Liz Israel, general manager of the Inn at Saratoga, said, “We wanted our guests to feel they were stepping back in time here, like in a classic movie. It’s a neat experience.”
With the help of local artist Bud Milks, the dining room and The Side Room have been beautifully appointed with Victorian-era furnishings and a touch of Edwardian gilt. The ballroom is nearing completion, as are some of the 42 rooms, with those renovations ongoing.
The Side Room restaurant has been transformed into cozy elegance, with a working fireplace, a 1912 Steinway working player piano, furniture circa 1890 from New York City’s Waldorf Astoria, and antique bookcases filled with a combination of classic fiction and elevated thought.
“People are welcome to sit and read, or play cards or board games, maybe even work on a puzzle in front of the fireplace,” said Israel.
The tufted, red velvet bench seating, sofa, and intimately-arranged tables and chairs are perfect to relax with a friend and a Gentleman’s Tea, which includes filet mignon and brisket sliders, truffle fries, cheese and charcuterie, desserts and more in the old English tradition. Or, enjoy the ambiance with coffee and a laptop with free wireless.
“We found so much doing the work,” said Israel. “It turns out those big windows here in The Side Room are really pocket doors that go out onto the front patio. We’ll have them operating for the summer. And those gold rosette medallions on the ceiling? They were crafted from pieces found in the Marvin, Sackett, Todd house on Franklin Square.”
The menu has had a facelift, too. In addition to the Gentleman’s Tea, diners can enjoy a fine meal of Filet Mignon, Coq Au Vin, or Roasted Vegetables Napoleon, as well as upscale tavern dishes.
The new, hand-crafted cocktail menu is literary-inspired. Try the Persephone, a vodka, St. Germaine, rosemary and pomegranate seed drink with a dash of seltzer. Or The Sleuth (a nod to Chandler’s “The Big Sleep”) or the Light in August (for Faulkner).
The Tavern is open for Happy Hour from 4 to 7 p.m. daily, and The Side Room is open for dinner from 5 to 9 p.m. daily, but the room is open all day to relax, visit, or browse the Internet on your laptop. Full breakfast buffets and lunch options are available to hotel guests, as well. For more information about dining, catering, weddings or other events, call 518- 583-1890 or visit www.theinnatsaratoga.com.