Justin Justin's
301 Lark St. (Madison Ave.)
Albany, NY 12210
Cuisine: Contemporary
Stay out late for the hoppin' jazz and seasonally evolving menu. Make reservations for the Savoy Room and be sure to spring for a Bloody Mary.
Openings: Lunch Mon.-Fri., Dinner nightly, Brunch Sat.-Sun.


Justin's, Albany, NY

Justin's Restaurant Review:

At the Madison Avenue end of Lark Street (known as Albany's funky strip) sits one of the city's most happening night-spots and one of its more popular eateries. While the Justin's bar is typically packed with an array of chummy politicians, bohos and rowdy grad students, the Caribbean- and Indonesian-inspired food never plays second fiddle. The café menu---with light fare such as Provincetown seafood chowder---is served in the bustling bar area until 1 a.m. Dinner in the Savoy Room, which is decorated with snazzy jazz paintings and wild vases, is a more elaborate affair. On Friday and Saturday nights, some of the region's hippest jazz cats heat up the front of the room; a Sunday brunch also features live jazz and some eccentric omelets. Do not miss the Bloody Marys, which are among the best in town. Justin's menu changes seasonally but look for tender ropa vieja and the three-alarm Cajun jumbo peppered shrimp. (Be sure to request the basket of gourmet hot sauces to accompany your breadbasket.) The daily pasta specials are always something to write home about and can often be rendered vegetarian, and the meal-in-itself Caesar salad packs a mean garlic wallop. An eclectic wine list---and a chatty waitstaff---top off the experience.

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