Rochester, New York-Indian?BBQ?Beer for grown-ups?
We are middle-aged foodies off to Rochester for the weekend to see the Eastman House. We are interested in any recommendations in the above categories or particular faves that locals may have. We don't mind driving. Our previous experience was conference-driven and while we liked the look of Rochester and environs, we never got beyond Henrietta...I am sure Rochester has more than Red Lobster for the adventuresome!
No argument with the two previous set of recommendations. I'd add Beale Street as a good alternative for BBQ (and Cajun). It's at the corner of South and Alexander (don't even think we HAVE a street called Beale Street ...).
People who know Indian don't hold Rochester's versions in that high regard, but my limited experience with the cuisine has led me to favor India Palace, also on South Clinton, but a mile or two south of India House in a plaza in the suburb of Brighton (if you get to Henrietta, you've gone too far).
Old Toad is a great suggestion for beer, as is Rohrbach's (the latter being a 25 - 30 minute drive from center city). Good eats at either place. Custom Brewcrafters is in Honeoye Falls, and they supply "house brands" for lots of the local bars (and a Redwing Red for the home Triple A baseball team, the Redwings). I thiink they have a tasting room at the brewery, and there is a place to eat out there (very pretty, decent food, with a view of the falls) that serves their beer exclusively (and rotates them seasonally). The Distillery on Mt. Hope brews some small batches itself and also has a very good selection on tap. Food there is typical bar stuff. There are a few McGregors still around (the original one in the city having closed) and all have extensive draft and bottle selections (and food similar to the Distillery). For a retail experience, you really should visit Beers of the World in a plaza off Winton Road in Brighton - the selection is amazing!!!
I offered a few Italian suggestion in a post some weeks ago and got scolded by a few subsequent posters for my lack of imagination, taste, and common sense. However, the upside of that was that one of them reminded me about Bacco on Park Avenue. It was worth the beating to get reminded of it ... You may also be interested in Cibon, also on Park Avenue - kind of a bistro atmosphere.
I think Thali of India is better than either India House or India Palace. But it's a drive from the Eastman House. I'm no fan of BBQ, but I never understood the fuss about Dinosaur. It's loud, crowded and the food is just OK. Sticky Lips is less crowded and the food is OK. Neither are anything to write home about.
If you are inclined to go to Veneto on East Avenue (not far from the Eastman House, also on East Avenue), let also me suggest a few other places nearby. Two doors down from Veneto is their sister place called The Social. It is tapas, a lot of local grown and organic food thoughtfully prepared. Further down East Avenue (toward Main Street) is Golden Port which is a dim sum and sushi place. The turnip cakes are fabulous. Around the corner from Veneto, on Charlotte (note: it's charLOTTE, not CHARlotte) Street is Eros, a wonderful mediterranean restaurant owned by a Greek husband and a Sicilian wife. The food and atmosphere are wonderful. If you want to spend a little more, then going the other way on East Avenue you will find Ristorante Lucarno. It's in a hideous shopping center, but the food is very good.
And if you want a little late night jazz, stop in at the Strathallan Hotel (also on East) on Friday or Saturday nights.
Oh the other beer bar I was trying to remember was Monty's Krown at 875 Monroe (I see they have a branch at 355 East, which is also pretty close to the Eastman House). Does the Rochester crowd have any observations on these places? I hear that the original McGregors on Gregory St. is undergoing renovation and will be reopening as a new beer bar - I really enjoyed the original version before McGregors became an empire.
Never been partial to the beers at the Distillery - have they improved?
I haven't been there for a few years but when I lived in Rochester I used to love the India House on S. Clinton. Not far from the Eastman House: just take Goodman St. south until you reach S. Clinton (maybe 1 mile) and take a left. For beer try the Old Toad, which is just an enjoyable (maybe 15 minutes) walk from the Eastman house (on Alexander between East and Park). There are some other good beer bars in that area and I will post them if I can recall the names...
Otherwise, Thali of India on Winton Rd. just north of Jefferson in Henrietta is very good.
Well, let's see. I'm not an expert on Indian, so I'll leave that to someone else. I like Sticky Lips for BarBQue (be sure to try the deep fried pickles)
but most people would probably direct you to Dinosaur Bar-B-Que http://www.dinosaurbarbque.com/rochesterIndex.php.
You won't be disappointed at either.
Beer? Hmmm. I love Rohrbach's beer, and always order it when it is available, but, shamefully, I've never been to their restaurant.
Of course we have a large brewery here, Genesee. I like their Honey Brown. Maybe check out one of their beers if you're at a bar, but it is not a microbrewery.
There is a genuine British Pub downtown with lots of good beers on tap. It's, well, shall we say, a homey place...
My favorite restaurant at the moment is Veneto. Yum.