One Caroline St. Bistro and Mouzon House in Saratoga Springs.
In addition to the prevalence of equestrian culture in Saratoga Springs is an undeniable appreciation for delicious food and high-quality, farm fresh ingredients. Many of the restaurants in Saratoga Springs boast farm-to-table menus and family-run operations that lend themselves to inviting ambiences and memorable dining experiences. We’ve snooped around Saratoga and dined at two such local treasures that you must try whenever you’re in town: One Caroline Bistro and Mouzon House.
These sister restaurants are owned by the Pedinotti family and each, like real-life sisters, has its distinctive personality, built on (nearly) identical roots. There are Southern inspirations in each menu, but the dishes do not overlap and the atmospheres offer two unique experiences.
One Caroline St. Bistro
One Caroline — named after its address, 1 Caroline St. — is a dinner-only spot perfect for a romantic night out. In business for 18 years, One Caroline is like a seriously cool relative who you rarely see but desperately want to know. Down an inclined side street off Saratoga Springs’ main drag, the restaurant is partially underground with an understated entrance; the kind of place curious explorers will stumble upon while in downtown Saratoga. Inside, the dim lighting is cozy, the small and (comfortably) close tables are intimate and the lively pulse of conversation is friendly and inviting. The addition of live jazz simply warms your soul.
A five-minute walk northeast of One Caroline is Mouzon House at 1 York St. This renovated Victorian home is an unofficial Saratoga Springs landmark that offers the best in Southern Hospitality — and its Dixie roots date back to the middle of the 20th century: Mia Mouzon, one of the first women of color to graduate from nearby Skidmore College, lived there with her Cherokee mother and Creole father. What’s more, Ms. Mouzon helped rescue the home from the urban renewal movement of the 1960s that razed many buildings in Saratoga’s then-ethnic neighborhoods. The Pedinotti family bought the home from Ms. Mouzon and opened Mouzon House eight years ago, preserving the layout, the original walls and the Southern ties of its former eponymous owners. It’s inviting and homey; the kind of place where you can kick back for a leisurely Sunday brunch with a group of friends.
Want to learn more? We’ll be serving up seconds of the One Caroline and Mouzon House history and food culture on the NYSOM Magazine. In the meantime — and if you find yourself in Saratoga Springs — be sure to stop by at least one of these establishments. We promise you won’t be disappointed.
[Photo Credit: Images courtesy of the Pedinotti family.]