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The Five-Point Weekend Escape Plan

Skip the Horse Races in Saratoga Springs


2. Where to Eat

The Mouzon House serves farm-to-table cuisine in a remodeled Victorian home.  

Make a reservation for dinner at ever-popular Max London’s, where exposed brick walls, Edison bulbs, and artisanal cocktails give this five-year-old spot an urbane sensibility. The kitchen prides itself on making everything from scratch, and the attention to flavor combinations on the Mediterranean-inflected menu is uniformly impressive; recent standouts included an apple salad of arugula, marcona almonds, Manchego cheese, and Serrano ham ($10); hamachi and tuna tartare with grapefruit gelee ($14); and Colorado lamb chops served over chickpeas and lamb merguez ($36).

Dine in a remodeled Victorian home at The Mouzon House, where a series of uniquely appointed rooms lined with paintings create an intimate, dinner-party ambiance. The menu spans genres and countries—you can have poutine ($10), jambalaya ($24), or lobster Thermidor ($38)—and changes daily, since the kitchen sources many of its ingredients from more than 25 local farms.

Taste the fruits of Saratoga’s nascent beer scene at the city’s best spots for hop lovers. Make a stop at Olde Saratoga Brewing Company for a 64-ounce growler ($15) of Saratoga Lager, which won the gold medal last month at the TAP New York festival. At three-month-old the Merry Monk, you can choose from more than a dozen drafts and nearly 100 bottles while you share a duck “reuben,” a combination of duck confit, Swiss cheese, sauerkraut, and fig jam ($12) that provides the right balance of sweet and savory. Druthers Brewing Company, which opened last summer, serves roughly a dozen of its own remarkable beers on tap at any given time, plus gut-busting sandwiches including a Cuban made with pulled pork that’s smoked in-house, capicola ham, and pickled jalapeños ($13). You can also plan your visit to coincide with the fourth annual Saratoga Brewfest on June 15 (from $45 per person), when more than 40 regional breweries will be pouring.

Grab a table on the columned patio overlooking Broadway for prime people-watching at Maestro’s at the Van Dam, an upscale American bistro housed in a former hotel that predates the Civil War. The outdoor seats are highly coveted in the summer, so it’s best to have an early dinner or late lunch for an array of small plates like hoisin-glazed lamb lollipops ($19) and duck confit bruschetta, layered with brie, caramelized onion, and green apple ($15).

Published on May 10, 2013 as a web exclusive.

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