C. H. Evans Brewing Company is a true Albany institution. The original brewery was built in 1786, and the company has been in the hands of the Evans family ever since, which makes popping in for a pint practically tantamount to getting a quick history lesson—though we think sipping on a Bavarian-style hefeweizen is much better than a pop quiz. Once you pick out an ale, pair it with something from the brewery’s hearty menu and see why it’s considered one of the best restaurants in Albany. It’s chock full of classic pub fare, such as beer pretzels, burgers, and reubens. However, there’s also some more adventurous options for such an old-school joint, such as the banh mi with ssamjang aioli and the seafood mac ‘n’ cheese with Maine lobster and sautéed shrimp.
Pig Pit BBQ offers carnivores the smoky flavors of true-blue Texas barbecue. That's all thanks to the owner, Tex, a Fort Worth transplant who specializes in all things Tex-Mex, and especially hickory-smoked meats. Succulent pork, beef brisket, and tender ribs are just the beginning of this Southern-cuisine bonanza. For the full experience, diners can start meals with crispy, deep-fried pickle spears, mexican rice, and dirty fries. And no longhorn-sized meal is complete without a sweet spoonful of apple or peach cobbler. Pig Pit also sports a 4.5-star rating from our customers. Check out what a few of them had to say:
Great food, lots of it and quick service! As good as it gets. – James R.
This place is totally a hidden gem! Food was delicious and the staff was super friendly. I’m sorry I waited so long to try it but we will absolutely be back for more! – Melissa C.
Staff are always very friendly and the food is delicious. We have been there numerous times and always have a great experience. – Gerry M.
One of life’s greatest pleasures is clearly a nice, salty hunk of cheese, so instead of using it as finger food or merely as a topping, why not make it the centerpiece of the meal? Not many Albany restaurants would be so bold, but that’s where The Cheese Traveler is different. Technically more of a cheese, meat, and specialty food shop, it’s got a robust lunch and dinner menu to satisfy the cheese-lover in all of us. Keep it simple and go for one of their carefully crafted boards, which takes two or three cheeses and pairs them with classic accoutrements, such as cornichons and toasted bread. But if you need something a little heartier, you’ve gotta go for one of the grilled cheeses. From Vermont cheddar to red leicester, you’ve got your pick of delicious cheeses. But every sandwich gets an upgrade thanks to toppings like dill relish, cider jelly, and meat like prosciutto and even ‘nduja.
A native of Jakarta, Executive Chef Yono Purnomo polished his culinary techniques under the tutelage of noted chefs, including Master Chef Fritz Sonnenschmidt, a dean of the Culinary Institute of America. Yono developed his own style of blending Indonesian dishes with a continental smorgasbord that encompasses global flavors, grabbing various accolades along the way. Along with his wife, resident dessert artist Donna, and son Dominick, GM and sommelier, Yono works to provide a dining experience that has been praised by Gayot and Fodor's.
He augments the standard menu, which features exotic blends of lemongrass, coconut milk, lime leaves, and dragon-mouthed sambals, with nightly rotating features. And the 12-foot wine loft offers 700 selections that embody the tastes of 20 countries. The opulence of the wine selection and cuisine is mirrored in the revamped 19th-century townhouse replica where diners feast. With just 15 tables, each set with custom-made china, the intimate space stretches beneath tin ceilings and flaunts bronzed mirrors and original woodwork. The focal point of the dining room is a large crystal chandelier above a rich mahogany service table. It's here where a professional, friendly service team has catered to guests for nearly 30 years.
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.