Karavalli's (4.5/5 Albany Stars)
Karavalli's, 2788 Hamburg Street, Rotterdam (http://www.karavallilatham.com/)
We have heard only praise for Karavalli's in Latham, but hesitated to go there because of the long drive for us. When we learnt about the opening of Karavalli's in Rotterdam we instantly decided to try it - and we were not disappointed! A great selection of dishes from all over India, well prepared and nicely presented offers something for everybody. The service was attentive and very corteous, and, what we appreciate a lot is the time you get between the courses, i.e. you do not get force fed so to speak, as it seems to have become the eating style in even more upscale places.
To all lovers of the Indian cuisine: Karavalli's is the place to go!
We do hope that they will be able to keep up the high quality standard they started with, and will be around for a long time.
Ocean Palace (2/5 Albany Stars)
Ocean Palace, 855 Central Avenue, Albany.
When we moved to the Capital Region some seven years ago we were looking for a good Chinese restaurant. After several disappointments we finally found the Ocean Palace. Not a very fancy place at all, but it offered good food. And the fact that the place was always filled with Chinese people proved to us that it is also quite authentic.It seems that the ownership or management has changed recently; we did not see any of the familiar faces there anymore the last few times we were there. This change unfortunately also brought quite some decrease of the quality of the food; and our last meal there was hardly edible anymore. We won't go back.
Provence (2.8/5 Albany Stars)
The Restaurant Provence (Albany, Stuyvesant Plaza Western Ave) claims serving the finest traditional and contemporary southern French and Mediterranean cuisine. Well, I have been in France in many different places and even though some of the dishes look authentic on the menu, their taste does not come close to what you would find on your plate in a good French restaurant. The prices are rather high and the nice interior of the Provence cannot compensate for the price/value relation. A banquette sandwich where the bred tastes as if it was bought a few days before being served, with a strange combination of ham and some other type of sausages together with some cold pasta salad (not very tasteful) for $10.50 is just a bid too much. I have eaten other menus there as well and was not very exited about this restaurant. However, the wine selection is nice and one can have many good quality wines by the class. In a nutshell; go to France when you really want to experience good food, or take the train to Manhattan.
Sitar (3/5 Albany Stars)
Sitar Indian Restaurant, 1929 Central Ave. (http://www.sitarindianrestaurant.com/
): A place we go regularly for the last six years. The quality of the food is consistently good and authentic. However, the menu has not changed since we went there for the first time (in 1999) but it is better to have consistency then fancy menus. One can chose the level of spiciness on a scale from 1 – 10 and I can tell, if you go for a “10” it is REALY hot but still tasteful. I would recommend the Chicken Tikka Palak Tandoori, a boneless chicken cooked with spinach.
Going out in Albany
Upstate New York provides a good quality of live; costs of housing is accessible and for people who like outdoor activities, the proximity to the Adirondacks, and other smaller State parks, provides ample opportunities for hiking, cannoning or other ventures.
However, the flip-side is that going out to a restaurant is a rather unexciting experience. Hence, this blog will be used to share our experience from scouting out and reflect on the local cuisine.