Siro’s cannot be explained; it must be experienced,” says Michael Stone, who’s been the General Manager and Maître d’ at Siro’s for all of three decades. His words ring true when talking about Saratoga Springs’ most famous racing-season restaurant and bar. First opening its doors in 1945 and named for The Waldorf Astoria’s Maître d’, Jimmy Siro, the fabled hotspot is located just steps away from Saratoga Race Course and is only open during track season (July 20-September 3). With its timeless elegance and customer-first service—whether it’s a random night or Travers Day, “You’ll always get the Siro’s treatment,” says Stone—it has and will always be the place to go after the track lets out.
While there’s certainly no “Members Only” sign hanging out front—anybody can walk in—historically, it’s been a mainstay for the highest of rollers. I’ve been there after a fun day at the races for the live music or to sip a cocktail on the patio with friends. But my favorite part? The people. Always. You never know who you’ll run into at Siro’s. I’ve seen The Grand Dame of Saratoga, Marylou Whitney, there, as well as Pro Football Hall of Fame Coach Bill Parcells. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Stone tells me he and his fellow staffers have waited on everyone from celebrity chef Bobby Flay, HOF horse trainers D. Wayne Lukas and Bob Baffert, New York Yankees great and HOFer Mariano Rivera, movie star Cameron Diaz and The Tonight Show’s Jimmy Fallon. The spot even has some Hollywood pedigree of its own: Actor Kevin Dillon, who played Johnny “Drama” Chase on HBO’s hit, Entourage, is a Siro’s investor. “We cater to this crowd,” says Stone. “We’ve become synonymous with Saratoga Race Course, and Siro’s has always opened its arms to anyone that’s at the racetrack and wants to experience it.”
Siro’s isn’t just the trendiest place to hang out after the races; it’s also a place to put your winnings to good use, with a full bar-and-restaurant menu, heavy on the Italian fare and surf-and-turf. “We have one of the greatest chefs in America in Tom Dillon,” says Stone. Dillon, Siro’s current Executive Chef, was Siro’s chef-owner for decades beforehand and the man behind the venue’s resurgence in the early ’80s—right around when Saratoga’s racetrack had its own comeback. “The contemporary version of Siro’s is a product of Tom’s vision, talent and ability in the kitchen,” Stone says. So, of course, I had to ask: What should I order on Opening Day? Says Stone: “The lump crab cakes and lobster from the Siro’s menu of old will be back this summer!”
A little advice? Track season comes and goes more quickly than you can imagine. So do whatever you can to add Siro’s to your itinerary. It simply can’t be missed! Ask anybody.