The Saratoga restaurant scene is a constantly changing one with new ones coming, old ones going, and established ones slipping. Here is one diner’s assessment of ones recently visited, in order of preference:
- Mexican Connection - This is a long-time favorite. Chef Donna Duerr has to be ranked among the best three in the city, and may well be in the Number 1 slot. There are weekly specials that change every week, and feature the best ingredients and imaginative recipes. Her soups are so good they would warrant a visit just for a bowl. And, there is no better place to get fish or seafood. I use to travel regularly from Boston to Saratoga and can say without hesitation that her fish is as good as, or better than, anything in Boston. The staff is very knowledgeable, and you can get an outstanding margarita, especially if you take their advice on tequilas. 41 Nelson Av., 518-584-4466
- Karavalli - Once again, a long-time favorite. I’m not dismissing other Indian restaurants in the area, but when you find a place that is always good, it’s hard to switch. I cannot claim to be a connoisseur of Indian food since I tend to always get the Tandoori Chicken, but the sides are great and other companions rave about their particular dishes. The staff is also outstanding. 47 Caroline St., 518-580-1144
- Druthers - This brew pub on Broadway just opened and I have only been there once. I went for the beer and was astonished at how good the food was. My spouse, who cannot stand beer, loved the Smoked Mac and Cheese, and my Cubano sandwich may be the best sandwich in Saratoga, including the estimable Ben and Bill’s in the Price Chopper. Oh, and I really like the Pilsner, and my spouse liked her cocktail. 381 Broadway, 518-306-5275
- Boca Bistro - Another place that just opened and to which I have been only once. I have a difficult time coming up with an assessment because I ordered one dish that I knew I would probably not like (don’t ask). I also ordered the anchovies tapas, and was surprised to see them served in their tin, although that may be standard tapas presentation (and they were good). My three companions all liked their food, and I will definitely be going back. The two wines we ordered were both very good (Rioja and La Boca Chardonnay). Saratoga can certainly use a tapas restaurant. 384 Broadway, 518-682-2801.
- Maestro’s - This well-regarded restaurant is one that I thought was very good in the winter, but after two dinners there in the past two months, I don’t think I will be returning. In June, six of us ordered different dishes and we were all disappointed. More recently, we went with another couple, and only one of the four thought her meal was better than ordinary. And, it is very expensive. It seems to be a good spot for lunch, but I am hard-pressed to say it is anything exceptional. 353 Broadway, 518-580-0312