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Does The Finger Lakes area have ANY good restaurants?

  • k
  • Kitty DeL. Jun 19, 2006 08:41 AM

I feel as if I have tried them all. And been disappointed by them all.

They all act like they are hot places but serve up grub that reminds me of 1978.

Is there anything decent in The Finger Lakes?

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  1. Try the Foo Kin Chinese restaurant in Cooperstown. You can't beat their Foo Kin food!

    1. We had dinner at the American Hotel in Sharon Springs a while back and loved it.

      1. Sharon Springs and Cooperstown are both a long ways from the Finger Lakes. Mirbeau Inn in Skaneateles is reputed to be good. Krebs has definitely gone downhill. Knapp Vinyards on Cayuga Lake has a nice restaurant, at least lunch was decent. Belhurst Castle and Geneva on the Lake, both South of Geneva were good the last time I was there, but that is many years ago. Springside Inn, South of Auburn, has a new chef. It might be worth a try. In Syracuse I like Lemon Grass (high end pacific rim type cuisine) and Dinosaur BBQ.

        1 Reply
        1. re: JimmyG

          I also had a nice lunch at Knapp.

        2. We ate lunch at the "Bluewater Grill" in Skaneateles last fall. The restaurant is right over the water at the base of the lake. Part of the restaurant is in a greenhouse-like structure and you have a great view. It was like eating outdoors, without the fall chill.

          I had a fish sandwch and it was excellent. I have heard that Rosalie's, in the Finger Lake region is good, but I have not had the pleasure of eating there.

          3 Replies
          1. re: Fred19

            We were disappointed with Bluewater Grill. Nice spot, nothing special food. Rosalies, also in Skaneateles, can be O.K., and the portions are large (prices to match). Unfortunately, some of the dishes sound better than they actually taste. This is another one of those places that seems to use fine ingredients in uninspired ways. I have had some good meals there, and some not so hot.

            If you find yourself around Ithaca, you might try Thai Cuisine. I believe this is the same family as the owner of Lemon Grass in Syracuse. Lemon Grass is my favorite restaurant in the area, and I have heard good things about Thai Cuisine.

            1. re: JimmyG

              I'd also say in Ithaca you could check out Lost Dog Cafe and try the Penne Vodka. OMG it's the best I've ever had (or at least the one in Binghamton was...)

              1. re: JimmyG

                Rosalies is possibly the best in the Finger Lakes region, if you don't enjoy it you must not be able to afford it.

            2. What sort of food do you like and what are some examples of the disappointments you have experienced? It isn't a great area for food but it has gotten better. Have you tried Dano's new place or the Stone Cat Cafe on the west side of Seneca Lake? Both are quite good, IMO. There is also supposed to be a newish place along that stretch which is supposed to be quite good.

              Otherwise Ithaca has several good choices. Do a search. A recent meal at Pangea was very tasty....

              1. We had a nice meal at the Bullyhill Vineyards on Keuka Lake. Also, gorgeous views and a nice complex. Fresh as can be gelato and cheese made right there on Cowlicks Farm on Seneca Lake. What a great trip. Enjoy.

                1. Ithaca has lots of good restaurants, and Canajoharie isn't bad. Skaneatles is an overpriced tourist trap but the Sherwood Inn there used to have very good food, esp at dinner when the tour buses aren't around. Also had good meals on the lake just south of Geneva. Have not been in some time, though.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Wanda

                    Sherwood Inn has OK pub grub in the bar, but I would stay away from the main dining room.

                    1. re: JimmyG

                      Disappointed re the dining room quality at the Sherwood, I would have expected better - a very appealing place. I have enjoyed a couple of lunches in the tavern though and concur with your assessment.

                  2. Pumpkin Hill Bistro is a great tucked-away little place, just south of Aurora on the east shore of Cayuga Lake. Their web site is awful (http://www.pumpkinhill.us) but the food is mostly great and the staff is super-nice. The restaurant is in an old house that was moved from another location and rebuilt piece by piece.

                    The Heights Cafe in Ithaca (near Triphammer Mall) is supposed to be great, especially for dinner, though I haven't been there yet. (http://www.heightscafe.com/

                    )

                    I ate at Belhurst when I stayed there last year and wasn't terribly impressed.

                    Esperanza Mansion, overlooking Keuka Lake, has pretty decent food. I'd go for their casual side over the more formal dining room. Amazing views, though the staff can be a little flaky (based on a couple visits there last summer). (http://www.esperanzamansion.com/main....

                    )

                    Moosewood Restaurant in Ithaca is one of the nation's most well-known vegetarian trendsetters. (http://www.moosewoodrestaurant.com/)

                    1. Just tried Springside Inn, South of Auburn, this weekend. It is a very nice place with a lovely setting. The food was surprisingly bad. My wife and I both had the Lobster Newburgh appetizer. There were large pieces of claw meat in the sauce, but the meat was very salty and fishy tasting. I wonder if somebody sells the stuff in a can. If there was any sherry in the sauce, it was well hidden. This was covered with a soggy pastry. I had the duck in Grand Marnier sauce. The duck was tough and the sauce was sweet but tasteless. My wife had roast turkey. This appeared to be two slices of turkey breast off a pre-form. The kid had pasta prima-vera, which was edible. For dessert, she got the Flan which was extra sweet and tasted of vanilla extract (that alcohol sort of aftertaste). They recently replaced the chef with a fellow reputed to know what he is doing. If he knows, shame on him.

                      1. On the east side of Seneca Lake, you can find Dano's Heuriger on Seneca ( http://www.danosonseneca.com/ -- a must eat), and the Stonecat cafe ( http://www.stonecatcafe.com ) as well. I haven't been to Suzanne's ( http://www.suzannefrc.com/region.html ) but it's supposed to be excellent.

                        On the west side, there's Ports Cafe ( http://www.portscafe.com ) as well as the cafe at Fox Run Vineyards ( http://www.foxrunvineyards.com/cafe.html -- a nice lunch spot). Kyo Asian Bistro ( http://www.kyorestaurant.com ) isn't bad either, though it does have a bit of a bar vibe.

                        Stay away from Geneva on the Lake & Belhurst -- both charge too much for lackluster food.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: Laura Rebecca

                          Suzanne's is INCREDIBLE

                          BEST RESTAURANT IN THE FINGER LAKES!

                          1. re: Laura Rebecca

                            I agree with the comment about Belhurst - not so good and way too pricey.

                            I grew up in Geneva and still go there a lot. I think the Cobblestone is good, or it used to be. Parkers has great wings though it is a bar. I'm not a fan of Kyo myself, but I have pretty high sushi standards.

                          2. Seven miles North of Auburn in Weedsport is the Old Erie Restaurant. This place is definitely worth the drive. It was far better than Rosalies, Blue Fin, Sherwood and Krebs in Skaneateles; Lasca's and Springside in Auburn; and every other restaurant we have tried in the Eastern Finger Lakes. The crab cake appetizer was as good as any I have had on the DelMarVa Penninsula. I had fried chicken (pan fried) that was excellent. My wife had a pork chop which she thought was outstanding. The desserts are all home made. I had a coconut cream pie that was the best I have had in many years. The cream filling was home made, not out of a box. The crust was flaky and the real whipped cream was covered with fresh toasted coconut. My wife and I have season tickets for the Merry Go Round theater in Auburn (surprisingly good summerstock, BTW) and we have wandered around the area for years looking for a decent place to have dinner before the show. We intend to make this place our regular stop.

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: Jimmyg

                              Update: Old Erie Restaurant changed hands last year. It has gone downhill and is definitely not worth the trip. Too bad. It used to be a real treat.

                              1. re: Jimmyg

                                Again, Sherwood, Rosalies, and Krebs are much better then this place. The place caters to dwellers from the trailer parks in the area. The Old Erie is cheap and terrible, not on the same level as any of the previously mentioned places. if you can't afford it, stay out of Skan.

                                -----
                                Old Erie Restaurant
                                8924 N Seneca St, Weedsport, NY 13166

                                1. re: aak274

                                  Sherwood and Krebs are not particularly memorable, and Rosalie's is VERY expensive for pasta. Bluewater is insanely loud. If I want good food, I skip Skaneateles (though Mirabeau is reputed to be good- haven't gotten there yet.)

                                  Daniel's Grill in Marcellus is good. Not great, but good, and reasonably priced with good service. Best of the available options in that area.

                                  -----
                                  Daniel's Grill
                                  69 North St, Marcellus, NY 13108

                              2. I tried Dano's Heuriger, outside of Ithaca, this summer and was very pleased with the ambience, food, service and price. The strudel was the best I had ever tasted (and I had an Austrian grandmother). We ordered a wurst, dumplings, smoked trout and a salad for dinner. The local beer (Wagner, I think) was wonderful. And the view of the lake coupled with impressive modern interior design had us smiling, and admiring our surroundings much of the evening.

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: gymcoach

                                  I will second Dano's Heuriger, a wonderful restaurant, great food, really fun, and inexpensive. You can try many different spreads, sausages, smoked fish dishes. The haddock with a slightly sweet tomato sauce was excellent. Goulash was wonderful. Fairly priced Finger Lakes and Austrian wines--we had a delicious Blaufrankisch (Glatzer). The winegrowing climate is probably similar...I haven't seen any Finger Lakes wineries try Gruner Veltliner yet, but they can make lovely Rieslings and Gewurztraminers. A couple have been toying with Blaufrankisch (Lemberger), too.

                                  9564 Route 414, Lodi
                                  607-582-7555

                                2. Coyote Loco in Ithaca is v. good mexican (on top of the hill near Cornell). A-1 restaurant in Groton, just north of Ithaca, is good Greek/Italian/American. Taughannock Farms Inn just outside Ithaca is good also, great views and a great NY wine list, but pretty fancy. I second the rec about Old Erie- not to be missed (and just off the thruway which is nice). There are some good spots in Canadaigua (sp) also, check the posts. I think many of the restaurants attached to the wineries are hit or miss, nothing spectacular.

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: kloomis

                                    FYI - Coyote Loco has been closed for quite awhile now...
                                    The best Mexican option in Ithaca (for upstate NY, that is) now is Garcia's, which opened just a bit ago (this is the same Garcia's folks as in Cortland).

                                  2. We were in the area last week. We had lunch at Stone Cat Cafe and thoroughly enjoyed it. At outside on a nice patio and had scallops and pulled pork bbq with dill coleslaw that was quite good. We also ate at Dano's Heuriger which we loved. A contemporary looking restaurant with a deck looking down towards the lake, prepares wonderful ethnic food. We had some smoked sausage, veal and a pork chop that was to die for. The side dishes (tomatoes with cucumbers, corn salad, etc.) were also excellent. Everything is ala carte and you can order several things and then share. We also ate at Suzanne's Fine Regional Cuisine. I just posted another msg on here about our meal there. We'd love to live less than 5 hr. away so we could return often.

                                    1. My family owns a place on Honeoye Lake south of Rochester and a few miles west of Canandaigua. Honeoye is one of the smaller Finger Lakes (5 miles by 1/4 mile or so). The Valley Inn which is just at the northwest part of town at the intersection of Route 20A and County Road 36 (I'm pretty sure its 36) is some of the best food I've ever had in a great casual family atmosphere. There's a nice separate bar area. HUGE variety of entrees, but in the nearly 20 years I've been going to Honeoye, I've never had a bad meal at the Valley Inn. There are also some great places to eat in Naples, about 20 minutes south of Honeoye.

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: tmannesq

                                        Only a bit off-topic, but since our Finger Lakes vacation last summer we've been dying to know: how the heck do you pronounce "Honeoye"?

                                      2. So what's wrong with 1978 cuisine?

                                        1. To HelenF:

                                          It's pronounced "Honey-oi." The first e throws a lot of people off. Those confounded Iroquois. My hometown is even worse: the Rochester suburb of Irondequoit, Iroquois for "where the land and waters meet." At least that's what the cop cars said when I was growing up.

                                          1. No....In fact we wer so fed up with the food that we ordered KFC our last night which is traditionally our big night out.

                                            However there is a clean littel diner on 5/20 just befoer you reach waterloo that serves a decent breakfast..... AVOID THE HERITGE CAFE at all costs

                                            1. If you are in Ithaca, my wife and I had a very nice dinner at "Just A Taste," a very casual and inexpensive tapas and wine bar. Their menu featured a lot of items from local farms, and all the dishes we ordered were nicely done. A very nice wine selection, too - we each did a flight- one red, one white.

                                              -----
                                              Just A Taste
                                              116 N Aurora St, Ithaca, NY 14850

                                              1. Does't anyone know that Moosewood Restaurant is in Ithaca?!?! And the Aurora Inn 1/2 hr no. of Ithaca is a very special place!!

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: mgebs

                                                  Moosewood is overrated, IMO. I think I like their entrees better when I make them at home from the cookbook, although the soup and dessert were nice.

                                                  1. re: origamifreak

                                                    Agreed, it's got a great reputation and the cookbooks are fun, but the place itself isn't anything special.

                                                2. We'd like to take a ride up in this region in the autumn to the wineries. Can anyone suggest good wineries and good restaurants near the wineries.

                                                  6 Replies
                                                  1. re: GIOny

                                                    Dr Konstantin Frank has good sparkling wines and the the unusual and delicious Rkatseteli (Keuka Lake, west side).
                                                    On the east side of Keuka, Ravines is run by the former winemaker from Dr Frank. I really liked their Cerise red blend and their Pinot Noir rose. Lamoreaux Landing has a beautiful tasting room and their Gewurztraminer is nice. Red Newt Cellars has a nice bistro and I was surprised at how good their 2002 red blend is...they have a flight of three vintages to taste. Their 2006 Riesling is pretty good, too.

                                                    Restaurants: Dano's and Suzanne are both on the east side of Keuka (see posts above on this thread)...I would say don't miss Dano's. I wish we had a place like it in NYC.

                                                    Over on the west side of Seneca, upstate friends tell me that Herman J. Wiemer has the best wines in the Finger Lakes but I haven't been there myself.

                                                    1. re: kenito799

                                                      Sorry...I got my lakes mixed up. Dano's, Suzanne, Lamoreaux Landing and Red Newt are all on the east side of Seneca Lake...
                                                      Ravines is on the east side of Keuka Lake...
                                                      Wiemer is on the west side of Seneca Lake...
                                                      Frank is on the west side of Keuka Lake.

                                                      There will be a winery map available at any of the wineries so you won't get lost.

                                                      1. re: kenito799

                                                        Thanks kenito!

                                                    2. re: GIOny

                                                      Gio - definitely go to Dr. Frank. Try the semi-dry reisling. Their other whites are wonderful too.

                                                      1. re: laylag

                                                        Thanks laylag, looking forward to it!!

                                                      2. re: GIOny

                                                        It depends on what kind of wine you like. Personally I don't like most wineries on Seneca Lake so I avoid it. Plus I hate tour buses which Seneca Lake is full of. There are definitely some charms on Seneca but they are few and far between.

                                                        Keuka has probably the best wineries with Dr. Frank's, Ravines and MacGregors (which has some of the best reds in the Finger Lakes).

                                                        In general, come to the Finger Lakes for Riesling, stay for the Gewurztraminer, and don't expect a whole lot from the reds. Then again...my father in law thinks Hazlitt's Red Cat is the best wine on earth, so it depends on your taste!

                                                      3. I visited this area about 10 years ago and ate at a restaurant an inn on the one and only street in Aurora, on the same street as Wells College. It has a gorgeous view of the lakes. I remember the food as being fine.

                                                        I'm guessing it's the Aurora Inn
                                                        http://www.aurora-inn.com/

                                                        It's kind of isolated, but if you're out there, maybe you can look in.

                                                        3 Replies
                                                        1. re: willownt

                                                          The Aurora Inn that you visited has been demolished and rebuilt - it is beautiful but cold. The service is brutal and suspicious. The food is inconsistent, at best. And any complaints are dealt with by making you feels somehow responsible. Too much money went into making this a mediocre food and scenic experience.. And, it is very pricey!

                                                          1. re: cayuga

                                                            Have to disagree with the above comments re: the Aurora Inn. I've eaten there at least three times in the past two years (both lunch and dinner.) The dining room and the outdoor dining area are beautiful and not at all cold (either physically or aesthetically.) The service on the occasions I was there was attentive and friendly. I don't think it is expensive, particularly when compared with Mirbeau and others mentioned above. The food was very good, but maybe not great. All in all, the Aurora Inn is a find in that area and, for me, worth a detour.

                                                            1. re: tuttobene

                                                              Here, check this out, reviews of the Aurora Inn from TripAdvisor! They are similar to the sort of bizarre experiences that my family and I have experienced there.
                                                              http://aurorany.org/Visit.html

                                                        2. Had a delicious meal this past weekend at Madderlake Cafe on Rt. 14 about 5 miles south of Geneva. Very flavorful, somewhat creative food emphasizing local fresh ingredients. Good choices if you are a vegetarian, too. Nice to see something worthwhile on the west side of Seneca.

                                                          2 Replies
                                                          1. re: jmoryl

                                                            I second the positive reviews about Ports, Madderlake, Dano's and Suzanne's, Suzanne's is expensive but fantastic. Get reservations days in advance there, as it fills up.

                                                            I also have some Geneva area comments:

                                                            Don't like Kyo; for a place that's supposed to have some kind of Japanese influence it's unforgiveable to overcook fish.

                                                            Stay away from Bellhurst (good location, mediocre food), Cobblestone, and the Pier House (Ramada Inn restaurant).

                                                            Crow's Nest is another one with a good location but overpriced, mediocre food. Example: earlier in the summer they featured a shrimp, tabasco, watermelon salad. $14 for a bed of greens, 2 small pieces of watermelon, and 4 shrimp, all drizzled with a little tabasco? I don't think so. (and these were normal shrimp, not popcorn sized, but definitely not prawns, or anything.) The Friday Fish Fry Platter is the only reasonably priced, decent entree there, based on what other diners seem to like.

                                                            1. re: origamifreak

                                                              Bummer to hear the Cobblestone isn't good anymore...they used to have great food when they first opened.

                                                          2. Mirbeau in Skaneateles is great and expensive but worth it. Casual lunch there - Doug's Fish Fry. Heard from many that Rosalie's is not all that and way overpriced.

                                                            In Ithaca, Taste on Aurora street is a very good tapas and wine flight place and also Taste of Thai/Thai Taste? - it's the Thai restaurant that's on the commons - excellent.

                                                            1. Ithaca has many wonderful restaurants! Taste of Thai, Maxie's Supper Club (cajun/seafood), Just A Taste (as someone else mentioned), Za-Za's Cucina...I could go on and on. Since I went to college in Ithaca but didn't have a car, I didn't often venture out to the rest of the Finger Lakes region, so I can't vouch for any other restaurants in the area. Although I did make it to quite a few wineries on Cayuga and Seneca Lakes...some more noteworthy than others, but most of them with spectacular views! Lucas is one on the western side of Cayuga, in the southern portion, that I particularly enjoyed, especially their Rieslings. We had the actual winemaker pouring and explaning all of the wines to us, which was great. Never made it over to Keuka although I would like to!

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: Solstice444

                                                                try looking at Cooking with Ideas at http://www.cookingwithideas.typepad.com

                                                                try stone cat cafe; try new place in geneva called halsey's (when heather is there as chef), try red dove, eat normal bread from dustin in geneva

                                                              2. try cooking with ideas at http://www.cookingwithideas.typepad.com

                                                                1. Ithaca NY is a Great Food Town. Some spots enjoyed during visits

                                                                  ABC Vegetarian Restaurant - If you are frustrated with Moosewood or just need a change
                                                                  Blue Stone Restaurant - Good Food and Drinks (Try a blueberry infused Rum)
                                                                  Maxie's Supper Club - Exceeded expectations - the grits were AMAZING!
                                                                  Moosewood Restaurant - Different Menu everyday - Amazing Chocolate Brownies
                                                                  The Ithaca Bakery - So many yummy things - cheddar chive biscuits
                                                                  Just a taste is AMAZING, one of my favorite restaurants anywhere - get a wine flight and try every tapas on the menu!
                                                                  For ice cream the Cornell Dairy Store is good have tried the - Mango Sorbet - Berry and Espresso which was with full beans.
                                                                  The Ithaca Farm Market was AMAZING! There are lots of small stalls that serve breakfast, homemade breads, and snacks. Gimme Coffee has a stand there as well!
                                                                  Excellent restaurants outside Ithaca

                                                                  Crooked Rooster Brew Pub/Wildflower Cafe Watkins Glen NY
                                                                  http://www.roosterfishbrewing.com/
                                                                  The beer selection is excellent.
                                                                  They had the most AMAZING special black bean chipolte chocolate soup!
                                                                  A great stop before or after a wine tour.

                                                                  Hazelnut Kitchen Trumansburg NY
                                                                  www.hazelnutkitchen.com
                                                                  The entire meal here was exceptional! Wonderful fresh food and presentation!
                                                                  Exceeded expectations in every way!

                                                                  1. Dano's is the best restaurant in this entire area. Price : quality cannot be beat. They also rent for special events so CALL AHEAD for hours if you are traveling from a distance to eat there. We eat there as often as possible. Nice atmosphere and day time views of Seneca are lovely. Best pork I've had since moving north. Outdoor patio in summer.

                                                                    -----
                                                                    Dano's Heuriger On Seneca
                                                                    9564 State Route 414, Lodi, NY 14860

                                                                    1. Stone Cat Cafe is fantastic. I had the most amazing grape pie there and savory pork bbq. Beautifully prepared salmon. Everything has been just terrific and the service there is warm and friendly.

                                                                      1. I tend to prefer places that remind me of 1948, but I don't know if that's your style. I didn't hit too many upscale places, but the steamed clams (and cocktails) at The Krebs in Skaneateles hit the spot. Home-made pie at the Penn Yan diner was superb. And the breakfasts at the unimposing Dairyman's diner in Dundee were tops for their local sausages.

                                                                         
                                                                        1. I went to school in Ithaca for 4 years and absolutely loved the area. In Ithaca itself, these restaurants are worth recommending:
                                                                          - The Heights - quite posh, this is where campus recruiters from the big hotel companies and investment bank firms host their dinners when they are in town
                                                                          - Maxie's is great for oysters
                                                                          - Collegetown Bagels is located at Cornell's collegetown and it's awesome! The CTBLT is great and so are the sangrias
                                                                          - Just A Taste - tapas with wine tasting
                                                                          - Dijon - French bistro. very very good
                                                                          - John Thomas steakhouse
                                                                          - Four Seasons - great Korean food and run by a family
                                                                          - Carriage House - best place in town for brunch. they serve homeade tomato ketchup. reservations required.

                                                                          Also make a stop on campus and go to the Cornell Dairy Bar for ice cream of all kinds of flavors.

                                                                          Rosalies Cucina in Skaneateles is also good.

                                                                          -----
                                                                          Just A Taste
                                                                          116 N Aurora St, Ithaca, NY 14850

                                                                          Four Seasons
                                                                          404 Eddy St Ste A, Ithaca, NY 14850

                                                                          Carriage House Cafe
                                                                          305 Stewart Ave, Ithaca, NY 14850

                                                                          2 Replies
                                                                          1. re: aj84

                                                                            Just as an update:

                                                                            Dijon (and downtown sister restaurant, Mustard) are closed.

                                                                            The Cornell Dairy Bar is currently closed for renovations, but you can get Cornell ice cream just down the street at the Trillum Cafe in Kennedy Hall, and the intersection of Tower Road and Garden Avenue (though parking may be less convenient when there isn't a dedicated lot nearby): http://foodscience.cornell.edu/cals/f... . Can easily pick some up and enjoy in the adjacent Minns Garden (to the east) or Azalea Garden (to the west).

                                                                            1. re: 4Snisl

                                                                              Has anyone been to Moro's Table in Auburn? We will be in Skaneatles later in August and this restaurant has been recommended to us. I believe the chef used to be at Mirbeau, where we had an excellent meal a couple of years back. The website does not list a menu, which appears to change frequently.

                                                                          2. Has anyone tried Dano's Heuriger on Seneca LAke???

                                                                            http://www.danosonseneca.com/

                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                            1. re: Buffalogal

                                                                              I was there a couple of years ago and enjoyed it. The "everything a la carte" was easy to get used to once they explain it, and a lot of fun

                                                                              1. re: Buffalogal

                                                                                We took the advice of numerous people on here, and tried Dano's on Saturday night after we spent the day in Corning and at some of the wineries on Seneca Lake. First, its in a prime location on the lake - the sunset was beautiful, and it added to the ambience of the restaurant. The food was very different - some flavors we have never experienced - but it was delicious. The fact that we consider ourselves "foodies" yet just discovered so many new flavors, is a very good thing.

                                                                                We would recommend being adventurous and trying new things - but have to say that the smoked trout was delicious, as was the charcuterie platter that we shared.

                                                                                Warning - do not leave without having the apple strudel for dessert!!! We both agree that it is the best non-chocolate dessert we have ever tasted (yes - EVER!). Perfectly flaky on the outside, luscious apples and walnuts on the inside, along with fresh, barely sweetened whipped cream.

                                                                                We'll definitely be back!

                                                                                -----
                                                                                Dano's Heuriger On Seneca
                                                                                9564 State Route 414, Lodi, NY 14860

                                                                              2. I am originally from CNY and now live in NYC where, of course, there are excellent places to eat at all price points. Being a rural area, dining in much of the Finger Lakes falls a bit behind most urban/foodie locales, but there are still some very good spots to be found.

                                                                                Elderberry Pond has a lovely locavore menu in a quaint venue that will remind you of being in VT; Mirbeau's breakfast and lunch were surprisingly delicious (I went in a bit skeptical); and Pumpkin Hill Bistro in Aurora is also very good (although it may have changed owners recently). If you are looking for something at a lower price point, or more kid-friendly venues, try Doug's Fish Fry in Skaneateles, Dinosaur BBQ in Syracuse (fun atmosphere) or Auburn has a couple really good, very casual pizza places, like Nino's. I agree with the earlier posts that the Sherwood, Krebs, Springside and Rosalie's are overpriced for the quality.

                                                                                Ithaca is known as a foodie town, but I do not know it well enough to recommend any one place. Good luck and enjoy exploring the area.

                                                                                -----
                                                                                Doug's Fish Fry
                                                                                8 Jordan St, Skaneateles, NY 13152

                                                                                Elderberry Pond Restaurant
                                                                                3712 Center Street Rd, Auburn, NY 13021

                                                                                Pumpkin Hill
                                                                                2051 Route 90, Aurora, NY 13026

                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                1. re: HAE

                                                                                  Just East of Geneva there's EMILE'S. It is not upscale or fine dining by any means; more like family-style and comfort foods. However, it sounds like many on this board have been herded into tourist traps and this place is the antidote.
                                                                                  Packed with locals; you may need to call for a reservation. Specializing in Italian dishes and home-made pies. Everyone piles up on the ample salad bar; entrées include steak, chops, seafood, as well as pasta. Excellent children's menu and wine list.
                                                                                  If you don't mind the down-home wood paneling, the dedicated but harried wait staff, and the chaos of a very popular locale (which is in the middle of nowhere; people come from miles around because it's good). Try it and see what you think if you are in the Northern or Western Finger Lakes.

                                                                                2. Hello Hounds,
                                                                                  Any recent updates?
                                                                                  Need recommendation for a restaurant that can accommodate a group of about 16, enroute from Toronto to NYC.
                                                                                  Great food a must. Price is not an issue. Many Thanks!

                                                                                  8 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: Charles Yu

                                                                                    We just had lunch at "Top of the Lake" at 301 Lake St., Penn Yan,NY. This place recently reopened under with new owners/managers.
                                                                                    This is the second lunch we have had and it was very good. Service was great as was the lunch food. (salads,soups, burgers, wraps, sandwiches) We glanced at the dinner menu and it was much more upscale. Steaks,fish, pasta...
                                                                                    Not too fancy but very nice.
                                                                                    Hey they have real table cloths and napkins!(at least at supper time!
                                                                                    Also is Verasions at Glenora Vineyards at 5435 Rt.14, Dundee, NY 14837. This is much more upscale than Top of the Lake. Their website and menu are very fancy. Good luck.

                                                                                    Top of the Lake seems more local and Verasions more wine trail tourist.

                                                                                    1. re: Charles Yu

                                                                                      Moro's Table in Auburn, NY is consistently good. The food is excellent, the atmosphere is casual, but pleasant, and the wine list mostly local, but generally good. Expensive, but well worth the price.

                                                                                      1. re: Charles Yu

                                                                                        What date will you be traveling?

                                                                                        You may want to contact Dano's Heuriger in Lodi, NY to see if they can accomodate a group of that size on the date you are traveling (currently winter hours, only open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays). danosonseneca.com

                                                                                        1. re: 4Snisl

                                                                                          Planning way ahead for Summer. Group has expensive and discriminating palette. Dano's looks interesting to me but might be too casual and 'rough with an edge' for them?

                                                                                          1. re: Charles Yu

                                                                                            Knowing your tastes you will be out of luck. Nothing really qualifying as fine dining in this area.

                                                                                            Been to Suzanne's which was nominated for a Beard award but was underwhelmed. While casual I stand by Dano's as having the best food in the area.

                                                                                        2. re: Charles Yu

                                                                                          Charles, recognize you from the Hong Kong and NYC forums. Totally agree with 4Snisl's suggestion of Dano's. If open, probably the best restaurant to fit your party's needs. Most of the restaurants around the Finger Lakes will have seasonal hours during the winter.

                                                                                          Alternatively you might try Ithaca. Just a Taste is a tapas bar that's quite popular.

                                                                                          1. re: Charles Yu

                                                                                            Have a look at Hazelnut Kitchen in Trumansburg. Maybe not fancy enough for your crowd, but I enjoyed it. Call to see if they can accomdate a group of your size.

                                                                                            1. re: Charles Yu

                                                                                              If you are interested in going slightly out of your way, you should check out Good Luck in Rochester. http://www.restaurantgoodluck.com/

                                                                                              They should be able to accommodate your party, as long as you make a reservation ahead of time. Food is excellent. Depending on what time and day you go, it can get a bit loud, since there's not much in the place to dampen the sound, though it is an otherwise very well-designed space.

                                                                                              Another option is their sister spot, Cure at the Public Market. http://curebar.net/ I haven't been yet but have heard excellent things.

                                                                                              The Revelry has been the latest hotspot around here and I've been for drinks and appetizers, but not dinner yet, though I plan to. Word on the street is that the food is good and appropriately priced. http://www.therevelryroc.com/

                                                                                            2. 1820 House, overlooking Skaneateles Lake is a hidden treasure - chef is owned- Do not judge when you pull up outside - the food is 5 star, the view is 10 star - you will not regret

                                                                                              1. Any updates on restaurants near Lake Seneca?

                                                                                                3 Replies
                                                                                                1. re: Pookipichu

                                                                                                  Nothing really new that I know of, I'm afraid. Dano's was not too great last time I was there (warm foods were served lukewarm at best, braised beef was tough, roasted chicken was not as tender as usual) but I believe Dano was not in the kitchen that day. Others I've talked with said it was probably an anomaly, so I'll give it another shot. The eggplant was as good as ever that day.

                                                                                                  Stonecat Cafe in Hector still good. Standard menu is mostly the same, but a few additions have been made. I had a duck confit dish for brunch that was rich, but very tasty.

                                                                                                  Have been hearing that Suzanne's is producing great food, but I haven't been this season. Friend went to Easter supper this year (with a set menu) and he said it was one of his best restaurant meals in the Finger Lakes area in 15 years.

                                                                                                  Good luck! Are you going to be on a particular side of the lake?

                                                                                                  1. re: 4Snisl

                                                                                                    I am staying at the southern tip but will be on both coasts. I <3 the finger lakes :)

                                                                                                  2. re: Pookipichu

                                                                                                    The Himrod Eagle is the locals favorite for a nice lunch or dinner,just off Rt.14 in Himrod across from the post office.

                                                                                                  3. Two spots come to mind , both on or near Seneca Lake.
                                                                                                    Dano's Heuriger on Seneca. Dano is the owner, he is Austrian and the food is absolutely wonderful, the lodge-like, open atmosphere of the dining room is very refined, yet comfortable. Eating outdoors is an option that is very nice. Also, another option http://stonecatcafe.com/
                                                                                                    Stonecat cafe, live music and a very cool vibe.

                                                                                                    1. What about the Aurora Inn on Cayuga? Ate there three yrs. ago and it was wonderful.