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#51 rbh

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Posted 25 October 2012 - 03:35 AM

Ithaca

 


Going to a conference in Ithaca in a few weeks. During the conference itself meals will be provided (scary thought) and I won't want to dodge because of the networking (sigh), but I'm planning on going two days early, which gives me time for some hiking, exploring the town, and finding good restaurants. Recommendations? Breakfast is free at the hotel but given which hotel it is, I'm thinking it'll be worth skipping. Besides, I love a good diner breakfast.

Chiantiand Fava, would love to read your hiking info.

For breakfast, Cafe Dewitt is very good. It's in the same building as Moosewoods.
I also love Collegetown Bagels....I'm pretty sure you can get them at the Ithaca Bakery up near the Ramada (Ithaca Baker bought C-town bagels... gosh it's got to be close to 20 years ago now)?
For pizza (and some nostalgia), I like the Nines in collegtown.
It's been a few years since I've been, but have had very good dinners at The Heights.
If you have the munchies in the middle of the night, Shortstop Deli is open 24 hours a day.....and have Hot Truck sandwiches now.....

for hikes, Watkins Glen State Park is pretty good, relatively easy gorge walk. Robert Treman, just south of Ithaca, and Taughanock Falls State Parks, just noth, also have some good hikes.

There are the gorges themselves in Ithaca that we all kind of learned to get around while we were there, but I have no idea where a trail map of those exist.

#52 porcupine

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 08:31 AM

Ithaca; Trumansburg

 

Thanks for all the recommendations. I didn't get in as much hiking as I needed to, considering all the eating we did, but we had a good time. We had a nice, simple, delicious, unpretentious dinner at Mercato Bar and Kitchen one night (salad of frisee, radicchio, pears, gorgonzola; butternut squash gnocchi), and dinner at Hazelnut Kitchen in Trumansburg the next (house-made duck rillettes with raspberry mostarda; risotto with brussels sprouts and Parmesan). Friday night we took friends to The Heights Cafe, and while the food was delicious it was definitely a lot more formal than the web site led us to believe.

Cafe Dewitt was a good choice for breakfast one day (loved the scrambled egg and tomato jam sandwich); the other days we were too full for anything more than a bagel from CTB.

In Trumansburg there is a tiny convenience-type grocery store with a lunch counter, called Good to Go; a cup of their hot lentil soup was a perfect pick-me-up between hikes.

The Piggery deserves a special mention. They're closed Sunday and Monday - something about that's when they process the pigs for the rest of the week, I think. (The pigs are from their own farm in Trumansburg.) In one part of the building is the butcher shop, with various pork cuts, charcuterie, even lard; in the other is the deli. The Three Little Pigs platter, for those who can't decide what to eat, will make you feel like a not-so-little pig. It consists of a house made hot dog (80% pork, 20% beef, natural casing), a pulled-pork slider that's easily twice the size of any other slider, and a pulled pork taco. The red cabbage coleslaw is excellent.

Saturday I was stuck in the hotel for lunch, but MrP came to the rescue with carryout* from The Piggery. One of my racing buddies came over to our table and asked "are you eating a pastrami sandwich?!" "Yep." "I hate you," she said with a flair while walking away. (After this weekend I think my racing buddies are starting to get the other half of my signature line.)

When it comes to ice cream upstate NYers are amateurs. I didn't care for Purity ice cream. The mocha chip tasted like milk chocolate with a hint of mint (cross-contamination; there was a bit of green in the cup) and no coffee flavor. All the Byrne Dairy shops either had closed their scoop operations for the season or didn't have a scoop shop at all.

If you're a coffee lover, don't miss Gimme! Coffee (3 locations in Ithaca, one in Trumansburg). They roast their own beans and the brewed coffee and espresso are as good as any I've had anywhere.

(btw, rbh, I've hiked the Glen gorge several times, including once during a steady light rain in which I had the place to myself except for two other people; it was beautiful in the rain.)

*MrP is an awesome man; during one of the morning meetings he came to the rescue with a large cup of joe from Gimme! Coffee.


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#53 saf

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 09:14 AM

Rochester

 

When it comes to ice cream upstate NYers are amateurs. I didn't care for Purity ice cream. The mocha chip tasted like milk chocolate with a hint of mint (cross-contamination; there was a bit of green in the cup) and no coffee flavor. All the Byrne Dairy shops either had closed their scoop operations for the season or didn't have a scoop shop at all.


When it comes to frozen desserts, just go right on up to Rochester (preferably during the summer), and go to one of the two original locations of Abbot's Frozen Custard. Do not bother with the franchise locations. Go to the lake or the airport and eat frozen custard.

Sarah In Petworth


#54 porcupine

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 09:39 PM

When it comes to frozen desserts, just go right on up to Rochester (preferably during the summer), and go to one of the two original locations of Abbot's Frozen Custard. Do not bother with the franchise locations. Go to the lake or the airport and eat frozen custard.

That sounds good, but if they close for the winter they're amateurs. :P

Elizabeth Miller
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#55 saf

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 09:56 AM

That sounds good, but if they close for the winter they're amateurs. :P


The airport location stays open year-round. Or at least they used to. I'm a long time gone from Rochester.

I always wondered why the beach location closed in winter, as there is a skating rink there, and the Char-Broil is open all winter.

Then again, I suppose that many people do not want to eat frozen custard at the lake in a Rochester winter.

Sarah In Petworth


#56 lperry

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 01:39 PM

Finger Lakes region

 

This area is one I've been wanting to visit, and I was wondering if anyone an give a perspective on biycle tours in the region? There are several companies that have multi-day tours of riding, eating, and visiting wineries. It sounds like a lovely way to spend a week in the summer.



#57 Choirgirl21

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Posted 14 November 2012 - 08:48 PM

This area is one I've been wanting to visit, and I was wondering if anyone an give a perspective on biycle tours in the region? There are several companies that have multi-day tours of riding, eating, and visiting wineries. It sounds like a lovely way to spend a week in the summer.

Double check the drinking aspect of that. In the Willammette Valley you only actually drink at the last winery so people are drunk biking. No idea what the rules are in the Finger Lakes but thought it worth mentioning.

Jen, part time pourer at Black Ankle Vineyards

If not LOCALLY PRODUCED, then Organic.
If not ORGANIC, then Family farm.
If not FAMILY FARM, then Local business.
If not a LOCAL BUSINESS, then Fair Trade.


#58 Genevieve

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Posted 10 April 2013 - 03:41 PM

Waterloo (near Geneva)

 

We'll be up in the area (Waterloo, which I think is either part of Geneva or right near it) this summer.  Looking for restaurant ideas that are not wineries and are preschooler-friendly but have good food.  We'll probably have a night or two without the kids too.  Not familiar with the area at all, though from a quick look at the map it looks like we're a little bit northwest of Seneca Lake - not sure if it would take too long to go east of the lake where some of you have said the food is better.

 

Thanks for any recommendations!

 

Edit:  we are not within a reasonable driving distance (with preschoolers) of some places mentioned above:  Suzanne's in Lodi, or Stonecat Cafe.  Hoping there's some decently tasty food near where we are.

 

Would also love recommendations of places to stop and eat on the drive between DC and the Finger Lakes.



#59 ChiantiandFava

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Posted 14 April 2013 - 07:58 PM

Corning

 

We had some really good bbq in Corning after checking out the glass museum. Thought the restaurant's name was 54 but looks like it's called Holmes Plate. Bar/Roadhouse type setting which could be counted as a plus or minus depending on your preferences.

 

The museum itself runs the gamut from fine art to kitschy glass collectibles. It seemed like they had a number of kid friendly exhibits when we went (outdoor glassblowing demonstration, etc.) but we don't have kids so take that with a grain of salt. 


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#60 Genevieve

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Posted 15 April 2013 - 02:42 PM

Thanks!  Will look for it.



#61 porcupine

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Posted 28 May 2013 - 07:08 AM

Ithaca; Hector; Lodi; Watkins Glen

 

Another trip to Watkins Glen for the annual a**-kicking (but finally this year I was the kicker, not kickee), another weekend where we ate too much.  Didn't realize Cornell had graduation going on, so not a chance we could get into Hazelnut Kitchen.  Likewise, Suzanne (pedantic note: it's "Suzanne", not "Suzanne's") had a waiting list 7 deep for Friday and Saturday.  We made do with Red Newt, still not my favorite place.  Since we were last there they've gone extreme locavore, which is fine given where they're located.  Everything was well-executed (except a slightly overcooked piece of pork tenderloin), just not terribly interesting.

 

Friday the weather was too awful for practice, so we killed time by driving to Ithaca for a cup of Gimme! coffee.  Great stuff.  Then over to The Piggery for lunch, where we discovered that they were closing the restaurant in order to pursue USDA certification for the butcher operation.  Dinner at Dano's on Seneca, which I think will never change.  It's exactly the same every time we're there.  But it's always really good, so we keep going.

 

Also had a lunch from Glen Mountain Market and a dinner at Stonecat, which is still (or again) one of my favorite restaurants.  I can't explain it.  It just works.

 

The locavore ethic is strong on the east side of Seneca Lake.  There were ramps and rhubarb everywhere.

 

There's a new barbeque place in Watkins called Nickel's.  Mr P got a pulled pork sandwich with mac and cheese and beans on the side.  I tried nibbles of all three and didn't care for any.  The pork was nicely smokey but had little pork flavor.  The "original" sauce was sweet (as it usually is), and the "spicy" sauce was a little spicy but not very (as it usually is).  The macaroni was soft without much cheese flavor, the beans sweet and tangy, but engh.  Maybe I'm just done with barbecue.

 

Great milkshakes from Tobe's on our way back home.  We expect to be back a second time this year, in July.  Think I'll call Hazelnut and Suzanne today for reservations.


Elizabeth Miller
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#62 Choirgirl21

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Posted 28 June 2013 - 06:43 PM

Getting ready for my annual trip to Seneca Lake and am thinking of tacking on an extra day to explore Cayuga/Ithaca a bit, or maybe head over to Keuka Lake to finally visit Dr. Frank's. Either one would have to be on a weekday, which brings me to my question - has anyone been to the Ithaca farmer's market at one of the other weekday locations. I'm wondering how they compare, especially in terms of prepared foods to the Sat/Sun markets at the pavilion?

 

Any other suggestions for things to do, places to eat, wines to drink in either area (Keuka or Cayuga)? I've limited my numerous trips to Seneca Lake for the most part although I've had the opportunity to taste wines from other regions via the wine festival ages ago. Head and Heart is really high up on my list for visiting though so I think I'm leaning heavily toward getting over to Cayuga and maybe exploring Ithaca a bit. I may or may not have dogs with me.

 

Porcupine, I'm glad to read your positive review of Stonecat. Last year, I got the same brunch dish that had wowed me a few years before and was really disappointed. The location and the atmosphere still made it worthwhile, but that particular plate of food was just kind of "meh". :(


Jen, part time pourer at Black Ankle Vineyards

If not LOCALLY PRODUCED, then Organic.
If not ORGANIC, then Family farm.
If not FAMILY FARM, then Local business.
If not a LOCAL BUSINESS, then Fair Trade.


#63 ChiantiandFava

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Posted 28 June 2013 - 11:51 PM

Hammondsport

 

Dr. Frank's--I'm glad I went but it wasn't one of my favorites. Ya know when your favorite artist decides they can afford a fancy producer and their album sounds polished but lacks soul? Yeah that's how I felt about Dr. Frank's. But hey, where else are you going to find rkatsiteli or muscat ottonel? 

 

Keuka Lake Vineyards-- Heard very good things, will definitely be on my list to check out this year.

 

Ravines--One the best producers in the Finger Lakes (them and Wiemer are in a different class as far as I'm concerned). Their tastings have a cheese/chocolate add-on option that is fun and delicious. Their tasting room staff was the best that I came across also.

 

For Cayuga I loved Bellwether Cidery. I'd put their ciders up against any Etienne Dupont product. They also started making wines. On the same day I hit up Cayuga Creamery (fantastic ice cream) and Lively Run Goat Farm (best feta I've ever had). Wanted to check out Sheldrake Point Winery but never got around to it.

 

Pssst--It's Heart and Hands.


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#64 Choirgirl21

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Posted 29 June 2013 - 02:43 PM


Pssst--It's Heart and Hands.

LOL, I do that all of the time. The Head & the Heart is a band I like. :P

 

Thanks for the feedback. Honestly, I wasn't a fan of the Dr. Frank's wines when I had them, but that was at a wine festival a long time ago, all of which makes my opinion questionable. I've been to Wiemer and found it so pretentious on that visit that I was really turned off, but I think I will go back this year. It's just orchestrating leaving the dogs behind that makes that one tough, unless it's unseasonably cool for some reason when I go.


Jen, part time pourer at Black Ankle Vineyards

If not LOCALLY PRODUCED, then Organic.
If not ORGANIC, then Family farm.
If not FAMILY FARM, then Local business.
If not a LOCAL BUSINESS, then Fair Trade.


#65 Sthitch

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Posted 29 June 2013 - 03:34 PM

Penn Yan

 

Red Tail Ridge also puts out some damn fine wine.



#66 porcupine

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Posted 29 June 2013 - 03:46 PM

 

Any other suggestions for things to do, places to eat, wines to drink in either area (Keuka or Cayuga)?

 

 

Try to get a res at Hazelnut Kitchen in Trumansburg.  Hard to do but worth the effort.  If you're a fan of farm-to-foodie table dining, it's hard to do better.


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#67 porcupine

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Posted 01 July 2013 - 07:18 AM

Don't forget the Finger Lakes Wineries thread in the Beer and Wine Forum.


Elizabeth Miller
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#68 Choirgirl21

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Posted 01 July 2013 - 10:36 AM

Don't forget the Finger Lakes Wineries thread in the Beer and Wine Forum.

Ha, I forgot that thread existed. Was especially surprised to find that I started it and posted in it quite a bit, lol. Thanks. :)


Jen, part time pourer at Black Ankle Vineyards

If not LOCALLY PRODUCED, then Organic.
If not ORGANIC, then Family farm.
If not FAMILY FARM, then Local business.
If not a LOCAL BUSINESS, then Fair Trade.


#69 Choirgirl21

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Posted 03 July 2013 - 12:40 AM

 
Try to get a res at Hazelnut Kitchen in Trumansburg.  Hard to do but worth the effort.  If you're a fan of farm-to-foodie table dining, it's hard to do better.

So I checked and both Suzanne's in Lodi and Hazelnut are only open for dinner Thurs-Sun, which means I may only get to one of them. Which to choose? Leaning toward Suzanne's at the moment based on the menus (seems slightly more paleo-friendly).

Jen, part time pourer at Black Ankle Vineyards

If not LOCALLY PRODUCED, then Organic.
If not ORGANIC, then Family farm.
If not FAMILY FARM, then Local business.
If not a LOCAL BUSINESS, then Fair Trade.


#70 porcupine

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Posted 03 July 2013 - 08:27 AM

I have not been to Suzanne in years, so I'm not sure.  Both emphasize seasonal and local, so I'd say have a look at current menus and decide from there.  I don't think either choice would be a bad one.

 

Heading up there myself today.  Have a res at HK and on the waitlist at Suzanne.  Will try to report back in a timely fashion.


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http://elizaberryblog.wordpress.com/


#71 Choirgirl21

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Posted 03 July 2013 - 10:21 AM

I have not been to Suzanne in years, so I'm not sure.  Both emphasize seasonal and local, so I'd say have a look at current menus and decide from there.  I don't think either choice would be a bad one.

 

Heading up there myself today.  Have a res at HK and on the waitlist at Suzanne.  Will try to report back in a timely fashion.

Thanks, I look forward to hearing back!

 

By the way, from the website it looks as if The Piggery has converted to just the butcher shop like you mentioned. I would be interested if you happen to stop by to hear if there are food options other than just buying charcuterie. I'll stop by either way I think, but would be nice to know if lunch is an option there. The hot dog and slaw sounded so enticing from your earlier post. :(


Jen, part time pourer at Black Ankle Vineyards

If not LOCALLY PRODUCED, then Organic.
If not ORGANIC, then Family farm.
If not FAMILY FARM, then Local business.
If not a LOCAL BUSINESS, then Fair Trade.


#72 porcupine

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Posted 07 July 2013 - 07:00 AM

Hector; Trumansburg

 

Choirgirl21, we weren't able to get a table at Suzanne and didn't have a chance to make it to Ithaca.  We did get to Stonecat twice.  It is once again my favorite restaurant ever.  Maybe because Sheila always remembers us and we feel like family, but that would mean nothing if the food wasn't any good.  We had some of their classics, falafel salad and pulled pork platter one night, warm brownie with Ciao Bella espresso gelato for dessert, and a special that I can't quite remember the next.  Everything was perfect.  Even the field greens salad was the tastiest field greens salad I've had in ages, and I had something like that about 5 times in Victoria and Vancouver last month.  Also, they had the first poutine I've ever tried  that I truly loved, with local cheese curds and local duck gravy.

 

Hazelnut Kitchen wasn't quite the awesome experience we remembered, but still very good.  They also offered a poutine that night, not nearly as good as Stonecat's, made with a lemon-thyme chicken gravy.  The deconstructed pot pie with the same gravy and a biscuit was tasty, and my bowl of house-made fettucine with sugar snap peas, pea tendrils, pork sausage, and creme fraiche with cherries was nicely prepared.  Interesting mix of textures and tastes.  Service a little wonky but honest.  Worth the drive from Watkins Glen, for sure.


Elizabeth Miller
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http://elizaberryblog.wordpress.com/


#73 Choirgirl21

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Posted 10 July 2013 - 12:41 PM

Thank you for the quick report back Porcupine! I am glad to hear you love Stonecat as much as I ever. I just got word that our event planner (I go for the annual greyhound event up there, which is why I am always on Seneca) is working on them to allow us to have our dogs on the deck the whole weekend. In the past, they've only allowed us to sit at tables on the edge where we could have the dogs off the deck in the grass. I've made a point to go for brunch, even alone one year, but if they agree to this, there is a chance of me organizing a larger group for dinner on Saturday, which would THRILL me.

 

Based on your comments about HK, I think I will stick to trying to get a rez at Suzanne on Thursday night.


Jen, part time pourer at Black Ankle Vineyards

If not LOCALLY PRODUCED, then Organic.
If not ORGANIC, then Family farm.
If not FAMILY FARM, then Local business.
If not a LOCAL BUSINESS, then Fair Trade.






Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: New York, Finger Lakes, Upstate New York, Watkins Glen, Ithaca, Hector, Lodi, Geveva, Buffalo, Ovid, Trumansburg, Dundee, Penn Yan, Rochester, Hammondsport, Corning

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