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Sep 2, 2009 07:13 PM

Great dining in Rochester/Canandaigua area?

We will be visiting friends in Canandaigua, and would like to take them out for a really great meal. We all will be spending some time in Rochester as well, so anywhere in either city, or the area in between would be great. We prefer American, French or Italian cuisines, or perhaps a seafood restaurant. Is there anything really great in the area? We'd like the atmosphere to be nice and conducive to good conversation. Thanks

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  1. For Italian, try Mario's or Proietti's or Rocco (Rocco is very small though, and i believe they have timed seating, so check ahead). A place with great atmosphere (right on the canal) is Virtu. Two Vine is great for steaks and other American/continental cuisine. You might also like to check out the Wine and Culinary center which is in Canandaigua.

    4 Replies
    1. re: VikingKvinna

      I second Rocco ....if you can get a reservation that is the best restaurant (though can be a tad noisy). My favorite restaurant for seafood is Jasmine's in Webster which is Laotian - think Thai but not spicy and with some French influences. One more good option in Lento in VillageGate...the location is great as is decor and really good service.

      DO NOT do Virtu - the food is quite bad.

      1. re: sillyLN

        Perhaps you've never had authentically-prepared Lao food, because it's actually REALLY spicy. Lao spicy is usually always hotter than Thai spicy. Jasmine's may have dumbed down on their spice level to cater to its customers.

        1. re: yummyrice

          True, Jamine's is my only experience with this genre of food....though I would say if they "dumbed down" the spice it was done expertly - there is still plenty of flavor and nuance which I don't get at many thai/indian/etc restaurants that cater to their customers' inability to handle heat.

          1. re: sillyLN

            Lao people eat really spicy, but many foreigners/tourists think that we don't. LOL! Even Thai people know that Lao people eat spicier than Thai people. In our culture, we tend to believe that because we eat too spicy other people especially westerners are unable to handle the heat, which is why we tend to dumb down the heat for anyone who is not Lao. So now you've got tourists in Laos who have a false assumption that Lao cuisine is not spicy because tourism is still new in Laos and Lao people as a whole still have not accepted that western tourists may be able to handle the heat from the spices after all. It's not that we're being disrespectful, but it's more out of courtesy because we want non-Lao people to be able to eat and enjoy our dishes without their tongues burning too much. Other neighboring countries near Laos have already had several decades of tourism so they know that their tourists are able to handle the heat and that many tourists actually want to eat some of the exotic things that they can't find in their home countries. Anyway, Lao people in the U.S. still have not accepted that there are some westerners who are able to handle the heat. It's going to take some time, but definitely please tell them that you want your dishes to be very spicy...Lao spicy. Anyone who has eaten with a Lao family in their home should know that Lao people looooove eating spicy, but we tend to cut down on the spice factor when serving Lao dishes at restaurants. =)

            Here is a great blog about the spice factor in real Lao cuisine:

            ^The blogger made a comment about Thai spicy versus Lao spicy.

            ^^However, his Pho comment seems controversial, because not everyone agrees that Pho was a Vietnamese invention. Other countries like Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, and Korea have Pho-like soups, so just because the soups may be similar does not mean that credit should be given to a specific country. Putting noodles in a meat-based broth is a pretty common Asian thing to do. In Laos, the word Feu was taken from French cuisine, whereas "Pho" is the Vietnamese word for their noodle soup. Some people also believe that Pho is a transliteration of the French word "Feu". Laos and Vietnam were French colonies after all.

    2. I would agree with Lento or 2vine. I think Mario's has down downhill and haven't heard good things about Virtu. Proietti's is good but not fantastic. I have also heard that Rocco is good but I haven't eaten there myself.

      1. For excellent steaks and seafood you must try Peter Geyer in the Brookwood Inn. Friends and family go there for special occasions and we're never disappointed. Over the past couple of years I've had the ribeye, filet, shrimp, tuna and lobster as well as their salads and it's all been perfect. Very nice wine list too.

        Peter Geyer Steakhouse
        800 Pittsford Victor Rd, Pittsford, NY 14534