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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

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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.
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#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.


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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.


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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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#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.


#74 porcupine

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 07:01 AM

Lodi; Hector; Watkins Glen

 

This year we finally got a res at Suzanne.  While the food was quite good, I left feeling a little meh.  It really does try to be a fine-dining experience.  Not that there's anything wrong with that, but after driving 5 1/2 hours there and needing to be awake at 5am the next day, we were not thrilled with sitting around two hours to eat three courses.  OTOH, I am grateful that they allowed me to choose two courses from the fixed price tasting menu.  And it really is a charming setting.  The kitchen garden in back is extensive and beautiful.  It just isn't quite my cup of tea.

 

Hazelnut Kitchen was closed for summer break.  Nuts.

 

Tobe's is once again out of business.  Nuts.

 

Glen Mountain Market has apparently changed owners.  The only noticeable difference is that they've upped their coffee game and are now offering coffees brewed with beans from local roasters, including Gimme! from Ithaca.  Yay!

 

Dano's needs to refresh itself.  OTOH, it still draws in the crowds and I expect if they made permanent changes the same people who've been dining there for generations would be put out.  But we're getting a little tired of it.

 

And my beloved Stonecat is still going strong.  Sheila didn't see us until we were on the way out, and it's been a year since we were last there, but she hugged me and hugged and kissed Mr. P.  There's no place in the DC area that I love like I love Stonecat.  It's more than the sum of its parts.  It's often flawed but in easily forgivable ways.  The menu is influenced by many different cultures but always based on what's locally/seasonally available; there's even a "where your food is coming from" section on it.

 

Interesting to me that one of my racing buddies - a generation older than me, has traveled just about everywhere around the world for extended periods of time, and a foodie himself - cornered me one day and asked which I thought was better (without defining "better"), Suzanne or Stonecat.  "Stonecat", I replied.  "Me, too", said he.

 

A few weeks ago Mr. P and I drove to Columbus, OH and back in one day.  I think next time we have a free Sunday I'm going to suggest we drive to Stonecat for brunch and back in the same day.  WTFN?


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#75 Choirgirl21

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Posted 29 July 2014 - 06:10 PM

I realized I forgot to post after my trip last year. I did go to Suzanne based on the above recommendation and we really enjoyed our meal. It is perhaps trying a bit too hard to be a fine dining experience, but our dishes were outstanding and we enjoyed a lovely Heart & Hands pinot while we were there. We also had an outstanding group meal at Stonecat (8 of us in total) keeping it again as my favorite restaurant in the area.

 

Unfortunately this year our dining experiences weren't as rewarding. We went back to Red Newt on Friday evening to learn that since our visit 2 years ago, the chef had left and the owner was now in the kitchen again. The story we were sold was that they had decided to return to their roots and revert to a bistro style menu. Instead of the previous menu that offered many small and large plates of outstanding and beautiful food, we were presented with a small menu containing a few small plates, about 3 large plates (a pasta, a gnocchi, and a pork chop), and grilled cheese with a few options for filling additions. They also offer a tasting of their "favorite" menu items along with small pours of 4 wines for $25. The tasting plate, which one person had, included a square of grilled cheese, a shot glass of tomato soup, a bit of one local cheese, a bit of a pork pate, a small black bean cake with some sort of riesling sauce and a small portion of kale salad. 

 

Grilled cheese got ordered by quite a few people and reports were that they and the tomato soup were good, if basic. The gnocchi, which I ordered was another popular item. Both the gnocchi and the cream sauce it was served in were surprisingly light and I really enjoyed it. The ground sausage promised in the menu description was sparse, but there was also kale that had been added at the end and was just wilted that was nice. Carrots and sliced fennel were a nice addition, but chunks were often too large and too raw so some of those got pushed aside. 

 

The other disappointment was that their by the glass wine list now includes only their own wines. I was able to find a dry riesling (the 2012 reserve at $11/glass) that I enjoyed once the server and I got it straightened out that she had poured me and my friend the wrong wine (she started to tell me how riesling had a fruity component that makes it taste sweet when I asked her how they could call what she had poured a dry riesling, but when I pushed her on whether the wine contained residual sugar she realized she had made a mistake and poured us one of the barely semi-dry rieslings accidentally). The cabernet franc wasn't as enjoyable, with an odd effervescence when first poured.

 

On our previous visit we also sat on the deck, enjoying the beautiful view and weather. This year we were unfortunately seated inside (I don't recall if they just moved tables outside for us last time, but this time we only saw round 4 tops so we didn't ask to be put outside like we would have liked as we were a party of 8). The inside is in need of a total redo. There is old dark carpeting, plain tables with no tablecloths, no decorations to be seen, and it's dark. It's a real disappointment when you can see what you could be enjoying if you were outside. Service was also much less attentive than I would have liked, but I can hardly blame our server as some in our party weren't exactly quiet about their disappointment when they saw the menu changes.

 

Overall, some of us were more disappointed than others, partially because we had quite different expectations. I would probably go back there for a snack or light meal only if I knew I would be able to sit outside, but I think they have some work to do before becoming a destination restaurant again.

 

Stonecat held its own disappointments for us as well this year. The biggest was that after we had been left to peruse our menu for quite some time and had already had a cheese plate delivered we were told that they were out of 3 entree items, including one of the 3 specials, as well as a dessert ice cream. With such a small menu already, those 3 menu items, which many of us had already decided to order were really missed. To the kitchen's credit, when they heard that 2 of the vegetarians had been planning to order the mushroom risotto again this year, they created an impromptu alternative, a thai dish with lots of fresh vegetables and tofu that at least smelled amazing, but by then, I think the damage was already done. I had been planning to order the duck confit and sausage dish, but that was also one of the dishes that was gone. There wasn't much that appealed on the remaining list and not wanting to spend $30 on a ribeye that I could potentially cook at home, I went for the scallop special despite my hesitation about the mixed berry sauce. I was pleasantly surprised that the sauce was more savory than sweet, but the berry flavor was very strong and not my style. The accompanying barley/spelt/pecan mixture and grilled squash were frankly boring accompaniments. Having seen the ribeyes that a few friends ordered come out cooked perfectly I wish I had just ordered one.  The field greens salad with added chevre I had beforehand however was delicious. I think there's a ceiling on how good a salad can be, but Stonecat pushes the limits with theirs. The ricotta pie served with a berry sauce that I had for dessert was also delicious. Their wine by the glass list still has a nice selection and they continue to have interesting cocktails, some that deliver on taste better than others, but I recommend avoiding the Hector late harvest chardonnay if they happen to have it when you go.  ;)

 

We also had some slight services issues and of course were told we couldn't sit on the deck because we were a large party (8 again) who would "ruin the flow" outside. It's understandable I guess, but it was torture to sit inside for the second night in a row seeing the fine weather and sunset view we could be enjoying. I've been to Stonecat enough times to know I will go back again, but unfortunately some in my party were turned off enough this time that they've decided they won't. It's a shame, especially since last year we were the party buying the kitchen a 6-pack because we were enjoying ourselves so much. 

 

Other meals included Seneca Harbor Station (after 2 meals here, it's just really not worth it, even for the dog-friendly deck or views), lunch at 2 Goats (the roast beef sandwich is still worth a trip, but this year I found the meat drier and a little less generous than usual), and lunch at a new spot, FLX Wienery. If you are in the area, GO! It's not too far up on the west side of Seneca, offering smoked hot dogs and white hots, housemade sausages, and burgers with various fun toppings. If you're having trouble deciding, there are also recommended topping combos that you can order with one or 2 meats. I went with one of those, "The Kraut" with the smoked hot dog and a housemade brat. When I placed my order and the girl asked me if it was going to be a problem that my order would take a few extra minutes because the chef was making the brats fresh at the moment I knew I was in the right place. We finished placing our order and sat to watch him stuffed the brats. The hot dog and brat arrived, both topped with stone ground mustard, fresh kraut, fried onions, and fresh herbs. The fried onions alone were outstanding and deserving of being ordered as their own side and the combination was nice with the brat. The smoked dog was so good that I mostly ate it alone with a bit of mustard and ketchup and did indeed eat those onions as a side.

 

The poutine was also phenomenal. Thin cut fries that were perfectly crispy topped iwth an outstanding creamy gravy, cheese curds that appeared to have been grated to give them a finer texture, and fresh herbs that brightened an otherwise heavy dish. Even though the focus here is on the meat, I think it's worth going to have the poutine alone. If you are there, you MUST, and I do mean, MUST indulge in a milkshake as well. They often have a special or two featuring local berries (we had a taste of the blueberry as they were already out of the black raspberries when we arrived), but my friend opted for the bacon brown sugar and despite being ready to bust, we couldn't stop drinking it. The girl who took our order also mentioned her favorite, the salted caramel pretzel and I still remain a little sad that I didn't just go ahead and order it. 

 

When you're done, head up the road just a bit to Starkey's Lookout and take in the gorgeous view from their deck while trying a sample of their beers. I really enjoyed their belgian amber, the IPA, and surprisingly the pilsner, which had a hoppy quality and a citrusy brightness that I really enjoyed (prior to this I had never had a pilsner I enjoyed). The scotch ale and porter were also nice options. Avoid the tangerine wit unless alcoholic tang is your thing.  :P

 

I can also second Porcupine's comment about the coffee program at Glen Mtn Market. It's been my go to place for years because the coffee served with breakfast at the Seneca Lodge is basically water, but this year I noticed an improvement, even without knowing why. The biggest perk for me (pun intended, heh) was a macchiato on the menu that is actually a real macchiatto. They also make a delicious Americano with the proper ratio of water. While I didn't partake this year, if pastry is your thing, they always have a large selection of pastries as big as your head, including some vegan and gluten free options. 


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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.
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