If you ask someone who’s spent a lifetime in the northeast they’ll tell you one of the top ten places to visit in the summertime is Saratoga Springs, or simply – Saratoga. Best known for the “mineral springs” and Baths, the water offered remedies for both internal and external illnesses as far back as the late 1700s – however, this was only of tertiary interest. We were there for the races! After a late start last Saturday – Jim and Karen picked us up from Pond Mountain Inn and we arrived shortly before noon, well ahead of the first race. Great seats out of the sun offered some great racing perspective. Properly known as Saratoga Race Course, “the track” is stunningly beautiful, a through-back to an earlier time was comfortably filled with polite and gracious people all out for a nice day at the races.
Not terribly late in the day we took our modest winnings and headed to The Wine Bar (417 Broadway), has an extensive list of wines from around the world, and a selection of 50 wines by the glass. A modern setting one level above the street, we could still easily see each passerby. We wouldn’t have seen Hemingway there or Fellini, but the four of us enjoyed the happy hour wine special, a five-dollar-a-glass Malbec. The Wine Bar was a delightful respite – architecturally neat, interesting and encouraged conversation.
Dinner was a short walk to Ravenous – a small side-street creperie with delicious and creative crepes. The appetizer fries, or pommes frites are a Ravenous specialty. In keeping with the European tradition, their Belgian-style French fries are twice cooked twice for twice the flavor and had a variety of dipping sauces. The night’s special was a short rib crepe that was out of this world!
Heading back to Main Street after dinner, Saratoga was bustling – all the shops open and the Lyrical Ballad Bookstore is a must see. I picked up a vintage 7up bottle and a large Bachman Pretzel tin that must date back to the early 60s. So many interesting shops! We plan to return this fall to this alluring upstate village!