At Guilderland’s Josie’s Table Restaurant in Stuyvesant Plaza, You’ll Eat Well

Jul 9 / Restaurant News

GUILDERLAND — Pull up a seat at Josie’s Table — you’ll eat very well.

Husband Eric and I just returned from a short trip to the Adirondacks with family and had a few dinners out, at charming seasonal or log-cabin-type places. We enjoyed the food and thought it was very good.

Then we went to Josie’s Table in Stuyvesant Plaza and realized theirs was a whole other kind of good.

The food we enjoyed at Josie’s was crafted with thoughtfulness and great care.

Josie’s Table, which opened in January 2022, replaced Provence Restaurant & Wine Bar. Josie’s continues the tradition of upscale dining in the plaza.

The interior is sleek and modern, with a white/black/beige color scheme, wood tables and comfortable mid-century style chairs. The waiters’ uniforms are black and professional-looking. I was glad I wore something a little dressy.
“This is pretty nice,” observed Eric.

The concept is farm-to-table cuisine with a focus on local, organic and seasonal ingredients, according to the restaurant’s website.

Instead of appetizers, the category is “to share.” There are oysters (six for $17 or $3 each), which change due to availability; deconstructed Mexican street corn ($16) with cotija cheese and cilantro crema; and maple fried Brussels sprouts ($14) with goat cheese, bacon, maple syrup and candied walnuts. Salads feature braised beets ($13), burrata ($15) and grilled Little Gem lettuce ($14), among others.

Entrees are “large plates.” Have a burger with fries ($20) — at Josie’s it’s Kilcoyne Farms beef from Hudson Falls. There’s herb-encrusted salmon ($30) and a 10-ounce, New England grass-fed ribeye with truffled fries, asparagus and garlic butter ($45).

Then there’s pizza. I saw a gorgeous Margherita ($18) pie carried out, with lots of red sauce and a thin crust. Eric considered getting the chicken alfredo ($22) pizza with grilled chicken, garlic spinach, grape tomatoes, mushrooms, chives and parmesan alfredo sauce.

The wine list is simple, with several wines by the glass in each category. “Other whites” includes Barefoot white zinfandel, which made me roll my eyes until I remembered my friend who will only drink white zinfandel. Points to Josie’s for offering it.

There were plenty of other wines, with their vintages, for oenophiles: pinot noirs from California and Oregon; plenty of beefy California cabs for big spenders; and a selection of organic wines — rosé, sauvignon blanc, pinot grigio, malbec.

I had a glass of tart Echo Bay sauvignon blanc from New Zealand ($10); Eric had a “marvelous martini” ($12).

We started with an order of baked pimento cheese ($14) to share, which we heartily recommend. The grilled sourdough, with a bit of butter or oil, was sliced into handy pieces for dipping. It was crispy and crackly, airy and slightly tangy.

The pimento cheese was cooked until it blistered, forming a light crust over the creamy spread. It was out of this world, with a zesty, unidentifiable zing. It had both tang and kick.

“Wow, this is good,” said Eric, spooning more cheese over another piece of sourdough toast.

It was creamy, with some cheese pulls. The few purple threads on top were beet microgreens, tiny but with a punch of flavor. We used all the bread, then our forks, to finish the cheese. “Boy, was that good,” said Eric.

When I saw the care that went into making up the platter, I knew we’d be ordering dessert.

Josie’s reminded me why it’s worth spending more on ingredients. Their free-range half chicken breast ($28) was made with Murray’s chicken, which is far and away more tender and flavorful than the supermarket stuff I usually buy.

It was boneless, too — a neat chef’s trick — and pan-seared until the skin was crisp and dark brown. The word that popped into my mind with the first bite was “fond.” The caramelized bits left in the pan after cooking are worth their weight in gold, and Josie’s knows it. The meat is served with a light pan sauce. It needs no salt or pepper. It’s just right.

There were plenty of fresh herbs, notably thyme, on this beautiful chicken. I could cut it with the side of a fork, and when I finished the sauce on the plate there was additional juice that came from the meat.

I saved a portion and sliced it up the next day to make a sandwich with lettuce on a chewy, flour-dusted roll from Nino’s bakery in Albany. The chicken looked moist and beautiful, and carried all the flavor from the pan with it.

Besides the chicken were sautéed mushrooms, several kinds, quartered, sliced and chopped; and grilled asparagus spears. It was a lovely plate, and brought to mind the final exam in a basic food-prep course, where you start with a whole chicken and end up with a sautéed breast and pan sauce. If it’s done this well, it’s an A+.

Eric’s scallops and pasta ($30) had a rich, creamy sauce whose sweetness came from roasted corn. The linguine tasted fresh, and the chorizo slices added salt and some delicious flavor. The halved grape tomatoes added color. The scallops had a mahogany sear and looked like the U10 size, which means there are fewer than 10 in a pound.

“Boy, that was good,” said Eric as he put down his fork. We agreed: It’s an impressive dish, well worth the price. “I’d buy it again,” he added.

The desserts are specially made for Josie’s. We shared a bijoux cream cheesecake ($9) with fruit and whipped cream and raspberry coulis, and it was phenomenal. It was light and creamy with a hint of vanilla, and the graham cracker crust fell apart in our mouths.

So yes, the dessert was as satisfying as the appetizer, a fitting end to an indulgent meal.

“I like this place,” Eric decided. I did, too.

The tab for our food, with tax and 20% tip, came to $104.98. Service was skilled and efficient.

“We should eat out at places like this more often,” Eric said. Really, life is short. Pack in as much flavor as possible.

Josie’s Table

  • WHERE: 1475 Western Ave., Albany (Stuyvesant Plaza); (518) 689-7777;
  • WHEN: 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 5 to 9 p.m. Monday to Thursday; 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 5 to 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for Sunday brunch
  • HOW MUCH: $104.98 for food, with tax and tip
  • MORE INFO: Credit cards: Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover. Lots of parking in Stuyvesant Plaza lot. Reservations accepted, recommended for the weekend. ADA compliant. Children’s menu.