Since I'm in grad school right now, home base for me is Troy, NY. Now, most people will be confused about where Troy is, but those do actually know where it is probably thought something along the lines of, "Living in Troy? That suuuuucks." I am going to do a few different posts about why Troy is actually a really fun place to live. Fortunately for me, most of these reasons have to do with the nightlife.
One of my new favorite venues in Troy is the Charles F. Lucas Confectionery and Wine Bar. It is a nice little wine bar built on the site of the former Charles F. Lucas Confectionery, hence the name. There are a couple key reasons why I love this place. First and foremost is the people. Vic and Heather are the owners and they go out of their way to make you feel welcome, even when the place is packed. I always love it when owners take the time to remember customer faces. The staff is very helpful and they are always glad to lend a suggestion (or find someone to do that) if you ask.
Another reason why the Confectionery kicks ass is that they have a nice selection of cured meats and cheeses. They do perfect pairings with the charcuterie as well (Fig with a blue cheese, etc) that really add to the experience. This is something that you just don't find around it. It make the Confectionery a perfect place for a non-dinner date. You can go and get a couple glasses of wine, nibble on some food, grab some dessert (it is called the Confectionery for more than one reason). The atmosphere is a little higher class than some of the other places around. Personally I take this as an excuse to get dressed up a bit (I wore a bow tie to their opening night), but you are welcome in jeans as well as a suit.
While I appreciate wine, I like beer a bit more, so I was very happy to see that they have a relatively small, yet well made beer list. My only complaint about it is that they don't have Saison Dupont, but it is hard to demand that of every bar that I go to (even though it would go well with the rest of the wine bar). They have a variety of styles, and for the most part don't have too many of one style, even having an interesting and uncommon German style, Gose.
On any given weekend night, this place is absolutely swamped with people. Getting there early is better so you can grab a table or counter. I don't have any pictures of the decor that do it any justice, but trust me, the place is beautiful. The only real problem is that it seems that demand is exceeding the size and it can be difficult to get to the bar sometimes. Fortunately, they are expanding to another building nearby, which, when it is completed, should be able to accomodate everyone that wants to be there. If you are in Troy and you're looking to have a good evening, I would highly suggest the Charles F. Lucas Confectionery. Don't believe me, check it out yourself.
If you don't feel like going there for a drink (I'm not sure why you would, but) the Confectionery is open during the day as a coffee bar as well. Pretty damn good coffee too.
They have Saison Dupont!
With a newly revamped beer list, the Confectionery is better than ever. By the sound of things, I will be spending many nights hanging out and sipping some fine, less common beers. The Grocery that Heather and Vic are going to open up (around the corner) will also carry a nice selection of great beer. I am overwhelmingly excited for this.