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Kent's Top Reviews:

Caffe Italia

Nishiki Sushi

Kay's Pizza




Van's Vietnamese

Food: 5 Forks!     Portion, Flavor, Freshness, Variety - all excellent

Service: 3.75 Forks

Atmosphere: 3.5 Forks

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 Shrimp Fresh Summer Rolls Combo Pho


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Com Thit Nuong (Grilled Pork)

Thai Chicken & Shrimp




Nishiki Sushi Japanese Restaurant

Nishiki Sushi is a new arrival to East Greenbush (Rensselaer) and I don't believe EG or the neighboring towns have had any or many sushi places, so we hope they are great, hope they do well, and are here to stay.

Upon entering we were instantly greeted and then shown to our table while we observed the small but newly-renovated and nicely decorated atmosphere.   There is a sushi bar which occupies most of the space that features a color-changing lighted front, as well as approximately a dozen tables for 2, 4, or 6 diners.

photo 4b

A server promptly appeared offering each person a warm towel that was individually wrapped, which was a nice touch, especially on a cold winter evening.  She then collected them after use and said she would return for drink orders.   The website & Menu is here:  Note, the menu has a 'hibachi entrees' section, but there are no hibachi tables for diners to sit at:  All entrees come from the kitchen or sushi bar.  This was different to see, but I decided to try the Hibachi Salmon Entree with a side order of Egg and Vegetable Hibachi Fried Rice. All 3 of my dining companions ordered different dinner bento boxes.  When I ordered the fried rice, the server asked if I still wanted the white rice which was included with Hibachi Entree.

While the server asked for our drink order, they explained that Nishiki offers a full liqour-wine-beverage selection.  We ordered Hot Tea and Hot Saki, along with our meals and we were glad that we ordered the tea.  The hot tea was a Japanese brown-rice green tea which tasted amazing.  The tea was served in a single cup, however the refills were plentiful and always timely, never reaching below a quarter-filled tea cup.   This goes for the water fills also.  The service was top notch and flawless, always around when needed, but not overbearing or hovering.  

First to arrive - the miso soup was hot, flavorful, and perfect and the salad was larger-than-normal with the typical Japanese ginger salad dressing.  We requested additional dressing which was promptly delivered and it was fresh and flavorful and great for dipping items we would recieve later.

The food arrived shortly after the salad and soup and the flavor and seasoning, price, portion, and presentation was 5 'forks' (stars) for my meal.  The taste of each bite of both the Hibachi entree and the fried rice was satisfying and perfect, for me.  The dinner bento boxes were tasty and nearly unable to be finished, certainly not skimpy.

During our visit, it was clear that there was sufficient staff on hand to cover the dining room and the never ending pickup order arrivals and phone calls.  The staff met each and every request of ours with speed and smiles, all while other servers often covered tables that weren't their own.

We were not rushed and had a perfect dinner and it was nice to see when the check arrived that there was no additional charges for things like the white rice, the drink refills, and the extra salad dressing.  During our departure, several staff thanked us for our visit and wished us a pleasant goodnight.  We will certainly return and recommend you give Nishiki a try too.

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 Hibachi Entree - Salmon Fried Rice - Egg & Vegetable Dinner Bento Box - Salmon Teriyaki



Oasis Mediterranean Cafe



 Oasis is relatively new in Albany and is located at 4 Deleware ave right near Lark Street and Madison Ave.   Oasis is small but clean, but is at times- very slow and a bit inconsistent.   I've visited many times.   The food always taste great, but the selection varies and sometimes the wait time for preparation seems like it takes longer than it should.  

During non-peak times, it appears that one person runs the entire show - taking phone calls and orders, ringing register, and cooking and prepping the meals.   If there is a crowd or a line, it could cause delays for you to get your food or to even place your order.

Seating is very limited, as there are two counters with a few high chairs and two small tables to sit at, so this is more of a stop-and-go or take out place, but is at a good location for that, especially near the lark street scene.

The menu is here and I would've probably given more forks for a rating if the review was based solely on food quality, portion, and flavor alone, but I have to factor in service, atmosphere, and rate the overall expierence which brings me to 3 forks. However, if you like mediterranean food, it is worth a trial visit.  

 Falafel  MixedGrill
 Falafel Platter  Mixed Grill Platter











Caffe Italia

After several recommendations from friends and co-workers, I finally had the opportunity to dine at Caffe Italia.   In short, it was quite possibly the best Italian meal I've ever had and certainly the best in Albany and without a doubt in my top 3 in the Capital District.

Service was top notch and nearly flawless and very accommodating, as they were willing to modify two of our entree orders, to our liking.

I ordered the special of the night Asparagus Appetizer, which was roasted asparagus wrapped with prosciutto, and finished with a butter garlic wine sauce. Very flavorful and cooked perfectly with the proper portion size. A dining companion of mine ordered the special-of-the-night soup, which was roasted red pepper puree with croutons and allowed me to taste.  I wish I had ordered it as it was one of the best soups I've had this wintertime.   I failed to get pictures for either of the starters, but would personally order both again when I return.

Each entree comes with a house salad which was served on a chilled plate.  A nice touch and the salad was very fresh and dressed well, with the choice of gorgonzola dressing with gorgonzola shavings for an additional charge.

The entrees got smiles and thumbs up from all four of us.  One ordered the Mussels special which came with an unbeatable pile of mussels, served prepared with your choice of red or white sauce.  Another ordered the Veal Rollatini which was executed perfectly and tasted heavenly.  Still another ordered the Chicken Sorrento, which had a portion size so big it was 3 meals and tasted great and cooked just right.  Lastly, I opted for Veal Mateo.  This isn't on the menu, but the Chicken Mateo was the special of the night, so I asked if I could have them make the switch.  A "certainly and a smile" was the answer for that request.  Our server also let me know that meal could always be ordered.

Parking is a breeze and free. The atmosphere is a small dining room size, making the meal and atmosphere feel cozy, along with nice table linens.  However, due to the number of tables in the dining room and the popularity, I recommend reservations, as all tables were filled the night I dined there. 

Caffe Italia is located at 662 Central Ave, Albany, NY and their phone number is (518) 459-8029, for reservations.

Menu Here:   See you there!

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Veal Rollatini Chicken Sorrento
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Veal Mateo