As I mention in the comments below, the Cheesecake Factory has become one of our favorite restaurants. We go about twice a month, usually for lunch. The menu offers great variety with some interesting options, and the food is always excellent. Comes with good breads at the start. Salads are great. Entrees are usually huge, with leftovers often too much for a single meal. It's a little pricey, but you get what you pay for. Original post below.
We went to a charity event at the new Cheesecake Factory in Colonie Center. This was not a sit-down event, so we didn't get the experience one might get as a typical diner, but they did serve food that will be on the menu.
Despite the name, they do serve food beyond cheesecake. Staff squeezed through the packed crowd to serve appetizers, including quesadillas and some interesting "egg rolls" - one was a guacamole egg roll and the other was "tex-mex". All three of these were good.
There was a buffet with a few items, including a Hawaiian salad (called Luau, I think), a Cajun dish with shrimp and chicken, and a chicken dish with mushrooms (maybe marsala). It was all interesting and different from what you see in other places around here. These dishes were good. Nothing was "great", but keep in mind this was a buffet so we didn't have the usual atmosphere to really get the sense of the food.
The interior of the restaurant is, well, spectacular. An impossibly high ceiling (it's gotta be 30 feet or more) with well designed colors and features makes this a place you want to be.
Getting to the most important issue, the cheesecake was fantastic. I had a caramel cheesecake that was over the top delicious. My wife had a "vanilla bean" cheesecake that was delightful as well. I had been hoping to try a plain cheesecake, but they were not serving any. The caramel was so good I didn't mind.
I predict this place will do quite well.