By R.J. DELUKE
Chef Danny Urschel has spent his entire work life in the food business, even before his graduation from the American Culinary Institute in 1996.
“It’s something that I’ve always loved,” he said.
He’s been in the restaurant business since he left the institute. Now he is the proud owner of Mio Posto, an intimate Italian restaurant at 68 Putnam St. in Saratoga Springs. He runs it with his wife, Heidi.
He purchased the restaurant, located near the Saratoga Springs Public Library, in 2014. Before it was Mio Posto, the space was previously known as Lanci’s, and later 8 Tables.
Prior to the purchase, Urschel had been assisting previous Mio Posto owner Danny Petrosino from time to time, especially during the busy horse racing season.
Mio Posto is an intimate space–just eight tables–that has achieved high popularity in the city. Urschel said it has been the top-rated restaurant on internet website Trip Advisor.
The website currently lists it as number one out of 181 restaurants in the area.
Urschel calls the menu “casual Italian-American cuisine” with the focus on quality food and good service.
When he took it over, the transition was quick, he said, and the concept remained the same. “People who are familiar with it will know it as it always was.”
Urschel recommends reservations, because of the intimacy of the room, especially during the Saratoga Race Course season. He’s looking forward to his second track season coming up this summer.
Urschel started as a dishwasher as a youngster in Albany and also worked at a pizzeria and held other jobs in food service. He said his paternal grandmother, “the Italian food guru of the family,” was an inspiration to him as a child.
“This has been my calling” since a young age, he said of the restaurant business.
His experience includes being chef de cuisine at Yono’s in Albany and executive chef at Friend’s Lake Inn in Chestertown.
Mio Posto is open for dinner only, starting at 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. It’s closed on Monday. There is catering on-site and off-site as well, and Mio Posto can host some office parties and similar events.
The phone number is 542-7581.