick walls, and classical white columns.
Giavano’s sates sauce-craving tongues and cheesy appetites with a classic menu of gourmet Italian fare in a casual setting. Meaty pizzas, including the swiss and bacon ($7.95–$22.95), can be shared with a clan of finger-food fanatics or cardboard cutouts of giant mutant turtles, and the veggie pizza ($8.95–$26.95) satisfies the garden yearnings of hungry herbivores. Those who prefer their fare enclosed can opt for a calzone ($5.95) or an appetizer of stringy mozzarella sticks ($4.45–$5.95). Sink teeth into the dangerously delicious pepperoni sub ($4.95–$6.95), which longs to be launched into the depths of stomach oceans, or sit down for a classy feast with an array of Italian dinners, including the chicken and broccoli alfredo ($8.95). Giavano's also satisfies picky progeny and the young at stomach with an accomodating kids' menu.
When restaurant-industry veterans Tim and Colleen Holmes bought The Wheat Fields in 2004, they felt that there was ample room to grow the business—in more ways than one. The husband-and-wife team knew that some aspects should remain unchanged: they still wanted their chefs to handcraft the nearly 20 daily shapes and flavors of pasta that Saratoga Springs residents had come to love, including gnocchi and tagliatelle. But they also knew that the venue and menu were expansion-ready diamonds in the rough. The duo invested more than $1 million to double the space, diversify the offerings, create a huge mahogany bar and lounge area, and attract high-caliber food and wine experts.
The Holmes' vision and hard work paid off. Today, Wheatfields Restaurant and Bar is thriving, serving local, farm-to-table produce, house-aged steaks, and, of course, fresh pasta. The site's ongoing success has prompted the Holmes to open a second location in Clifton Park—Wheatfields Bistro and Wine Bar—and the accolades keep coming. OpenTable diners gave the Saratoga Springs location Hot Spot and Vibrant Bar Scene awards and voted the Clifton Park location a winner in the Italian and Good for Groups categories. Also, both sites have earned Awards of Excellence from Wine Spectator thanks to an impressive international wine list and the flocks of rare wine bottles that roost outside. These flavorful sips pair with an extensive assortment of gluten-free pizzas and pastas, and a helpful food-allergen chart assists diners in avoiding such common irritants as shellfish and peanuts.
The white oak wood-fired oven in Brickhouse Pizza & Grille can top 600 degrees when it cooks the restaurant’s signature hand-tossed crusts to a golden brown. The pizza chefs also top tables with traditional New York–style pizzas, taking form with gluten-free and whole-wheat crusts and diverse toppings such as baby shrimp, roasted red peppers, and grilled chicken. Housemade pastas compete for stomach space with sandwiches that include the Diesel burger—a mammoth half-pound patty stuffed with cheddar cheese and bacon, then audaciously tempura battered and deep-fried. The eatery entertains patrons on select nights with trivia and live music.
Behind the counter at Mick's Pizzeria, handmade dough regularly pirouettes through the air, flung by the fingers of a pizza chef carrying on the nearly century-old tradition of New York–style pizza making. They top the pies to order, combining flavors from a pantheon of 26 ingredients that range from bacon and shrimp to eggplant and peppers. Delving into the menu, diners also might encounter other pillars of Italian-American cuisine, including chicken parmesan and baked ziti. The cooks supplement their pies with baskets full of tasty chicken wings, slathered in one of six spices and ready to singe taste buds.