I asked for fried chicken and ended up at 8 Tables Restaurant (in the former Lanci's space) after a glass of champagne at Doc's Steakhouse across the street.
First, the hostess (her name escapes me) is one of the most gracious people I have encountered. 8 Tables is a tiny restaurant (less then 20 tables?) and we did not have a reservation. They have 6 pm, 8 pm and 10 pm seatings. We were able to get a table at 8 pm. Service was attentive and friendly. This is a warm friendly place. Not because of the small size, but the people are so nice!
Second, let's get the space issue out of the way so I can get on to the food. The space is very small. It can be lively (loud). There is no place for the hostess and servers to stand which must be very awkward for them. We sat at the table next to the corner table by the door. I think the best seats are as far away from the door and kitchen as possible. Only downside is those tables are even closer to "THE TV." The big screen TV is very offputting. I was listening to Frank Sinatra music and there was a mouse movie on the screen. Enough said.
Now on to the food which was quite good. Interesting, there was no bread service. We started with a bottle of wine and some appetizers:
*Chicken livers - this was amazing. The bread was excellent and needless to say if I could have I would have licked the plate!
*Grilled eggplant - the grilled eggplant was good. It was layered with spinach and roasted red pepper. I did not care for this dish. SO finished it off and may have had a different opinion.
*Scallops with sage - I ordered this because the sage combination sounded odd and sometimes dishes that sound odd are amazing. This was good. There were 5 generous scallops, cooked perfectly. I probably would not get this again. Scallops and grouper (see below) were accompanied by rice/risotto and some delicious summer fresh green beans.
*Grouper with grilled peaches and cherries. This was amazing. I did not want to share this with my SO. I wanted to give my scallops away so I could devour his grouper. One of the most creative fish dishes I have had in a long time. The fish was cooked perfectly. Simple, yet delicious.
We did not try any meat (I don't eat red meat) or pasta dishes. Based on my observation of the table next to us the lamb looked really good and nothing was left behind.
The desserts sounded traditional so we passed. We finished with espresso.
SO is a very patient man because I tried to eat all his grouper (delicious!), sometimes he couldn't hear me (the place is lively and small), I was annoyed with/distracted by "THE TV" AND in my restaurant critic mode. . . That said, we will definitely go back. 8 Tables Restaurant's website and a link to the recent Times Union post follow below.
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