Village Pizzeria & Ristorante expands into former Good Times restaurant


Village Pizzeria & Ristorante, located at 2727 Rt. 29 in Middle Grove, will take over the former Good Times Lakeview Restaurant at 175 Lake Rd. in Ballston Lake. While refurbishment is still in the planning stages, Village Pizzeria owner Sandra Foster confirmed that her team will be going lakeside at this second location. 

“The new menu will be an abbreviated but similar version of our Village Pizzeria menu,” she said. “Then we’ll see exactly what the people in the area request. The building and grounds need a lot of attention, so that will be our first agenda. It is a beautiful spot that needs fresh new ideas, and we are all onboard with the project.”

Foster’s family opened the Village Pizzeria & Ristorante in Middle Grove in 1988. Featuring northern Italian cuisine and an award-winning wine cellar, the eatery offers customers a pairing of food and wine that tantalizes taste buds. The family educates and informs customers with regular wine tastings and other charitable social gatherings that often revolve around a love of wine.

Stay tuned for more on the new location. 


Good Morning Café hosts fundraiser this weekend May 3-5 to send two Capital Region kids to diabetes camp

Good Morning Café in Ballston Spa invites everyone for breakfast or lunch this weekend, May 3-5. A percentage of the sales from all three days will be used to fund camp scholarships to send two Capital Region kids to Diabetes Camp Aspire near Rochester. In addition, Good Morning will be launching the retail sale of its homemade granola. For all of 2013, 5 cents from every granola sale, both from the menu and retail, will be allocated to The Good Health Fund at www.goodmorningbreakfast.com. The Good Health Fund for 2013 supports diabetes education and programs. 

The weekend fundraiser is being spearheaded by 16-year-old Adam Kaddo Marino, who has been living with diabetes for six years. His experience at Camp Aspire was life-changing. 

Camp Aspire provides a safe, medically staffed respite for the families of Type 1 diabetics. Families can relax for an entire week knowing that their child is in good hands.

Going to diabetes camp gave Marino a reprieve from feeling different. At camp, there is a complete contrast of what normally happens in the world. The program staff actually gets teased for not being diabetic.

Marino now wants to help other kids with Type 1 diabetes benefit from the weeklong camp adventure by promoting this fundraising weekend at Good Morning. Marino and his family will be present for much of the weekend. His dad, Clem, will be performing acoustic music Friday and Sunday. Live music will be provided all three days. Check out Good Morning’s Facebook page for times and performers: www.facebook.com/GoodMorningCafeLLC.

Plus, Friday between 6 p.m. and 9 p.m., Good Morning will be hosting its debut Ballston Spa First Friday event. Local artists will be displaying their original artwork. Ugandan arts and crafts will be sold as a fundraiser. Food and live music will be available.  It will be a good evening to check out Good Morning.



Bella Nani Salon & Spa open in Ballston Spa

Bella Nani Salon &  Spa - Ballston Spa, NY 
The Bella Nani Salon & Spa has opened its newly renovated day spa in the Village of Ballston Spa. The salon offers full hair care, nail services, waxing, massage and makeup-application services. 

Owners Kimberly Krizan and Laurie O’Neil-Puckette are Burnt Hills natives who chose to locate Bella Nani Salon & Spa in Ballston Spa, based on its ease of access, quaintness and charm.

Krizan has been working professionally since 2004 and specializes in nail artistry. She is also one of the founding members of Top Hat Entertainers, a group that performs song and dance routines for the elderly. O’Neil-Puckette has owned several small businesses, and is known as a leading business manager as well as an experienced sales and marketing professional.

Bella Nani Salon & Spa is located at 132 Milton Ave., and can also be found at http://bellanani.com and on Facebook.



The Crown Grill holds grand opening party; Circus Café celebrates ninth anniversary


Crown Grill Saratoga Springs NY  
Christel and Colin MacLean, owners of Circus Café, have announced the grand opening of The Crown Grill will be Wednesday, May 1. This is also Circus Café’s ninth anniversary. In honor of this double-header, Circus Café and The Crown Grill will each donate 50 percent of their proceeds from that day to Double H Ranch and SaratogaArtsFest. 

The fun will begin at 5 p.m. at both restaurants with hors d’oeuvres, cocktails/drink specials and music by D.J. Trumaster. The Crown Grill will feature bite-size hors d’oeuvres representing tastes of the menu; Circus Café will be open for regular lunch and dinner service featuring its new spring menus. The celebration will continue all weekend from 4 p.m. at The Crown Grill Bar with craft cocktails complimented by small-plate tasting menus. On Saturday, May 4, the bar will open at 2 p.m. with Kentucky Derby drink specials. Full lunch and dinner service will begin on Monday, May 6 at 11:30 a.m.

Some items on the menu at The Crown Grill are a selection of appetizers including brie, caramelized peach and grilled red onion on mini crostini; and mozzarella fritti featuring fresh mozzarella and prosciutto pinwheels with homemade fig chutney. Entrees include gnocchi al pomodoro, ancho chili citrus rubbed skirt steak, delmonico steak, wild Scottish salmon, Thai curry scallops and a locally sourced roasted vegetable plate. Dessert selections include a classic crème brulee and a handmade chocolate flourless cake with Hawaiian sea salt. The bar will have a custom cocktail list with signature drinks including The Crown Manhattan and Crown Grill negroni. All the cocktails will feature unique aspects, ranging from the spirits used to the style of the cocktail, the glassware and even the ice itself. In addition, there will be an extensive whiskey list from around the world. A combination of craft, domestic and imported beers will also be offered. The wine list will have an array of wines by the glass and by the bottle with a wide range of prices offering something for everyone.

The Crown Grill has been in the making since March 2013 when the MacLeans sold their shares of Sperry’s, bought the majority shares of Circus Café and then bought the former Russo’s space. 

“The Crown Grill will be upscale-casual, and will offer guests a separate and distinct dining experience from Circus Café,” said Colin MacLean. “The Crown Grill will have more of a Polo Ralph Lauren feel with rich fabrics from London, gorgeous chandeliers, decorative wall coverings, leather booths/banquettes and ambient lighting.”

A specially commissioned mural will be created in the bar space; a custom installation in the back room will celebrate Saratoga 150. While there is a pocket door connecting the two dining rooms, it will be open primarily for big events, and large corporate and private parties. The Crown Grill is now accepting reservations and requests for catering events and private parties. 

The Crown Grill is located at 390 Broadway. For reservations, call 583-1105. Circus Café is located at 392 Broadway. For reservations there, call 583-1106. Web site addresses are: www.crowngrillsaratoga.com and www.circuscafe.com



The Project Management Certification Program to be offered July 9-12 at SUNY Albany

Project management professionals, business and technology professionals, students and educators are invited to the Institute of Project Management America’s Project Management Certification (PMC) program to develop their technical careers.

The skills developed in the program apply to large and small projects; product design and development efforts; construction projects; IT projects; software development; and any project with critical performance, time and budget targets. The institute said its approach to project management education offers proven, results-focused learning.

Courses are developed and facilitated by professional subject experts with extensive industrial experience. Course emphasis is on providing practical skills and tools supported by relevant case examples.

The PMC serves as both a thorough professional education and a recognized certification. Those seeking additional credentials such as the PMI Continuing Certification Requirements Program’s Project Management Professional (PMP)/PgMP, PMI-SP and PMI-RMP will benefit from this dynamic and interactive work session, while those currently holding credentials will find the certification to be an enhancement as well as the most up-to-date advanced professional development.  

The Project Management Certification program provides 36 hours of project management education, meeting education requirements for both PMI's Certified Associate in Project Management (CAPM) and PMP certifications. Additionally, the Master Certification offers Professional Development Units (PDUs) for current holders of PMP/PgMP, PMI-SP and PMI-RMP credentials. 

Tuition for the four-day Project Management Certification program is $995.

Register at the Institute of Project Management America by calling the Program Office at 888-980-9697.

--Jennie Grey


Original Chorus Line cast member and Pilates master level instructor comes to Reform Pilates

Reform: A True Pilates Studio 

Trish Garland Pilates

Trish Garland, who created the role of Judy Turner in A Chorus Line and received the prestigious Drama Desk Award, is now a level 2 master Romana’s Pilates instructor. From 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Monday, May 6, Garland will give a free talk about the aging spine and teach a free Pilates mat class at Reform Pilates. Donations will be collected to raise money for a local woman battling cancer.
Garland will discuss her work with Romana Kryzanowska, successor to Joseph Pilates, as well as teaching body mechanics and exercises attendees can use in their daily lives. Following the presentation, there will be a free mat class in exchange for the donation. All levels of Pilates experience are welcome.

Private Pilates sessions with Garland are also available from May 6 through May 8.

"Trish is a true inspiration to work with,” said Meghan Del Prete, owner of Reform Pilates. “Beyond her amazing resume as a professional dancer, she has charisma and a passion for teaching Pilates that allows her to bring out the best in her students.”

Reform: A True Pilates Studio offers private and semi-private instruction as well as small group classes in a light-filled studio fully equipped with Gratz Apparatus, state-of-the-art training equipment. All the trained instructors have been certified by Romana's Pilates at True Pilates NY. This gives the studio the advantage of keeping the integrity of the Pilates method pure, as it was taught by Joseph Pilates and handed down to Romana Kryzanowska. The studio boutique offers Pilates and yoga workout apparel, including lucy and other high-quality name brands, and has a selection of Pilates books, DVDs and workout accessories.

Call Reform Pilates at 871-1315 or go to www.reformyourbody.com. The studio is at 18 Division St., Ste. 203.

For more information about Trish Garland Pilates, go to www.trishgarlandpilates.com.


White Teeth Spa opens in downtown Saratoga Springs

White Teeth Spa, a boutique cosmetic dental spa specializing in state-of-the-art smile and beauty services, is now open at 3 Spring Street, just in time for prom and gala season.

Envisioned by seasoned cosmetic dentist Sharon Pattendien, White Teeth Spa provides everything you need to enhance your look and brighten your smile, but in a relaxing, resort-style setting unlike a traditional dental office.

“White Teeth Spa combines cutting-edge dental technology with the ambiance and level of sophistication found in the finest luxury day spas,” she said. “I am thrilled to bring this unique service to Saratoga Springs.”

The services are simple, yet highly advanced, featuring Zoom Whitening, heralded for its low-sensitivity characteristics and unparalleled results (an eight-times brighter smile in just four 15-minute sessions); porcelain Vivaneer application, an elegant and painless smile-enhancing procedure; Botox treatment for gummy smiles; and dermal fillers for softening signs of aging on facial skin. With 26 years of general and cosmetic dentistry experience, it’s no surprise that Pattendien is also offering routine cleanings and will customize take-home whitening trays.

The in-house Aveda makeup artist at White Teeth Spa is certainly an unexpected perk, especially for special occasions. White Teeth Spa also offers group packages for bridal parties and a 5 percent discount for special events, such as proms and graduations, which are just around the corner.

“I want my clients to look and feel their best every day, and a sparkling, healthy smile is the ultimate confidence-booster,” Pattendien said.

Pattendien launched White Teeth Spa in partnership with investor Louis Ferrari, a local thoroughbred owner. She previously provided specialty whitening procedures in luxury spas in Manhattan; San Francisco; and Greenwich, CT.

For more information about White Teeth Spa or to schedule an appointment, call 538-3067.


Saratoga Olive Oil Co. celebrates second anniversary with exchange event

Join Saratoga Olive Oil Co. in an extra virgin exchange to celebrate its second anniversary in Saratoga Springs and its first anniversary in Burlington, Vt.

The company asks shoppers: Do you have Bertolli, Carapelli or Colavita olive oil in your kitchen cabinet? Now is the time to switch them out for real extra virgin olive oil. Say good-bye to your old, adulterated, mass-produced oils, and trade them in for oils that help prevent heart disease, Alzheimer's and cancer.

Saturday, April 27, you can receive 50 percent off 375mL bottles of the company’s award-winning varietal extra virgin when you turn in a bottle of inferior oil. Limit one per customer.

Also, the company’s prize wheel is back! With purchase of a six-pack of oil, get a chance to spin the prize wheel. Free tastings all day every day!


Saratoga Olive Oil

Just a Pinch Recipes awards Ballston Spa cook blue ribbon for inventive cheesecake recipe


Ballston Spa home cook Beth Ferrell recently won a blue ribbon from Just a Pinch Recipes for her chocolate-covered peanut butter cheesecake squares. She served up a full-flavored dish that was both tasty and easy to prepare, according to Just a Pinch Food Editor Janet Tharpe.

Founded in 2010, Just a Pinch Recipes is a recipe and coupon social network for home cooks at www.justapinch.com. The network offers free memberships and premium perks.

"This recipe just happened while I was standing in the grocery store,” Ferrell said. “My husband was craving a snack and couldn't quite pick something. I asked him to describe what he wanted, and he said chocolate graham-cracker-type bottom, creamy peanut-butter middle and chocolate on the top, so I came up with the recipe."

Ferrell is one of 48 Ballston Spa residents sharing recipes with the social network, which in just two years has become the largest database of user-posted recipes anywhere, Tharpe said. On the site, users can post their own family-tested and –approved recipes, and try recipes submitted by others. Cooks can also use a menu planner and grocery list, create custom cookbooks, print hundreds of grocery coupons, enter recipe contests and join discussion groups.

They may also use Pinch It, a robust site feature that lets users capture and share recipes from virtually anywhere online with a simple click, and seamlessly integrate them into their digital recipe boxes. These features let home cooks build relationships virtually, as if they are sitting around one big kitchen table.

"We continually add new features to the club based on the feedback of our members," Tharpe said. "It's because of people like Beth Ferrell, who is proud to share her family's favorite recipes with other home cooks, that the club has become so popular and is growing so fast."



Saratoga Chem-Dry carpet-cleaners make deep cleaning a green reality

It’s time to shed the dark, cold days of winter and welcome the fresh days of spring. For many people, the long winter months are spent trapped inside, which takes a toll on their carpet. Dirt, dust and contaminants are pushed deep into the rug, far beyond the reach of the typical home vacuum. You can start this spring with a healthy, deep clean from the professionals at Saratoga Chem-Dry.

A common misconception among homeowners is that their carpets need to be cleaned only when they look dirty. However, by the time the dirt is visible, your carpets are beyond filthy. It is essential to extract harmful pollutants before they affect your family’s health.

Chem-Dry’s revolutionary hot water cleaning solution, the Natural, uses ingredients emulated from Mother Nature to obtain a gentle and safe clean. Utilizing the power of carbonation, millions of tiny effervescent bubbles are generated to penetrate deep within the carpet fibers. Dirt and stains dissolve quickly, and are lifted to the surface ready for extraction.

Unlike other carpet-cleaning products, the Natural contains no soaps, detergents or other harsh chemicals, leaving your carpet safe for children and pets. Industry research shows that routine carpet maintenance is healthiest when the cleaned carpet is completely dry and ready for use in within 24 hours. Chem-Dry’s unique process uses approximately one-fifth to one-tenth of the moisture that conventional steam cleaners use, leaving your carpets dry in less than two hours.

Chem-Dry’s hot carbonation extraction process has been awarded the Carpet & Rug Institute’s Seal of Approval, proving Chem-Dry’s dedication to quality products. For more information, call 583-6699 or visit www.saratogachemdry.com.
Chem-Dry is owned by Steve Waters from Ballston Spa, who has been operating his franchise in the community for 14 years.



Retina specialist Dr. Amjad Hammad to move practice to Malta

Saratoga Vitreo-Retinal Ophthalmology, PLLC 

Ophthalmologist and retina specialist Dr. Amjad Hammad, a leading expert in retina surgery, will move his private practice from Saratoga Springs to Malta, where he will build a new office. The business’s name will remain the same: Saratoga Vitreo-Retinal Ophthalmology. He will break ground on the Malta practice in a ceremony Friday, April 19, at 3 p.m.

“I’m excited to be expanding in Saratoga County,” Hammad said. “Malta is a growing area, and the new practice will be extremely easy for patients to find, right off exit 13S at the corner of Route 9 South and Malta Avenue Extension. We’ll be able to conveniently serve our patients from the north and make it even easier for our patients coming from the south.”

Hammad saw a need in the community to expand his specialized services.

“By having a larger facility, I will not only be able to personally serve more patients, but also to bring in additional highly trained retina specialists,” Hammad said. “We will be able to accommodate more patients without sacrificing the high customer service standards we have set in our practice.”

ABAR Construction and 3T Architects will work on the project. Hammad anticipates opening in the new location by late fall.

The ophthalmologist is an internationally recognized retina specialist treating patients with diseases such as age-related macular degeneration, retinal detachment, diabetic retinopathy and macular edema. He strives to educate his patients about their ocular diseases and treatment process.

Of the nation’s 870,000 active physicians, 5 percent consistently receive top scores from patients. This year, Hammad is among the select few honored with the prestigious Patients’ Choice Award, which he has received five years in a row.

"I'm so gratified to receive an award based on how my patients view my quality of care,” he said. “I try each day to exceed patients’ expectations, and I’m grateful they’ve recognized my efforts.” 

Visit www.SaratogaRetina.com or call 580-0553.


The Downtown Business Association announces its 2013-2015 election results


At its general meeting March 20, the Downtown Business Association held its annual elections for volunteer positions. Re-elected were President Jeff Clark of Ameriprise Financial, Vice President Tim Holmes of Wheatfields and Treasurer Rich Richbart of Spa.Net. John Reardon of Compliments to the Chef was newly elected secretary.

Re-elected for a second two-year term were Jasper Alexander of Hattie’s, Linda Johansen of Adirondack Trust Co., Matt McCabe of Saratoga Guitar, Richard Mullaney of Mullaney Law Offices and Maddy Zanetti of Impressions of Saratoga.

New two-year-term board of directors members are Linda Ambrosino of G. Willikers, Clark Brink of McDonald’s of South Broadway and Joyce Ure of Cudney’s Cleaners.

Midterm board members who are serving one more year are Fran Dingeman of The Jockey 101.3 and Paul O’Donnell of Celtic Treasures.



Capital Region gets its first certified professional lice removal service

Miracles on Lice, a new family-owned and -operated lice removal business offers home-based salons in Mechanicville and Ballston Lake. The company focuses on eliminating lice while educating the Capital Region on the use of safe products combined with the most effective treatment methods for maximum treatment results. Employees called Miracles on Lice Angels are professionally trained and certified in the Shepherd Method of strand-by-strand removal, the most thorough procedure available to remove lice. Lice Angels will set every client at ease as they walk each through the treatment procedure, answering any questions. 

According to the company, lice infestation is a trying problem and quickly becomes a costly, time-consuming procedure for families to tackle independently. Children who become infested often miss school, and parents may miss work while treating the issue. Statistics show 85 percent of parents can’t eliminate the pests because lice are showing increased resistance to over-the-counter products and prescription medicines. Many of these products contain pesticides, which can also be dangerous if not used properly. Miracles On Lice provides parents with safe alternatives, letting them get their lives back to normal and children back in school within 24 hours of being treated.
The company is successful because its team believes it is important to take the time to do things right. Never rushing the process, staff members examine paper-thin sections of hair, making sure to examine each and every strand as well as the entire scalp. They believe in treating once and incorporating follow-up visits to ensure their customers are lice- and nit-free. 

Miracles on Lice also conducts educational presentations, as well as head checks for schools, daycares and summer camps.

To read a recent testimonial, and learn more about Miracles on Lice and its services, call 937-0688 or visit miraclesonlice.com.


Javier’s restaurant opens for lunch this week

As part of a soft opening, Javier’s, the nuevo Latino restaurant owned by New York City maitre d’ Javier Rodriguez, will begin lunch service next week. The eatery will offer ceviche, empanadas and tacos, as well as steaks, fish, salads and sandwiches. Healthier options also will be offered.

The menu features salt and pepper fried whole branzino, which is Mediterranean sea bass, and paella, which is a rice, meat and vegetable dish. Dessert includes tres leches, which is cake soaked in three kinds of milk: evaporated, condensed and whole. It’s a light cake, not soggy, despite being soaked in those three kinds of milk.

The restaurant, in the 17 Maple Ave. space that was formerly home to 28 Tables and Metro, will serve lunch from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday and Friday and brunch from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday. Lunch will be served Monday through Friday from April 22 until the liquor license is approved, after which dinner service will be added.


The Brook Tavern open for business

The Brook Tavern - Saratoga Springs, NY 

The Brook Tavern at 139 Union Ave. held its grand opening Sunday, with complimentary samples from the menu and help for Saratoga Sponsor-a-Scholar, to which owner Bob Lee donated 50 percent of his bar proceeds. Although the tavern is new, Lee is not new to the business, being one of the family that has owned the Wishing Well restaurant at 745 Saratoga Rd., Wilton, for 45 years.

“We are fortunate to have a loyal clientele at the Wishing Well,” Lee said. “We look forward to serving new diners on Union Avenue.”

Patrick Longton, executive chef of the Wishing Well, developed the new menu, which features some variations of that restaurant’s items. The Brook Tavern menu also includes salads, small plates, flatbreads, and such entrees as grilled New York strip steak and Faroe Islands salmon. Hours will be 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

The Brook Tavern was previously home to The Turf Club, The Springwater Inn and Springwater Bistro.

Contact the restaurant at 871-1473 or www.facebook.com/TheBrookTavern. 


Saratoga Farmers’ Market opens May 1 at High Rock Park pavilions

Saratoga Farmers' Market 

Saratoga Farmers’ Market will open at the High Rock Park pavilions Wednesday, May 1, providing local residents and tourists the chance to buy local from more than 50 regional farms and other producers. The market’s opening festivities for the outdoor season are scheduled for Saturday, May 4, and will include live music and other special activities. Affiliated markets in Malta and Clifton Park will open in June and July.

The market is presently finishing up a successful indoor season at Division Street School, where weekly Saturday markets with 25 vendors will continue to be held on April 20 and 27 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Once outside, the Saratoga Farmers’ Market will operate twice a week from May through the end of October at High Rock Park: Wednesdays from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

This season’s Saratoga market will offer a range of fresh food, including vegetables, fruit, mushrooms, meat, poultry, eggs, baked goods, fresh and frozen prepared foods, beverages, peanut butter, honey, jam, yogurt, cheese and milk, as well as plants, flowers, handicrafts and knife-sharpening.

The Malta Farmers’ Market will be open Tuesdays from
3 p.m. to 6 p.m. beginning June 4 near the Malta Community Center on Route 9 just south of Bayberry Drive.

The Clifton Park Farmers’ Market will be open Thursdays from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. beginning July 11 in the parking lot of St. George’s Church, 912 Route 146 near the intersection of Moe Road.

Saratoga Farmers’ Market Association maintains a producer-only standard for all its markets, requiring vendors to grow or produce their goods in Saratoga, Schenectady, Rensselaer or Washington counties to ensure products are fresh and unique, not bought for resale. The market does make a few exceptions to this rule for foods not available locally. By adhering to the local standard, the market makes sure sales provide economic, ecological and social support to local communities.

More information is available via www.saratogafarmersmarket.org, as well as Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.