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Sunday, May 19, 2024

Dining at The Nest, a Schenectady Essential


In recent years, The Nest has emerged as a cornerstone of the Schenectady dining landscape.

Operated by Kaytrin and Devin Ziemann under the banner ⁣of ⁢Ziemann Hospitality, The Nest is‌ the sister ⁢establishment⁣ to The Cuckoo’s Nest in Albany. The latter‌ is scheduled to shut its doors on Sunday,‌ May 19, allowing the Ziemanns to concentrate ‌on launching their new Mediterranean restaurant, Milas, ⁢in Schenectady next month. Named after their daughter, Milas will ‍be situated just a‍ stone’s throw away from The Nest on ‌State Street.

The Nest, a sophisticated⁣ yet unpretentious dining spot,‍ opened its doors ‌in 2020, navigating the changing restrictions of the COVID-19 pandemic.‍ This ⁤venture ⁢came just a ⁣few years after the Ziemanns inaugurated The Cuckoo’s Nest. Despite the ⁤risks associated with starting a new business ⁢during such uncertain times, it appears their gamble is paying dividends.‍ The restaurant is ‍typically buzzing throughout the week, and their weekend brunch services have gained such popularity that booking in advance is usually necessary.

Occupying ⁤the former Schenectady Railway‌ headquarters, this two-story restaurant pays homage to Southern cuisine⁤ and classic American dishes. The menu ‌boasts a variety of hearty, flavorful dishes, ⁤including chicken⁢ and waffles, jambalaya, and fried green tomatoes.

The‍ Gazette recently had a chat with Kaytrin Ziemann about The Nest’s signature dishes and the challenges of establishing​ and managing the restaurant.

Q: Can you share some of the ⁣hurdles you’ve ⁤faced while running The Nest?

A: ⁣We‍ launched during the COVID-19 pandemic, which ⁣presented a ⁤unique set of challenges, including social ⁣distancing rules, bar dividers, limited capacity,‌ and early closing times. People‍ often forget the‍ obstacles⁢ we overcame.

One of the ​most significant challenges is ⁣managing a large​ staff with diverse personalities.

One aspect of‍ being a business owner or starting a⁢ business that often goes unmentioned is the personal sacrifices involved. I’ve missed weddings,‍ birthdays, and anniversary⁢ parties. There are things you miss, and ‍you have ​to be okay with it, even if your friends don’t always understand.

We’ve⁤ made many sacrifices, even with our children. Each time we open⁤ a restaurant, we have to devote ​time away from them to ensure the business’s⁣ success. ‍It’s crucial for our future, but not⁣ everyone understands ​that.

Q: What are the crowd favorites ​at The Nest?

A: Our fried chicken⁣ is a consistent bestseller. It’s a​ three-day cooking process involving a 12-hour brine and a flour and water-based ⁢dredge. It’s dairy-free, which is a plus for ​guests with dairy allergies. ​We even have a dedicated fryer to ⁣avoid ‌shellfish cross-contamination.

Our short ‍rib is another favorite, often competing with⁣ the fried chicken for the top spot. As for drinks, the ⁤Southern Belle, a strawberry lemon ⁣vodka‌ drink ⁢with mint, is our best-selling beverage. Despite ⁢our bartenders’ best efforts to create a more popular drink, the Southern Belle remains unbeaten.

Our fried green​ tomatoes​ and Kaytrin’s biscuits are the most popular appetizers. They’ve been on the menu since​ we opened ‍and continue to be a hit.

Q: ⁣ How would you describe ⁤the ambiance on a typical Friday or Saturday night?

A: I would ‍describe it as lively and bustling. It’s ⁢a ‌happy atmosphere where people ​are enjoying good food.

Q: ‍ What ​is the average cost of a meal here?

A: ⁣ The average dinner bill ⁤per ⁢person is usually around $50.

Q: ‌ Is there anything you’d like‍ people to know about The Nest that they might not be aware of?

A: ⁢ Each service at The Nest offers a unique experience. ⁢Brunch is upbeat with ‌loud pop music and a New York City-like ⁤energy, while dinner offers a more romantic setting. So, if​ you’ve only been here for one service, you haven’t fully ⁤experienced The Nest. ‍It’s a place where you can bring anyone — grandparents, girlfriends, boyfriends — and‌ feel that it’s the ⁢perfect setting for them.

The Nest is located at 512 State ⁣St., Schenectady. It’s open Tuesday through Friday ⁢from 11:30⁤ a.m. to 4​ p.m. ⁢for lunch and ⁣4:45 to 9:30 ‌p.m. for dinner, with a happy hour at the bar ​from 4 to 6 p.m.​ Saturday brunch runs from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and dinner from 5 to 9:30 ⁣p.m. Sunday brunch runs⁤ from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

For more details, visit thenest518.com.

Kiara Thomas
Kiara Thomas
I uncover quirky and compelling stories. Always on the lookout for the 'why' behind the 'what'.
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  1. I disagree, The Nest’s food is top-notch and worth every penny. The atmosphere adds to the overall experience and makes it a must-visit in Schenectady.


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