The first permanent resident of Saratoga Springs was Alexander Bryan, an innkeeper and American spy whose clandestine activities helped the Americans win the Battle of Saratoga in 1777, marking the turning point of the American Revolution. In 1832, his son built the stone building that bears his name today on the grounds where his father’s log cabin once stood.
As soon as you enter the Olde Bryan Inn, you can almost hear echoes of fife and drum. Sitting at your table next to a portrait of George Washington or John Adams, or a Revolutionary War–era lady clad in a demure bonnet, let your eyes wander around this old establishment. Take in the stone walls, the rough-hewn wood columns supporting the beamed ceiling, the copper plates and cookware hanging from the walls, the brick fireplaces, the silver beer steins dangling over the bar, the burgundy and cream striped curtains that hint at the American flag, and the cast iron chandeliers, and soon you’ll be itching to get your hands on a musket or a quill.
You can, instead, wrap your hands around a mug of warm apple cider to settle you into a colonial mood and prepare you for a hearty American meal.
Try This: Servings are quite generous, so prepare yourself as you start off with a thick potato-cheddar-bacon-brussels-sprout soup and biscuits that were just in the oven. Move on to the seasoned pulled pork slowly braised in Smithwick’s ale and tossed with cavatappi pasta and chopped bacon in a smoked gouda-cheese cream sauce that’s baked in a casserole with a pinch of parmesan and laced with a sweet and smoky barbecue sauce, and accompanied by warm garlic bread. If you can manage dessert, opt for the warm homemade Granny Smith apple crisp, topped with an airy whipped cream.