Thank you, ALT readers!
Voted Best Soup, Best Family Restaurant (2nd), Best Salad (2nd), Best Appetizers (2nd) & Best Pizza (3rd)
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…
Well Kim, you sure did make it fun. I just wanted to tell you how beautiful the whole evening (weekend) turned out. The space was perfect and everyone had a wonderful time. our bartender was fabulous and very professional and accommodating. The size of the group turned out to be just perfect as we were able to truly visit and catch up.
I’ve shared our experience with local folks and will continue to encourage others to frequent Navona.
I’m so happy with how everything turned out… and so glad it’s over!!!
Thank you very much for your flexibility and for helping to make the reunion unforgettable.
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!
Dear Kim, Thank you so, so much for making every detail of my party absolutely perfect. I had a great time. Also, thank you for the generous book donation. It means a whole lot to me. I hope I get to see you again soon!
With love, Sofie
Kim, your staff and your husband and chef – Again I want to thank you for opening the restaurant on your Sunday off – especially on the holiday weekend. Your place is great, the food fantastic and I love your smiling face. We all had a great time. We’ll be back.
Regards, Dr. W
Thank you, Kim! I want to thank you for the last minute accommodation made to one of our guests for dietary considerations. I was unaware of her recent diet change.
Kim and Mike, Thank you so much for your generous donation to the RCS basketball program. I love the fact that Restaurant Navona is only a 10 minute walk from my house and I know people from the northern part of our district are going to love it being only a 15 minute drive to such an incredible place to have a meal and share a drink! I’m already craving a wood-fired pizza just thinking about it.
Thank you, Eric
Dear Kim, Mike and Staff, Thank you for your most profound efforts, hard work, enthusiasm and love. You all made my father’s memorial so special. Easy. Delicious! Elegant. Kim-From the moment Lisa called, you worked so hard to create an experience of respect, ease, professionalism and love. Mike-your food is so good my NYC friends gushed and went back 2x. The lamb!! The ragu!! Your negroni rivaled the very best I have had (Carpano!!) To the staff: The sensitivity you showed me and my family meant the world to us! You were both gracious and efficient. Both present at the exact right moment and yet not hovering. Thank to all. My dad would have loved it.
My best, William
Kim, I wanted to thank you for making my baby shower perfect and exactly what I pictured it being. From the fantastic food and drink to the awesome service and set up, everything was great! The cake was awesome too! Not to mention delicious. I couldn’t have imagined a better way to welcome Baby F!
Kim and Mike, I truly cannot begin to express my gratitude to you both for making my dad’s memorial gathering a huge success. You were so very gracious with all of your help with the planning, and were so very patient with us at such a very difficult time. I can’t believe that you were so wonderfully able to accommodate such a big Italian family – and to do it so well! The food was outstanding. Everyone was raving about how great everything tasted. The service was also impeccable!! When the lamb lollipops came out, your server came over looking for my mom first, as you had remembered that we ordered them specifically because they were her favorite! I have already recommended you to all our local people, and will share my appreciation online also. Thank you for making a difficult time easier for my family.