Wine N Diner (Albany, NY)

**UPDATE** The Wine N Diner has been closed, with plans to reopen sometime in 2012. Will post more information about future restaurant ASAP.

If you’re looking for a sweet and trendy place to grab a bite to eat in Albany (and I mean “trendy” in a good way here), I definitely recommend the Wine N Diner at 544 Delaware Ave. I’m guessing the restaurant has been open somewhere around a year, and in my opinion it isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. While it’s a diner, and definitely has great breakfast, I recommend going for the dinner menu.

As you may have guessed, this diner has an expansive wine and beer menu. A look behind the bar and you’ll see 20-30 different wine

Fried deviled brie with balsamic molasses sauce

bottles and a good selection of microbrews to choose from. To go along with these is a great menu that takes some classic diner dishes and makes them into unique food that you’ll remember, as well as some originals that you can’t get anywhere else.

An appetizer I would recommend from the diner is the fried deviled brie, which is served with balsamic molasses. The cheese was perfectly fried and wasn’t super greasy, making it very enjoyable. I wasn’t a huge fan of the balsamic molasses, it was a little too bitter for my liking and would have preferred a sweet raspberry sauce, but overall the appetizer was great.

Chicken and waffles is a classic dish found commonly in the south that has made its way onto the Wine N Diner menu (served with maple gravy, no less). I have to admit that I personally haven’t indulged, but a couple of my friends have and I would say that they highly recommend it. Burgers are another item menu that are everywhere, but the Wine N Diner offers several burgers that have a twist. For example, they offer a Hawaiian burger which is encrusted with coconut and served with ham, pineapple, and spicy aioli.

Macaroni and cheese! ugh sorry for the awful pic

I’ve gotten the macaroni and cheese almost every time that I’ve been and it’s because it’s amazing. I love mac ‘n cheese and I eat it all the time, but I like it done a specific way. A nice creamy, cheesy macaroni baked with a hard layer on top is heaven for me. The Wine N Diner has, hands down, the best macaroni and cheese I’ve ever had at a restaurant, and I will hear no arguments. It’s absolutely wonderful and served in a large dish that you can easily bring home some leftovers in (if they make it home, that is).

Aside from the great food, check out the great artwork on the walls when you visit. They are local, for sale, commission free, and really awesome.

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