By Jennifer Farnsworth
Two restaurant concepts, one roof.
That comprises the business venture—R&R Kitchen and Bar—that Ronnie Farber and Ralphie Balsamo officially opened in July in Saratoga Springs.
The business is located at 43 Phila St., in the space last occupied by the Seven Horse Pub.
Balsamo said that so far the reception has been everything they hoped for.
“We are already making great friends. We have a great following,” said Balsamo.
The two separate spaces—upstairs and downstairs—offer different cuisine, but both provide a comfortable place to get together with family and friends, according to Balsamo.
R&R Kitchen and Bar features what Balsamo described as “global comfort food” in a casual setting. He said the top floor is what they call Ronnie & Ralphie’s, and it is more of an intimate fine dining experience.
Downstairs is a long, full-service bar with extra seating around the room.
Balsamo said both places are something they want to feel like an extension of their own dining room and kitchen.
“We don’t want anyone to walk in and feel like they are walking on eggshells. We want a really easy going place for people to go to get good food and good spirits,” said Balsamo.
Balsamo and Farber have both been in the business for years, and the two have been brainstorming the idea of having two different concepts in the same location.
Balsamo was involved locally with Villa Balsamo and Paradiso Ristorante, along with other businesses in Queens and Long Island. Farber’s experience includes restaurants such as Dine, The Metro, The Lodge and 8 Tables in Saratoga Springs.
“This is a concept that has been 20 years in the making. The right space came to us at the right time,” said Balsamo.
He said the decor is reflective of Saratoga and showcases the beauty of the historic brick building. Both the upstairs and downstairs have a combination of artwork that has been appreciated by patrons so far.
“It is about the food and drinks, but it is also about a great atmosphere,” said Balsamo.
The building is equipped with bar seating, indoor tables and an outdoor patio area. Balsamo said R&R Kitchen and Bar has an eclectic menu of starters and entrees, including a raw seafood bar.
Upstairs is for fine dining, serving up traditional items like steaks, fish, and Italian pastas dishes.
This space can also be rented out for parties up to 100 people.
They currently have between 15 and twenty employees.
They are open seven nights a week during track season and plan to expand into lunch and brunch after the summer season.
The telephone number is 581-0777.