Cornells Restaurant

4.4
869 reviews
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$30 and under
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Italian
Founded 75 years ago, Cornells is known for its time-honored family dishes, innovative daily specials, homemade desserts as well as an extensive wine list. Its close proximity to Schenectady’s Proctors Theatre and other arts organizations, Union College and the Rivers Casino is ideal for those attending a wide variety of attractions. A soothing rustic Tuscan color palette compliments the 3 dining spaces and banquet room. Cornells in Little Italy can accommodate parties of up to 200 guests, making it the perfect venue for your special dining needs. Easy parking.
Dining Style
Casual Elegant
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Cuisines
Italian, Contemporary American, Mediterranean
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Hours of operation
Dinner: Wednesday - Thursday: 5:00pm - 9:00pm,

Friday - Saturday: 5:00pm - 9:00pm,

Sunday: 4:00pm - 8:00pm
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Phone number
(518) 370-3825
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Payment options
AMEX, Discover, MasterCard, Visa
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Dress code
Smart Casual
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Neighborhood
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Cross street
Union Street
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Parking details
There is private parking around the building as well as the attached public parking lot.
Additional
Banquet, Bar Dining, Beer, Full Bar, Gluten-free Menu, Happy Hour, Non-Smoking, Outdoor dining, Private Room, View, Wheelchair Access, Wine
What 869 People Are Saying
Overall ratings and reviews
Reviews can only be made by diners who have eaten at this restaurant
4.4based on recent ratings
4.4
food
4.3
service
4.3
ambience
4.2
value
Noise · Quiet
87% of people would recommend it to a friend
5
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G
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined 3 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

First time visit and it was wonderful. Will be returning.

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EC
New York Area
1 review
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Our party of three had dinner at Cornell's before seeing a show at (nearby) Proctor's Theater. The server was thoughtful, prompt and courteous; the meal was just delicious. We all ordered the house salad with the house vinaigrette, and the same pasta dish - Penne al a vodka. The salads were fresh, and not swamped by the dressing, and the penne was outrageously good! Very spicy and very satisfying. Because we had hit traffic on the way to the restaurant, we didn't have time for dessert or coffee, but we didn't feel rushed and we enjoyed our dining experience tremendously.

I've been to Cornell's many times before, and will certainly go back again.

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K
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined 4 days ago
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had dinner at a cozy booth in the bar before the Melodies of Christmas show at Proctors...it was fabulous and the start of a new holiday tradition!

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SS
1 review
Dined on December 9, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Terrific night out. The food was fantastic and the service was great!

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D
New York Area
13 reviews
Dined on December 9, 2018
Overall 3food 4service 1ambience 3

We had 7:15 reservation, were not seated until 7:30+, which in and of itself is no issue and after delivering a round of drinks and taking orders we never had contact with our waitress and the food ( with no appetizers ordered) did not arrive until after 9:15!

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KC
1 review
Dined on December 9, 2018
Overall 2food 3service 1ambience 4

We had 645 reservations, were seated at 650 then it took 22 minutes for the waitress to even get our drink order. She then took 20 more minutes to bring the Sri is back. We were not served our meal until 810pm that was after multiple times being told our food was coming. Finally I had to request that our 3 children that were starving be served their ziti ahead of our dinners. When the adult dinners finally arrives the chicken francese was soggy and tasted more like chicken Piccata.

This was the first I had been to Cornell’s in at least 7 years, I won’t go back for at least another 15 ...... it was awful!

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AM
New York Area
11 reviews
Dined on December 8, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

I have never been disappointed here. Food is fabulous, we told out server we had to be out for a show and he made sure we had plenty of time.

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KF
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on December 8, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful food, atmosphere and service! We celebrated our son's birthday and the wait staff sang to him and brought him a dessert on the house!

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TR
1 review
Dined on December 6, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 4

Food was very good. Glad to see Cornell’s is back to being a quality restaurant.

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RM
New York Area
1 review
Dined on December 4, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We often meet here as a group of 5 of more. The quality of the food is consistent. We can laugh and talk and catch up in a warm and inviting environment. Great menu. Scallops with lobster risotto was excellent! Ample parking and much safer than some.

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MA
1 review
Dined on December 2, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 5

The ambience was excellent...perfect for having good conversation during a very relaxed meal. Service was great, but the food was not as good as hoped. Portions were good, but the cooking was not to most of our liking. Red sauce was not enjoyable, my veal chop was prepared in an unexciting way. My husband's meal was scant on seafood, and his chicken was dry. Overall, the food was not worth the price paid, but the atmosphere was perfect.

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OT
New York Area
1 review
Dined on December 1, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Great experience. Would go back.
Dined before show at Proctors.

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JM
New Orleans
2 reviews
Dined on November 29, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 3ambience 5

Food was excellent. Our waitress was lovely, very professional, but she seemed to have a lot of tables so we waited quite a while to order and waited even more in between courses.

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CC
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on November 25, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We were looking for an Italian restaurant in the Italian section for dinner the Sunday after Thansgiving. This was the only one that was open. After reading other reviews, I was reluctant to try it. I'm very glad the mixed reviews didn't deter us. The food and service were wonderful (the restaurant was quite empty. Don't know if this contributed to our favorable experience). I don't recall all the main dishes everyone had, though everyone in our group enjoyed their dinners. We shared the appetizers. We had artichoke fritti, calamari, and Utica greens. All were excellent. I highly recommend Cornell's.

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JG
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on November 20, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 5ambience 4

The food is delicious. Service is excellent. The mellow music is nice but if you’re seated in the front dining room on a quiter night & there’s a chatty bar patron sitting at the bar located in same room, then you’ll possibly be distracted by that person’s booming voice/conversation with the bartender. Other than that nuisance it was an enjoyable experience.

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B
Charleston
2 reviews
Dined on November 11, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 3ambience 3

Highly overrated
As one of the few Italian restaurants left in Schenectady, and the only one open on a Sunday night, we decided on an early dinner before attending a nearby show. We were not impressed. This wasn’t our first time there, but it will be the last. We were seated near the window at a table for two. While we were still eating our dinner, a couple sat practically next to us at a bar table just a step up. It felt very intrusive.
So our service was beyond slow. I like a nicely paced meal, but this was ridiculous. Everything took forever. When our food finally arrived, it was lukewarm and tasteless. I had veal parmigiana that had almost no sauce on it. When I asked for extra sauce, that took another 5 minutes so dinner went from lukewarm to cold.
Our waitress was nice, but she was frazzled probably from having too many tables.
I do not recommend this restaurant unless you want to pay for a truly mediocre experience.

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MG
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on November 9, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Wonderful space, tasty food and great service! Will visit again.

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R
New York Area
14 reviews
Dined on November 9, 2018
Overall 3food 2service 4ambience 3

I expected better food...salad dressings were fairly bland, marinara sauce had little flavor, Utica Greens didn’t resemble real Utica Greens (no spice at all), veal Raphael was overdone thin veal slices wrapped around cheese...meal was not worth what we paid.

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L
New York Area
5 reviews
Dined on November 2, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food was delicious and Liz was friendly and efficient.

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OT
1 review
Dined on November 1, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 5ambience 4

Both the hostess and Amanda our waitress were excellent they were engaging and friendly made us feel welcome

Food had Sausage and broccolirab great flavor needed more sausage

Eggplant more flavor in sauce

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JC
New York Area
1 review
Dined on November 1, 2018
Overall 3food 3service 5ambience 5

We were introduced to Cornells this past summer and have been there twice since then and were favorably impressed. However, on our last visit on November 1st we brought two couples who have never been there, and were embarrassed and disappointed. The bread was cold. For me, warm bread sets the tone for what's to come. Four of us ordered the fettuccini with grilled chicken, shrimp, scallops tossed with spinach, tomatoes, olive oil, garlic and basil broth. All four of us could not taste any garlic or basil. It was very bland and the portion size was smaller than earlier visits. I did mention to a server about the lack of taste so that they would be aware for future customers who might order that dish the same evening. To Cornells credit, they did comp our drinks and we appreciated that. I hope that this was just an off night but I am hesitant to try again.

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R
New York Area
24 reviews
Dined on October 28, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

After the show at Proctors the six of us walked over to Cornell’s, for what we know is always a reliably delicious Italian dinner. Our server, Danielle, was on point, timely and helpful from beginning to end, despite the busy crowd. The cod cardana was absolutely perfectly prepared and the pasta side dishes are always a treat. From cocktails to dessert, we had a great time and will definitely be back!

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S
New York Area
44 reviews
Dined on October 28, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 4ambience 2

Took almost an hour for an appetizer. Thankfully the server had pushed dinner order through before appetizer came. Eggplant good

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n
New York Area
1 review
Dined on October 28, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Once again we had superb meal of Cavatelli and meatballs for me. My daughter had Cavatelli and the Italian sausages. Both the meatballs and sausage are very tasty choices. The bread served first was warm and crusty. We shared dessert which were 2 Cannolis, so plenty for each of us, and yummy!

Thank you again Cornell's!

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JW
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on October 27, 2018
Overall 4food 5service 4ambience 4

As usual our meal was great, service spot on and we were happy to have brought a couple of friends from Amsterdam who had never been there before. They loved it as well. We were celebrating a birthday and then going to see Bronx Tale at Proctor's. We ate and had plenty of time to socialize and get to the show. We have been going for years, wish we lived closer but always worth the drive. Nothing like it in Saratoga. We tell everyone about it. Keep up the good job and look forward to our next visit.

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GP
New York Area
5 reviews
Dined on October 27, 2018
Overall 4food 4service 5ambience 5

Excellent food at very reasonable prices, and the service was cheerful. We went there before a show at Proctors, and dinner at Cornell's turned out to be a great start to a wonderful evening.

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M
New York Area
86 reviews
Dined on October 25, 2018
Overall 4food 3service 4ambience 4

The food was good, but not great. My wife was not impressed with her braised rib. My shrimp and linguine was good. Both of us really liked our desserts. The service was very good, attentive but not interrupting. This is a mid to higher price Italian restaurant.

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N
New York Area
10 reviews
Dined on October 25, 2018
Overall 2food 4service 1ambience 4

The bar and bar service was great...drinks were very good.
Food was very good...
The service, I am sorry to say was awful...
The server was slow in acknowledging us... drink order took a long time ...then there was a long time before we finally got to put in our order...
Very slow, very disjointed,
For example we asked for some additional bread, sauce and cheese
The server forgot to bring it we had to ask twice...

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A
New York Area
3 reviews
Dined on October 25, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Thank you so much for your service on Thursday. I would invite my friends if they would like to find a good restaurant nearby.

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s
1 review
Dined on October 24, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 4ambience 4

Great food. Very accommodating - we got a little late- they were very busy but they seated us right away.

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A
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on October 20, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Dear Cornell Restaurant:

Hope you are well!

Thank you so much for your providing the dinner last Saturday, and I much enjoyed the dinner.

I will see you as long as I get a chance.

Thank you very much!

Best regards,

Allen

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SN
Las Vegas
1 review
Dined on October 20, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Always a great place to have dinner before going to a show at Proctors. Always great food and great service. Highly recommend you have dinner at Cornell’s whenever you’re near Schenectady.

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EK
1 review
Dined on October 20, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

We had a wonderful meal our server was very good and helpful , she helped us pick out the wine and it was perfect Thanks

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BT
1 review
Dined on October 19, 2018
Overall 2food 1service 2ambience 3

We had to wait although we had a reservation for 7. Food service was very slow, and absolutely food was spoiled..

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RS
New York Area
10 reviews
Dined on October 19, 2018
Overall 3food 5service 2ambience 4

Food was great. But service needs work. We received wrong appetizer, we ate it but not what we ordered. It seemed to me servers are doing kitchen work and serving.

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OT
New York Area
4 reviews
Dined on October 17, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

The food and service was great!

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W
New England
19 reviews
Dined on October 12, 2018
Overall 5food 4service 5ambience 4

It was homecoming weekend for a nearby college, so all walk-ins were turned away. Though we had a reservation and arrived early, it took a while before we were seated. One of the restaurant staff (possibly one of the family-owners) apologized a offered us each a complimentary glass of wine for the inconvenience, though the wait was not unbearable. After we were seated, we were treated to the usual (not our first time here) and expected high level of service, food quality and value. We will be back!!

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n
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on October 12, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

This was my first time at Cornell's Restaurant. I went with my daughter and a friend. The seating was prompt, even though the 3rd party was still on her way. They showed her to the table when she arrived and the hostess was always pleasant. The service was quick. We were on our way to a play at Proctor's Theater after so it was important. The food was delicious, hot and authentic. I had the Braised Short Ribs with Polenta (so creamy!), the others had Cavatelli with sausage, and Chicken Parmesan. We all tasted the others meals and everything was great. All orders were spot on! I can't wait to go back again!

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PS
New York Area
2 reviews
Dined on October 11, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Had a great meal. Went with friends before a show at Proctors. Food was delicious. Service terrific. Will return

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KB
1 review
Dined on October 10, 2018
Overall 5food 5service 5ambience 5

Excellent food and outstanding service. Great drinks. Nice, warm atmosphere. Just right for dinner before the theatre!

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