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This well kept secret nestled in Colonie deserves delicious mention. In truth, I'd planned to post this review much sooner but out-of-country travel crept up quicker than expected. But I digress...
Garden Bistro 24 is located on Central Avenue, about a half block East of the 155 & Central intersection. I call it a kept secret because you wouldn't notice it if you weren't looking for it, as it's set back in a strip mall next to Pizza Mare. The outside may seem unassuming, but when you walk in you find a charming restaurant that's decorated in warm earthy tones.
The staff is always friendly, accommodating, and conversational. For the longest time Garden Bistro 24 has been my "go to" restaurant on my ride home from work. Their menu is always fresh, and flavorful.
On this visit, I decided to indulge in a little of everything. I ordered the pumpkin bisque ($6) to start. It had a delicious maple flavor and was garnished with crunchy walnuts. The serving alone would probably constitute a meal's worth, but I wasn't done there. Next, I ordered the mussel frites ($16.50). Part of what makes these mussels exceptional is that you get a variety of cooking flavors to choose from (white wine, provencal, saffron tomato, and more). I chose the special of the week, a bacon, gorgonzola, spinach broth. It was absolutely divine, and the mussels were fresh as always. I will say, though, that the mussels looked to be a bit smaller than I'm used to them being, and I find that the frites are really superflous to the dish. Last, but certainly not least, came dessert. I always find myself caught between the creme brulee and crepe freezzaffi. On this visit, I chose the latter. The crepe freezzaffi ($6.50) is filled with a warm hazlenut chocolate, and fresh bananas.
The meal was delectable as always. It can be on the pricey side, but well worth it in my eyes. One tip I will give is to aim for their "specials" menu. This menu changes every other Friday, and showcases fresh, seasonal foods. Not discounting their regular menu, but when you compare the two side by side, the standard menu seems plain in comparison to the complex, and adventurous flavors you'll find amongst their specials. In this foodie's opinion, you don't go to Garden Bistro for their standard menu; you go for their seasonal menu.