While visiting Saratoga Springs, NY recently, my husband and I came across one of the loveliest restaurants in town. Italian cuisine has always been one of my favorites and my mouth was watering just reading the name – Chianti Il Ristorante. I just had to give it a try.
It was a cold rainy evening and upon entering the restaurant I was immediately warmed by the dim, candlelit atmosphere. I knew for sure at that point that I wanted to take off my coat and stay awhile.
After being seated I couldn’t help but gaze around the softly lit dining room. The bar was to my right near the entrance with what looked to be many people deep in conversation enjoying the evening. Straight ahead from where I sat the open kitchen was lively and bustling with chefs chattering with each other in their native tongue. To my left were tables ﬁlled with cheerful wine connoisseurs discussing the extensive selection of Italian wines offered at Chianti.
Our waiter, Michael, came to welcome us and we continued on in small chit-chat about where we were from and it being our ﬁrst visit to the restaurant. We ordered something to drink and decided it was time to explore the menu. One thing I noticed that was interesting besides the huge selection of dishes to order was the option to help you pronounce the Italian names of the meals. By rolling your cursor over the speech icon, you could reveal a phonetic pronunciation so that when you were ready to order, your Italian would be perfetto! I was growing more and more comfortable with this restaurant by the minute.
Michael returned after a while to take our order and it was at that time I noticed the volume in the restaurant. If you are into quiet conversation while dining, Chianti’s might not be the right choice for you. I happily overlooked this negative aspect of the night as I was famished and ready to eat.
My meal was outstanding. I ordered the Semplice salad and Capellini Alla Checca which consisted of angel hair pasta with garlic, grape tomatoes, basil and olive oil. And of course the meal wouldn’t be complete without fresh Italian bread dipped in olive oil.
My husband enjoyed his dinner and I couldn’t help but notice how fabulous it looked. His order was the Gamberoni Al Lardo Croccante (shrimp wrapped in crispy pancetta, pan seared with cannellini beans, drizzled with balsamic caramel) and the Salsiccia Arrosto, which consisted of grilled sausage with caramelized shallots and balsamic glaze, served with herb roasted potatoes and sauteed spinach.
Chianti’s offers a full dessert menu, however, I ate my entire dinner and there was no room for dessert, unfortunately. I want to point out that our waiter was perfect – both cordial and accommodating, which all-in-all made for a most lovely evening.
Location: 18 Division Street, Saratoga Springs, NY, Tel: 518-580-0025. Follow them on Facebook.