In Rome, NY for a bit...Anything a Manhattanite might deem "passable"?
I have come to save your day. I too was forced by business to withstand the culinary void of the "Dark Triangle" (Utica and Rome). I am a native Manhattanite who on the verge of starvation discovered a savior worthy of regular pilgramages.
Are you ready?
8195 Seneca Turnpike (AKA RT. 5)
Clinton, NY 13323
You can thank me later.
There are a few places in Utica if you want to drive. I like Cafe Canole and Symeons for something different, their menus are a bit more eclectic. In Rome there is a small cafe called Sophia's on Black River Blvd that was good the last time I was there.
If all else fails- go the Turning Stone Casino- only a few minutes away from Rome. Peach Blossom is beautiful, with asian and thai, Rodizio is a Brazilian steakhouse, Pino Bianco is good italian- different regions of italy are represented on the menu, Wildflowers is in the lodge. Take your pick- but skip the Emerald! FYI- it can be a bit pricey, but you won't get much better in Rome, NY. They have a website.
Also- the Colonial Inn just north in Turin has decent traditional fare, but probably the best pie I have ever had (I rec the coconut creme).