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.
Jitters cafe's tasty breakfast, lunch, and dinner offerings are made from scratch using as many natural and organic ingredients as possible. Start your morning with a gourmet coffee creation or a smoothie paired with a toasty Belgian waffle. Midday munchers can enjoy a variety of salads, sandwiches, and freshly prepared soups, taking breaks between bites to play checkers, scrabble, or to swallow. Jitters hosts an open mic from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Wednesdays and features acoustic entertainment during the same evening hours on weekends.
Kim Klopstock, the proprietor of Fifty South, creates toothsome and affordable edibles with as many local, organic, and free-trade ingredients as the chefs can gather. The delectable menu runs the gamut of morning, midday, and evening meals and caters to guests of every dietary persuasion and level of wizardry. Diners seeking an inventive plate can indulge in the maple-glazed wild Tasmanian salmon ($15) or the grilled aged Angus filet mignon ($16). Salads such as the gorgonzola- and balsamic-adorned blackened steak salad ($13) or the house maple-vinaigrette-drizzled Francine’s poached-pear salad ($9) wed verdant greens with luscious meats or fruits in a delectable ceremony sans ill-fitting cummerbunds and awkward toasts.
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.
Irish eyes smile in Niall Roche’s traditional Gaelic pub, at once cozy and grandiose with iron chandeliers and imported Irish furniture strewn throughout the many rooms of the 6,000-square-foot space. An Emerald Isle native with restaurateuring in his blood, Niall realized his dream of owning and operating a pub of his own in Saratoga. He's poured energy into The Irish Times Pub & Restaurant's tiny details: the hunter-green leather on the second-story furnishings, the serving staff of accented Gaels, and the wall-mounted fiddle painted as green as a three-leaf clover jealous of its four-leafed cousin. The bar and booths on the first floor form a cozy country-pub ambiance, and the castle-like second story takes advantage of the space and spills out over a rooftop terrace overlooking Congress Park.
As much care, if not more, is taken with the menus, which feature an all-day Irish breakfast, chicken with imported Irish curry, and Celtic fusion food that incorporates anything from egg rolls to nachos. Fresh haddock, broiled or fried, offers a taste of the North Atlantic, and a splash of Guinness improves menu items from the beef stew to the chocolate cake. While diners dig into hearty shepherd's pies or rasher-topped burgers, live musicians play anything from Celtic pub songs to contemporary radio jams.