In and Around Utica, New York
We will be bringing our son back to RPI, near Albany, next week and thought we might spend a few days in the Utica area. Can anyone suggest places to eat and maybe someplace to hang out in the evening. Greek is out, but all other foods are IN and cost isn't an issue. I know that the Turning Stone casino is close by, but looking for other ideas as well. We won't be dressing up...casual needed. Thanks.
My daughter just completed her first year at Hamilton, so we have been up to visit several times, and have dined at a few places in New Hartford and Utica. She also is a friend of the College paper's restaurant reviewer, so has sampled other dining establishments.
Minar is an Indian restaurant in Utica at which my daughter has eaten twice and really enjoyed. besides the very greasy naan, everything else was very good, with chicken tikki masala being outstanding. my daughter tells me that (within reason) they will prepare Indian dishes for you that are not on the menu.
We have eaten at Joey's on Mohawk three times. besides the warm, friendly service and ridiculously low prices, their homemade pasta is outstanding. Chicken riggies are outstanding and even though I am a big eater, I cannot finish them. We also like the "hats" with broccoli and oil and garlic. Huge portions and reasonable prices. try it.
for diner-type food in a slightly different venue, try Zebb's in New Hartford. reasonable prices, big (but not huge) portions, nicely spiced french fries, and great fresh bakede cookies for dessert.
Just got back from my reunion at Hamilton College. I read the post below and I think I went to the right Georgios, but it was at 60 Genesee Street in New Hartford, just over the Utica border, and on the glidepath to the college from I-90. It was REALLY GOOD! I ordered the Frutti de Mare and asked to skip the linguini. The fish tasted really fresh, and the broth was wonderful going down my pollen-encrusted throat. 3 adults and 2 kids ate for $66+tip! I'm from the NYC area, so that was the bargain of the century. I sent some other friends there the next night.
Also notable was the Clinton Cider Mill, which I recall fondly from college. It is a neat stop for kids, and even better now that they sell ice cream too.
Finally, I sadly lament the passing of the Uptown Grill in Utica, a wonderful pub where I tasted my first Saranac. It was a more interesting bar than the Clinton ones in college; a place you always felt welcome.
There are some really great Italian restaurants in the area. You may want to check a local website: www.cnyeats.com. I used to work part time in Utica, so maybe a local can help you more.
I like Grimaldi's for authentic italian (John St?), an upscale setting, but no need to dress up.
Cafe Canole is v. good, with great pastries and desserts. Be sure to check out the Florentine Bakery on John St (down from Grimaldi's)... the best cannolis and pastis I have had outside NYC and Boston's north end.
Hook, line and sinker is good seafood.
Roma's is a good spot to try "tomato pie", a local favorite. Georgios has the best "greens" in town (IMHO). Joey's on Mohawk has great chicken riggies (another local fave), but if you want the best riggies, go to Teddy's in Rome, about 20 minutes away.
Ventura and Delmonicos are decent also.