Albany >Food & Dining > Barnsider Restaurant
480 Sand Creek Rd, Albany, NY | Directions 1220542.716421 -73.814200
Mon. - Sun. 4pm - 10pm
I have been eating at the Barnsider since it was in Colonie Center, and it served lunch. Each time our meals have been consistently good. Just one meal, I ordered the steak Teriyaki and it had been cut against the grain, and was tough. That is 1 time in 40 years. The steak is consistently delicious, the baked scallops are delicious, the prime rib is perfection. The salad is always crisp, the staff is constantly bringing out more salad and veggies and bread and everything you could possible want. I don't think there is a better restaurant in Albany.
Their clams casino rival only Chez Rene, when they were in business in Glenmont, and their food was the best, but they didn't have steak like the Barnsider. I only wish the Barnsider was still open for lunch. Also, the staff is on top of getting your meals and appetizers, drinks and dessert, without being intrusive. I don't know what happened to the meals of the people who gave a bad review, but 1 time in 40 years to have an off night is OK with me. I hope people who didn't like it, would consider giving it another try. Yes, it's expensive, but it is consistently good.
I will not be going back to this restaraunt – I was really exicited about going to the Barnsider for dinner for the first time. I had been to a retirement party there once (appentizers only) and liked the atmosphere and the appetizers. Whe we got there hubby ordered the prime rib w/Lobster casserole and I ordered the baked scallops. We started with the salad bar which was good, lots of crisp fresh veggies. And we also had the french onion soup, which we both liked. Then the main course came. My meal, a very hot pile of greasy tiny scallops that were covered in greasey breadcrumbs. I didn't eat much and didn't bother to take the leftovers home, it was that bad. Hubby said his prime rib was ok, though small, and that the lobster casserole was dry, tough and tasteless. Needless to say, we were dissapointed. I knew the place was pricey but I expected the food to be worth it - I was wrong. We tipped our waiter, who did a good job and said goodbye. We will not be going back. On another note, we visited Teagans Steak and Seafood in Rensselaer a week later. Their rime rib was awesome and the scallops were the big sea scallop kind (not those tiny scallops), and were cooked to perfection, for half the price of what the Barnsider charges. My husband said the prime rib at Teagans was much better than the prime rib at the Barnsider, as were my scallops. My next task is to give Teagans Stead and Seafood a great review!! That's my 2 cents!~
AWEFUL – first timer.............misserable food...........buffet dinner for a large group.........roast beef tough, basic salad, cold rolls, only a few roasted potatoes.........no side veggies.........dessert that was from a box i think....paid $40 and had to buy my soda for $3.75...........if a restaurant is going to cater to a large group for the first time.they should put their best foot and food forward.............this was NOT worth $40;;;;; i was very very disappointed...........i would never recommend this restaurant...........
Barnsider: We love this place! – My husband and I have eaten over 500 steaks at this place and it's excellent. You can smell the quality from the moment you pull into the parking lot.
The Barnsider has a full menu with many choices, from chicken and pasta to supreme steaks and seafood. Yet, we get the same thing almost every time. I am a Filet Mignon with berenaise fan. My husband loves a spicy cajun style sirloin with baked scallops. I admit, I'm quite finicky about how my streak is grilled. I order it medium rare and it's consitently done correctly every time. It's never dry or overdone, nor is it cold and dark red. It's so perfect I don't need to that bernaise that comes on the side. If you like it a little more pink than red, go with medium. if you aren't sure, ask your server. The waitstaff is second to none and they will know just how to order it to suit your needs.
For the first time this weekend, we ventured into appetizer land. We both like seafood and most of the appetizers are just that, except of course for tomato mozzarella and soups, which are also fantastic. We reccommend the clam chowder, and usually get that, but we were celebrating tonight, so we splurged a little and went with the Seafood Sampler for Two. It turned out to be an excellent choice. He likes shrimp and scallops. I really like clams casino and crab cakes. We both got what we wanted and for less than we would have spent each getting a full appetizer of our own!
The salad bar was the next step. we've learned to watch for a break in the action, which the salad bar attendent is also doing, then we make a dash for it, so does he! In the end we get first dibs on fresh items, like lettuce, cucumbers,carrots, olives, garbanzo beans, bacon and more. This salad bar is a rarety, so if you are considering another steak house in the area, think again. This is a well stocked salad bar, frequently refreshed, having homemade dressing, fresh baked breads and a huge "cut your own peice" cheese wedge. You really have to pace yourself because it comes with the meal and the meal portions are also plentiful, so save room!
The waistaff times your meal to come out shortly after clearing away your plates from the salad bar and replenishing your drinks. It's a well oiled machine the way this place works. We have never had to wait, wondering where's dinner. This is what we mean by excellence.
Try as you may, but you might need a doggie bag, because dessert is also worth it! The Barnsider has dessert specials and frequently serves this Swiss Chocolate Bread Pudding. It's to die for and if you can't finish it, it goes great with breakfast. there are many other items on the dessert menu such as an ice cream sundae, chocolate mouse cake, pies and often a hot apple crisp. Sometime there is a homemade strawberry shortcake that has hommade strawberry flavored biscuits. It's also out of this world.
As you can see, I can't say enough good things about the Barnsider. We've been going for 11 years. We are picky and they still amaze us. We just sit there after the meal and say "I love this place". We don't even live in Albany, but find it well worth the trip. Give it try, you won't be dissappointed.
Melissa and Ed Durant
Ballston Lake, NY
Great swordfish – had Ginger scallion marinated swordfish it was cooked perfectly we also had the pork chops I could not believe how big they were . I will be back
Bring a Blankie – The place was frigid where we were seated. No offer was made to move us to another table, even though the place was empty save for a table of four. Tried to eat with our cumbersome winter coats, which proved to be impossible. Butter didnt even melt on our baked potatoes. Left with a hefty bill for uneaten food. Never again.
Consistently Terrible – I had two bad experiences at the Barnsider. A couple of summers ago, I was served a completely un-chewable prime rib. I paid but came back the next day to talk to the manager. She said she thought she had comp'ed everybody who ordered rib. The cut of meat was so bad, she took the item off the menu by 8:00.
SEEMS TO HAVE BEEN AN OFF NIGHT. – I was in Albany to attend my family reunion, on July 18-21-2008, On Friday night we deceide to have a get together a night out before the reunion festivities began, and we chose the Barnsider Resturant, Actually, I talked every one into going to the Barnside, as it has been my favorite place to eat for many years. I was so disappointed I could have cried. After we were shown to our table, ( a couple of the family members were late) the hostess came over and asked is this all you have in your party? If so we are going to move you to a smaller table. I advised others were on the way. Before we ordered, separate checks were asked for the waiter(Ryan)acted as if he had never been so insulted in his life. After that it was all down hill. the shrimp was over cooked, the prime ribs not cooked enough, we were never asked if we wanted dessert or coffee, we had to ask for water, all in all not up to the Barnside standards I was used to. I don't think I will be visiting again, when ever I get back to Albany. Nor will I be recommending the Barnsider like I use to. This is the first time I have felt so disappointed about a resturant to leave a complaint.
Amazing Service, and great specials – I went to the Barnsider with my husband on a Friday night without reservations, and expected quite a wait. While we did wait around 20 minutes for a table, we did so in their comfy bar area, and had some free popcorn, cheese and crackers along with our drinks while we waited. Once seated, it took less than 20 seconds for them to be filling our water glasses, informing us about the specials, and offering to refresh our bar drinks. We were then left to look over the menu. We took some time making selections, but as soon as we closed the menus our waiter appeared to take our orders- twin lobstertails and steak for me, chicken florentine for him, with escargot to start.
The salad bar was typical, but did have rather nice fresh baked bread selections and delicious flavored olive oil selections (as well as balsamic vinegar or tabletop butter, if that's what you wanted.) The escargot came just as we were finishing the salads. Delicious snails in butter, and surprisingly not in garlic as is typical, but topped with lots of cheese and baked into almost a puff like texture. Yummy!
Dinner was perfectly cooked- my steak was the perfect temperature and the lobster wasn't overcooked and chewy, as typically occurs with broiled lobster tails. My hubby's chicken was THE BEST florentine he (and I) had had. LOTS of creamy sauce/cheese inside with the spinach. HUGE portions too. Desert was very tasty too- we had the peanut butter cup cheesecake to split.
I cannot comment enough about the superior service we received (3 waiters for our table!) While we did not have to wait at all for one course to be cleared away and the next presented, we also did not feel rushed. It seemed as if they were waiting around the corner for us to finish and put down the silverware, then they could get it out of the way and bring the next round.
2 glasses of wine/beer, appetizer, 2 dinners, and dessert/coffee cost only $83 (and that's with lobster and steak!) CAN'T BEAT IT!!!! We'll be back regularly.
Comfortable surroundings complement the beefeater bliss found at this Capital District steakhouse. – In Short
This voluminous building with high-vaulted rafters should be noisy and sterile. Instead, it's broken up with interior windows and Oriental-style carpets on the ground floor, resulting in a rough-hewn look that's comfortable. Aged steak fresh seafood and continental specialties keep this spot at the top of the Capital District's dinner list. Vegetables and dressings at the famous salad bar are fresh. Leave room for dessert like key-lime pie or Ghirardelli white and dark chocolate cake.
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