Taproom 49
Pavilion at dusk
Caffe lena explore saratoga 20170305 024 cover 1
Taproom 49
Pavilion at dusk
Caffe lena explore saratoga 20170305 024 cover 1

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695 north broadway bosshart 20170217

Presidents' Day – Did You Know?

NO The house at 695 North Broadway was the home of Joseph Drexel, who played an important role in President Ulysses S. Grant coming to the area to write his memoirs. This beautiful Italianate style home was originally built by James H. Wright, a merchant tailor, in 1876. Joseph Drexel, who partnered with J. Pierpont Morgan to form the Drexel Morgan Bank, purchased the property in 1879. Drexel built a narrow-gauge railway from the intersection of North Broadway and Van Dam Street to Mount McGregor where he constructed a four-story hotel, the Hotel Balmoral. Grant was dying of cancer and needed a place to write his memoirs, in hopes of providing for his family after his death. Drexel, who was good friends Grant, invited Grant to stay at a cottage on Mount McGregor so he could have a quiet place to write. Grant died two days after completing his memoirs, on July 23, 1885. You can visit the Ulysses S. Grant Cottage, which is furnished exactly as it was on the day Grant died, from Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day. You will also be treated to stunning views of the Hudson Valley. PS - Next time you walk by 695 North Broadway, be sure to check out the carriage step that still remains on the north side of the porch. Samantha Bossart is the executive director of the Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation which promotes and preserves the architectural, cultural and landscaped heritage of Saratoga Springs, NY.
Ultimate saratoga brunch guide

The Ultimate Saratoga Brunch Guide

NO Brunch… it really doesn’t get much better in our opinion, with breakfast and lunch classics available at the same time. But the options can prove daunting when it comes time to placing an order. Do you go sweet? Order breakfast? Or embrace the “lunch” side with something more savory? We find it easiest to decide while sipping on a bloody mary, mimosa or brunch cocktail. And now, thanks to a recent change in the New York liquor law, we no longer have to wait until noon on Sundays before we imbibe! We think that’s cause for celebration, don’t you? Read on for a rundown we’re calling our Ultimate Saratoga Brunch Guide, and find out what we’re enjoying (and sipping) once the weekend comes around! Max London’s Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, 10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m. With a cool city vibe, this hotspot gets busy fast. If you plan to go on a Sunday you’ll definitely want to call ahead and make a reservation or risk a wait. We love their Belgian waffles and blue corn-buttermilk pancakes when we’re in the mood for a something more “breakfast-like,” or their Big Max burger once the clock strikes 12. Don’t forget to grab a bloody Mary, as there are several to choose from: classic, virgin, spicy hot, bacon, the harissa/lime-infused Morocco, and the bloody Maria, made with tequila and lime. They also have some amazing mimosas to choose from, if that if more your style. Prime at Saratoga National Sundays, 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. The prix fixe Sunday jazz brunch buffet is worth gathering the whole family together for, as children under 5 are free, adults are priced at just $32.95 and kids ages six to 12 are $18.95 each. You’ll find standards like muffins and bagels of course, but also French toast, scrambled eggs, Applewood smoked bacon and a chef-manned omelet station. Savory options include pastas, salads, peel-and-eat shrimp, seafood chowder and a carving station, which should keep even the pickiest eaters happy. If you manage to save room, you can finish things off with a dessert spread, including fresh fruit, shooters and fondue, before you head home. Oh, and there’s live jazz, as the name suggests. Hattie’s Saturdays and Sundays, 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Fried chicken and waffles? Count us in! Plus, Hattie’s vibe is super relaxed—which is just perfect, in our book. Although their scrambles change weekly, their biscuits and gravy and fried chicken with grits are major mainstays that keep us coming back for more. FYI, they’ve been using the same chicken recipe since 1938—in case you want to impress out-of-towners with some trivia. Snag a Hattie’s bloody Mary, served with a fried chicken wing, candied bacon and pickled okra, or go south of the border with an Island Michelada, made with Red Stripe. Salt & Char Saturdays and Sundays, 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. This place has been getting plenty of buzz since its spring 2016 opening, and with good reason—it’s damn good. But make a reservation or risk being left out in the cold. They do a quiche du jour which is worth asking about as is their merguez hash, although newbies should consider one of their benedicts: steak, pork belly or gravlax. And if you’re in need of a good excuse to get a little sip-happy, they also do $5 martinis on Sundays. You’re welcome. The Local Pub & Teahouse Saturdays and Sundays, 9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Try the Irish breakfast—Irish bacon, sausage and eggs—or the mushroom tartine and taste something out of the ordinary. Their Meaty Mary is accented with bacon, and their Spicy Mary is infused with sriracha chili sauce, or you can keep things simple and choose an original. They also have a solid rotation of craft beer on draft, which will keep any beer lovers more than happy. If you’re driving, or looking for something on the lighter side, opt for one of their specialty hot tea blends, like Japanese sencha or Parisian red and cozy up by their fireplace. If you fall in love, you can even get some loose tea bagged to go. The Merry Monk Saturdays and Sundays, 11:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Stop by this Belgian-inspired favorite and enjoy any one of their gorgeous omelets—like leek and gruyere, brie and chive or Southwest. They also do Belgian waffles and crepes topped with Nutella, strawberries or caramel, which will thrill sweet-toothed brunch goers. If you’re feeling adventurous, opt for the duck confit hash, or a breakfast flammkucchen, which is a sort of flatbread. Park Side Eatery Saturdays, 7:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and Sundays until 3:00 p.m. They may not have a brunch menu per se, but with breakfast available all day, every day, they certainly have what it takes! Park Side has a cool, NYC-deli style sort of vibe, where you order at the counter and service is quick. We are literally in love with their fresh, made-from-scratch doughnuts, but their challah French toast and farmhouse pancakes are also amazing. Standards like egg sandwiches, bacon and sausage abound, and there are a dozen gluten-free options for those living a g-free lifestyle. Did we mention they also do a fresh-squeezed mimosa, fresh bloody Mary (with homemade tomato juice), and are planning to unveil a series of brunch cocktails soon? They've got Cava and beer on tap, too. Ravenous Saturdays and Sundays, 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Who doesn’t love crepes, sweet or savory? Whether you like yours stuffed with feta, spinach and tomato, or inspired by chicken cordon bleu, you’ll find it here—along with staples like chocolate-hazelnut spread, lemon curd, strawberries and caramel pecans. You can even build your own to suit, then pair it with a little something extra, like an apple cider, cranberry pear or orange mimosa. The Gideon Putnam Sundays, 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Eggs benedict, custom crepes and Belgian waffles top this brunch buffet, but hand-carved meats and smoked seafood are on hand for those pining for something a bit more savory. Adults can eat their fill for $27.95 each, while children six to 12 are just $16.95. Bring the whole family, as kiddies under five are free. Take a tip from us: Indulge yourself, then burn off a few calories afterwards with a stroll through the Saratoga Spa State Park. Beekman Bar + Eatery Saturdays and Sundays, 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. With two-for-one mimosas offered all day long, you can spend the better part of a Sunday here and not even notice. Standard brunch options like chicken and waffles, eggs benedict and burgers are on the menu, but their French toast should not be missed. Order a few entrees to share and get tipsy. Sweet Mimi’s Cafe & Bakery Daily, 8:00 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. (closed Tuesdays) No true brunch here, but we promise you won’t miss it, as breakfast and lunch are offered here six days a week, from open to close. So basically ‘brunch’ is available all day, every day. Go classic with an omelette, or opt for the Roman eggs, dolled up with asparagus, prosciutto and shaved parmesan, and pair it with a bottomless mug of coffee. Or maybe feed your carb-craving with Jeannette’s Signature Buttermilk Pancakes, the lemon ricotta pancakes or the bacon pancakes which have crispy bacon folded into the batter. Just remember they don’t take reservations and the wait can be as long as an hour. You must show up in-person, add your name to the list and wait to receive a text once your table is ready. But we swear, it’s worth the wait. Gaffney’s Sundays, 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. This Saratoga hot-spot is under new ownership as of the end of January 2017 and we can’t wait to see what they have in store (stay tuned for updates of course). Word is they are expanding brunch hours, currently only offered on Sundays, and introducing an all new menu with weekly specials.  You don’t need to wait to enjoy this classic American brunch though. We suggest the house-braised corned beef hash topped with two eggs, sunny-side up, and Hollandaise sauce. If you’re in the mood for something sweet, you can’t go wrong with the homemade buttermilk pancakes or the waffles. We’re also looking forward to some really amazing bloodys and mimosas, but not to worry, they have both on the menu now. What’s your favorite brunch spot? We want to know! Tag us in your Facebook and Instagram photos with #ExploreSaratoga, for a chance to be featured!
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The Best Fireplaces in Saratoga Springs

NO Upstate New York is in the depths of winter, and it’s starting to take its toll. After all, one can only spend so many nights and weekend afternoons tucked away at home, before things get a little boring. The freezing temps and gloomy skies have worn us down and we’re all looking forward to warmer weather. Unfortunately, Punxsutawney Phil has said we’re in for another six weeks of winter... and judging by the 10-day forecast, he appears to be spot on! To help get you through, we’ve put together a list of our favorite fireplaces to sip (and sit) by, which are perfect for passing the time until spring. So grab a loved one and brave the cold. You’ll be glad you did! Henry Street Taproom This one’s a “not-to-miss,” as it’s quite possibly our favorite downtown fireplace. It’s also wood-burning, which adds some extra authentic flair, and is pretty much going non-stop throughout fall and winter. We love sinking into a deliciously luxurious leather chair (there are four fireside) with a hot toddy or craft beer, and spending hours chit-chatting with friends while the snow comes down. Full table service is available, so you won’t miss a beat. The Inn at Saratoga As the oldest operating hotel in Saratoga, this ranks as another favorite—especially as there are two historic fireplaces, each with a brick façade and antique wood mantle, topped with glorious 19th century mirrors. If you’re headed out for a quick drink, grab a seat in the tavern’s side room, located just off the bar, and pretend you’re in a Dickens’ novel (A Christmas Carol was released the same year the hotel opened, so you’re guaranteed a truly Victorian experience). Gas inserts keep things convenient, and allow guests a ready-to enjoy fire with the flip of a switch. Olde Bryan Inn Step inside and walk back into history, literally, as this inn was first established in 1773, with the old stone house portion of this Saratoga mainstay dating back to 1825.With three fireplaces to enjoy—two in the main dining room, and one in the tavern which still burns real wood—we’ll let you pick your favorite. But plan to get there early to claim one of the coziest seats in the house—on a cold night, the fireside bar stools, booths and tables are a hot commodity. The Local Pub & Teahouse With a solid craft beer list and fantastic brunch offerings, this neighborhood hangout is a great place to sit back with a few of your nearest and dearest. A broad table by this gas, stone-faced fireplace is always in demand, so plan ahead. Or simply grab your pint glass and hover nearby. The Brook Tavern Thanks to a gas-insert, this double-sided exposed brick fireplace with gorgeous wood mantle throws off quite a bit of heat, making what was once an 1800s’ horse carriage factory, truly cozy. With a pair of leather easy chairs on one side, and several cocktail tables on the other, there’s plenty of fireside seating. Tip: They do a great happy hour, so head here instead of a cold home once five-o-clock strikes. The Gideon Putnam Opened in 1935 alongside the Roosevelt Baths, the hotel remains a legendary place to celebrate with loved ones or sneak away. Its lobby, complete with two wood-burning fireplaces, dressed up with a white scroll-worked mantle, can transport even locals to another time and place and is often fairly quiet. Grab a cup of coffee and a newspaper and watch the time pass, or grab something adult-friendly in the evening hours with a date. The Wishing Well Their four fieldstone fireplaces—three or which are in the restaurant, and two of which are over 150 years old—are going all fall and winter long, thanks to convenient gas inserts. Eight tables sit adjacent and are always in demand. Two small tables located fireside in the oldest part of the restaurant are Valentine’s Day favorites, and are consistently reserved one year in advance. For something more spontaneous, head to the bar and enjoy the fire there. The Wine Bar This stone, gas-burning gem is a bit hidden underneath shelves of wine, so if you’re lucky, you can snag a table fireside and lose an evening while gazing out the large front window which overlooks Broadway. This is our absolute favorite spot to settle in with a glass of Malbec or Chardonnay, or perhaps a signature gin cocktail, and watch the snow fall. Longfellows With two giant, brick-faced, wood-burning fireplaces, you can have your pick—either the tavern, or the wine cellar. Both have two tables situated in front of them, are running consistently from late fall to early spring, and are always in demand. So call ahead, if you can, and round up friends and family to spend an evening, warm and cozy, in the very best company.