Summary: French fine dining in a lively atmosphere
Nestled along Route 9, a few minutes north of downtown Saratoga Springs, Chez Pierre Restaurant brings a large taste of French cuisine to Upstate New York. It has been in the same family for over 45 years, and prides itself on offering great tasting, authentic French food. This includes being one of the few area restaurants with Chateaubriand on the menu (during track season you need to call ahead to order it’s that good and that popular).
On my evening at Chez Pierre, I entered the restaurant from the foyer, and I can honestly say that within 5 minutes I was welcomed by the hostess, seated, had the candle at the table lit and the house pate was served. This was all done not to rush me, but the family truly wanted to make me feel welcome and were very hospitable.
The layout of the restaurant includes an upper dining area, which you enter as you first walk into Chez Pierre. On my evening there a wine tasting was taking place – it happened to be their first time hosting one, and it sounded like everyone was having a great time comparing French wines to California ones. There is also some seating by the bar, which I didn’t get a good look at but appears to offer a more private setting (at least compared to the other tables).
As I looked around the restaurant, I noticed that the atmosphere was very energetic, with lively conversations going on about just about everything and anything – work, family, and, gasp, politics. It was then that I realized that I was not the only guest that the family made feel at home – everybody feels at home at Chez Pierre.
When it was time to order I had to start with the Onion Soup Gratinee. And even though it was 80 degrees out, Roxy, my server, assured me it was never too hot for the onion soup. It did not disappoint. Roxy was even kind enough to check back on me while I was enjoying the bowl to make sure that I was not too hot.
For my entree I went with the Veal Oscar (veal cutlet topped w/ crabmeat, fresh asparagus, hollandaise), which Roxy told me was the best in the world. Now that’s a glowing endorsement. When my meal arrived it was served scalloped potatoes and green beans. For the meal itself, I can say that the asparagus on top was nice and tender, the crab very delicate and the veal, well, let’s just say that after the first bite I started to agree with Roxy that this was the best Veal Oscar in the world.
The Dessert Menu consisted of chocolate mousse, peach melba, crème de menthe parfait, cherries jubilee and crème brulee. But I had to try the chef’s homemade French cream cheesecake. Drizzled with a strawberry puree, this huge piece of cheesecake was delicious, and a great last bite to a terrific meal.
I did not drink, but I should note, as a French restaurant they also have a nice selection of house wines and featured wines by the glass, as well as an after meal coffee menu and cognac and port selection.
Most entrees run between $22 and $33, while the hors d’oeuvres run between $7 and $15.
As lively as Chez Pierre Restaurant was at the end of June, I can only image how energized the air in the restaurant is once the track opens up. With this type of atmosphere combined with the delicious French cuisine, this is a must visit on anyone’s trip to Saratoga during the summer (and for locals any time of year). At the end of the meal I was greeted by one of the owners’ children, Pia. We spoke for a few minutes, and as I told her, Chez Pierre Restaurant is a great place and I will definitely be back.
For more information or directions, visit: http://www.saratogarestaurants.com/business/chez-pierre-445/