What's New in Saratoga

June 2011 Archives

Johnny's Gourmet Italian Ices is making moves in response to Bettie's Cakes new location on Broadway in Saratoga Springs. Johnny's is joining forces with the Cupcake Lab to bring you the best of both ice cream and cupcakes!

What does Saratoga Springs have that no other place in the U.S. does? Well, hundreds of things, but one hidden treasure you might not know about is a special couple serving Temple Sinai.

After 15 years as a lead floral designer and manager of Meme's Florist, Bobbie Tompkins has just become the new owner.

As a bit of a foodie, I can never grow tired of trying new dishes or hearing about new restaurant openings. More foodies can join me in excitement over the recent opening of The Turf Club Grill in Saratoga Springs.

Which new store is here to make you feel mischievously naughty, beautifully sexy, and all-around looking good? Torso Lingerie Studio just opened in Ballston Spa, with designer bras, panties, camisoles, and elegant lingerie.

If you're one of those people who hates to see things go to waste... to the extent that you round up the remaining shampoo and conditioner bottles after your stay at a hotel, stuffing them into your suitcase to finish off at home... you no longer need to worry.

Two local Saratoga hotels are teaming up with Clean the World to ensure left over hotel shampoo and other products are put to good use!

Now that summer is here, many of us are looking for healthy outdoor pursuits so that we can enjoy the weather to the fullest....or perhaps we're looking for a way to keep the kids busy and active without spending a bundle, or an activity the whole family can do (in my case, it's motivation I seek!) The Saratoga Stryders may offer just what you're looking for!

Founded in 1984 and "running" year-round, the club is invaluable in allowing runners or walkers of all levels, whether beginner or competitive, an opportunity to socialize and motivate each other, and is inclusive of all ages. The group meets every Saturday morning at the warming hut (near Rte. 9) of the Saratoga State Park, which of course is an ideal place for your workout with it's famous, mile-long Avenue of Pines! (and boy, that shade must help in the summer!) Each Wednesday evening, the club meets at the Little Theatre parking lot of the Park. Participants may run or walk any distance they choose at their own pace, and the Club goes out of it's way to ensure no one exercises alone unless they prefer to. Water, coffee, and donuts are offered after each session.

On the last Wednesday of each month, exercisers can go a step further (no pun intended!) in their training and meet at the Saratoga Springs High School track for speed workouts. Saratoga Stryders hosts additional social opportunities with a summer picnic, Christmas party, and even a Night at SPAC! Perfect for those looking for a chance to mix fitness with pleasure!

Club members are kept up-to-date with a newsletter which lists upcoming races and other events in the area. If you're hosting friends this summer, the Stryders welcome visitors and have had many vacationers join them! For information: www.saratogastryders.org

After serving up some of the area's tastiest treats for over a year, Bettie's Cakes, the retro-inspired cupcakery cafe, will move from the lower level of the Saratoga Downstreet Marketplace to a more visible location on Broadway.

Did You Miss The Saratoga Brewfest? See Event Pictures & Details! 

This past Saturday, beer lovers and festivalgoer's took their love for beer to a whole new level. Over 2,000 people joined together on the Ellm's Family Farm in Ballston Spa to enjoy great beer, delicious food, live music and fun in the sun at the second annual Saratoga Brewfest.


Lt. Colonel Clarence Dart's military experiences sound as if they could be the basis for a movie. Think Denzel Washington in World War II: there's danger in skies of Europe, racial tensions in America, a slew of prestigious awards, and something special to sweeten the ending scenes...
This season you can get your Saratoga Race Course memorabilia and your groceries all in one stop!  Hannaford will now offer Saratoga Race Course promotional items at 25 locations throughout the Capital Region.

Are you a life-long opera fan? Or perhaps intrigued, or just somewhat curious? Then this is your summer! Opera Saratoga, formerly Lake George Opera, has a full roster set to kick off it's 50th Anniversary season beginning June 29th! This is a spectacular chance to enjoy first-class stage performances right in our backyard....we are so fortunate to have this jewel of a program available to our families, friends and guests!

Come and enjoy productions with scores by Mozart and Strauss, featuring acclaimed artists both new and returning. In one of the season's highlights, Albany Symphony Orchestra's Musical Director David Allen Miller will conduct Cosi Fan Tutte, a work of comic deception featuring one of Mozart's best scores!

In addition to the Mainstage productions held at the Spa Little Theatre , there's special events planned including the 9th Annual Opera Saratoga Ball at the Saratoga Hilton Hotel on Friday, July 1st, as well as a 50th Anniversary Concert on July 8th featuring returning guest artists from the past and accompanied by the Opera Saratoga Orchestra! A free July 4th All American Celebration concert in Congress Park sets magnificent arias against a backdrop of fireworks!

For budding artists, Opera Saratoga offers a Summer Opera Intensive (Opera Camp), which culminates in a free performance given by the campers! The Young Artist Apprentice Program, comprised of apprentice and studio artists, gives singers an opportunity to develop their craft through masterclasses, coaching, and performances. They will also be featured in free recitals!

Truly, whether opera is your passion, or you and your family are curious, this summer has something for everyone! Don't miss out.....for tickets to Golden Anniversary summer performances, call the SPAC box office :518-587-3330, or the Opera office at 518-584-6018, and visit www.operasaratoga.org for all this season has to offer!

For some, healthy eating is a great habit and a matter of course. For others, it can be hit-or-miss. Generally, I am trying to apply the same rule as I do when grocery shopping: do not attempt when you're hungry....or you might wind up with a cartful of impulse/not-so-healthy items!

To avoid the "I'm starving, I'll eat anything as long as it's now!" trap, head down Phila Street and make it easy on yourself to have a deliciously satisfying and healthy meal. Four Seasons Natural Food Store (since 1988!) at 33 Phila is a can't-go-wrong choice, with indoor or outdoor seating. I can't believe I've just discovered for myself their daily soup and buffet-style lunch and dinners, where the serve-yourself offerings are varied, healthy, and delicious! (most items vegan/all are vegetarian). Fresh breads, muffins, and homemade desserts complete your healthy repast. The store section stocks a large array of natural food groceries and organic produce.....and if it's not there today, you may special order and even request mail service!

A short stroll away is neighbor Ravenous at 21 Phila, specializing in amazing savory or sweet crepes. Many selections are stuffed with grilled vegetables, and the side salad which accompanies is always fresh. The "pommes frites"? (french fries, but so much more!)....well, they are another reason many return again and again (in the interest of this blog, a few fries should go a long way; they really can with their flavoring!) Perfect for brunch, their iced mint tea is a treat not to be missed.

Myself and companion left both establishments well-satisfied, but feeling positively angelic that we had consumed a very nutritious meal.....Now.....where is that darn gym bag!?!.......

For more information: www.info@fourseasonsnaturalfoods.com, and www.ravenouscrepes.com

Yes, you read that correctly. Saratoga, a name associated with the beautiful city known for health, history and horses, is also the name of a Spanish heavy metal band!

Most kids dream of owning a candy store, a sugary confectionary where they can eat all the treats they want. Most kids though, don't actually take their dream into their own hands like Michelle Ballou did. She's been making chocolate since she was eight to sell to her neighbors. Today she takes her early cultivated talent to the newest sweet tooth venture in Ballston Spa: Decadent Diva.

Is there anything better in beautiful weather than enjoying a meal alfresco? Really, sitting back for a leisurely lunch or dinner on a columned stone terrace, with ample shade and situated high enough to observe passersby? And, that absolutely delectable lunch or dinner is dependably prepared to order by award-winning, wildly popular local chef/owner, John LaPosta? And, you're in downtown SaratogaSprings?

I'm speaking of Maestro's bistro, of course. Now located at 353 Broadway, at the historic former Rip Van Dam Hotel, the new digs are positively elegant, encompassing around 4,000 sq.ft. of space.....so expansive and airy! And tastefully furnished to the nth degree, particulary the sweeping veranda with it's rattan furniture that can seat up to fifty diners.....

And the interior is no letdown. The beautiful dining room expands into a sixteen-seat bar area, and includes lounge tables artfully arranged. Maestros new location is a huge winner and will encourage both locals and visitors alike to linger over their sumptuous offerings, or simply enjoy a cocktail.

The menu has been expanded and continues to include all our favorites....including the complimentary, homemade chocolate bark at each meal's conclusion!

Ladies, this is the place to break out that new summer hat! For more information: www.maestrosatthevandam.com.

There are plenty of places to eat, and countless historic sights in Saratoga Springs, NY. But, for a quick bite at a historic location, try the McDonald's on South Broadway. The location was one of the first McDonald's ever opened and will reopen this Friday, June 10.

For those of us who have Fathers or Fathers-in-law who are simply impossible to buy for because they have everything already (and what they don't have is too expensive to get them), well it just so happens we're in luck this year.

Saratoga.com's latest Weekly Deal is perfect for most dads, and it comes just in time for Father's Day: 50% off Golf Lessons with CV Golf. Buy it here »

Now, I'm not a golfer myself, but I hear they can help sharpen anyone's golf game. They have something called a T-Golf system with 100% client retention rate. Not sure what that is, but with that kind of record, you know they have to be good. And besides, what were you going to get Dad anyway?

Keep in mind this is a "weekly deal" so it's only good for a few more days and then it expires. So either get it now, or get it after you go shopping all weekend and don't find anything better for him. (Just sayin').

Wondering how it works? Remember, we introduced you last time to how the Saratoga.com Weekly Deal works? For those of you who missed it, here is a quick rundown of how the system works...

Saratoga Springs is known for its sophistication in the health and beauty world. So, it should come as no surprise to find out that former celebrity hair stylist Aurelio Bidinost has opened a brand new studio in Saratoga Springs! But a flair for hairstyling isn't the only thing the Italian stylist brings to Spa City...

As if we needed any more proof that summer was here (85 degrees plus....we'll take it!), we can usher it in slushie-style......with wine slushies, that is! The Saratoga Winery & Tasting Room, an Adirondack wine bar located at 462 Rte. 29 just outside downtown Saratoga Springs, is hosting a summer kick-off on Saturday, June 18th from noon-6:00 pm.

Offering free admission and open to families, the event is sure to be a blast and will feature live music, wood-fired pizza, and the aforementioned famous wine slushies, while the kids enjoy authentic Saranac soda and Bettie's Cupcakes!

Held rain or shine, take advantage of the chance to select your choice of fine New York wines, and browse a beautiful selection of accessories and summer gifts while the kids enjoy outdoor games. Sound good? I knew you'd think so!

The Parting Glass Pub, a traditional Irish pub at 40-42 Lake Ave., is one of the oldest continuously running pub/restaurants in Saratoga Springs, and with good reason. The food, which ranges from hearty burgers and salads to traditional Irish breakfast and Guinness Black Bean soup, is both delicious and reasonably priced, while their brew offerings are extensive and varied (beginning with Guinness, of course!)

Each Wednesday night starting at 7:00pm, the "Glass" hosts a music "session," where, in true Irish tradition, all are welcome to bring an instrument and join in or simply enjoy the music and perhaps a bite!

More Irish music, you say? (It can be rather addicting, I know! This type of sound is a serious, proven mood-lifter) Head right on back for live traditional Irish music for your listening pleasure, every Thursday evening at the Parting Glass!

The Wednesday sessions will be held at the Olde Bryan Inn, another historic Saratoga favorite eating establishment at 123 Maple Ave., for the month of August.

Don't miss out on these brilliant evenings of music, food and friends (and dancing....you'll be tapping your toes in no time, I promise!) Check out www.partingglasspub.com for a full listing of music events and concerts.

James Reese got quite the return on a $20 bill. When he went to the Saratoga Casino and Raceway on May 29, his very first spin on the game yielded a $153,873 jackpot! But it wasn't just beginners luck....

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