Best NEW Restaurant within past 12 months
We love this category because it proves that you do not have to be in business for years to garner some great recognition. Good food is good food no matter how long the brick and mortar has been around. Chef Mike Niccoli’s menu walks the line between Mediterranean and Modern Italian…
Hi Kim, Just wanted to thank you so much for last week! We already are promoting our next one on 10/12 and are excited to bring more people in the space. As we discussed, we would be comfortable with you also promoting the event (I’ve attached our logo) via social media, providing the language makes clear the event is for LGBTQ women. We appreciate your support!
– Lauren Simone (Programs Supervisor, Pride Center of the Capital Region)
Wood-fired pizza and house-made pasta on the menu at new Albany restaurant
Mike Niccoli and Kim Baker are serving wood-fired pizza and small plates at Restaurant Navona, the neighborhood restaurant they opened last week on New Scotland Avenue in Albany, New York.
Dear Kim and Mike,
We are writing to thank you and your wonderful staff for the extraordinary hospitality, exquisite food and superb service Navona provided on the very special occasion of the rehearsal dinner for our son, Dave, and his fiancé, Erica. It is not often in life that we get the opportunity to host on the occasion of a family wedding, which has to qualify as among the most important life events ever. We cannot thank you enough for all you did to make this a tremendous celebration in every way.
The food was fabulous. From the bountiful appetizers — that were not only delicious but works of art — to the salad and great bread to Mike’s perfectly prepared entrees, the meal was a delight. It earned raves from the many foodies in the wedding party. One young man, who is a native of Florence, Italy, could not say enough about your pasta with beef ragu. Another — named Giovanni — said your pizzas, which we served as one of the hot appetizers, were among the best he has ever had. My fish, mussels and sausage was perfectly prepared and that is not easy to ensure when you are serving a crowd of 30-plus. Our guests who are vegans truly appreciated the cauliflower entrée and the specially prepared pizzas.
We were honored that Kim led the service herself, which was of a caliber rarely experienced — polished, professional and a step ahead of the slightest need. As just one example, Kim took pains to see that the wedding party’s gifts were brought forward at just the right moment while seamlessly ensuring a birthday candle on the dessert for our son-in-law, whose special day coincided with the rehearsal dinner. The bar and table service was great. Your careful advance planning, to ensure it was an enjoyable evening that at the same time did not run too late into the evening, delivered completely.
Navona’s back room with the fireplace is a beautiful space that was enhanced by all the care you put into extra touches: the gray tablecloths, the sparkling lights and candles, and the LOVE sculpture along with the other beautiful décor and fall mums. With such outstanding food, hospitality, service and ambiance, Navona is very deservedly thriving under your ownership.
Truly, we experienced a magical evening, one that perfectly communicated the love and sense of celebration we all felt. Thank you for everything you did to make it perfect.
– Deb and Bob Ward
Restaurant review: Restaurant Navona in Albany
When an executive chef and hotel general manager run off into the sunset with plans of their own, it’s a bit like the dish running away with the spoon. I can’t say how it worked out for the Century House in Latham, but for its former chef Mike Niccoli and his wife, Kim Baker, the result is Restaurant Navona. For that, New Scotland Avenue in Albany can breathe a sigh of relief.
Hi Kim, I’ve been meaning to write since our party last week. Thinking about it now…. I just wanted to than you again for everything. The party was great. Everything at the restaurant was wonderful.. Food, drinks, service. My parents were shocked, and really had a great night. We are all looking forward to coming back for dinner.
Thank you so much for all your time and work for making this celebration memorable! You and your staff were amazing to work with and did an amazing job on all the food and set up. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed themselves and the food selection. We will definitely be back in for dinner and would recommend your place to anyone!
Kim – Thank you so much for accommodating us at the last minute. You were a pleasure to work with. I agree that the night turned out lovely and I believe a good time was had by all … I know I thoroughly enjoyed myself! I look forward to coming in at a later date and testing the goods produced in the new oven! Have a wonderful holiday and new year!