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Feb 2, 2010 02:04 PM

Upscale in Ithaca

Need recommendations for upscale Ithaca. Son has tree nut and sesame seed allergy and restaurant must know their ingredients. Any steakhouses or other places with decent protein?
Ethnic or vegetarian too dangerous. Please suggest.

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  1. Upscale steakhouse in Ithaca? Is there such a thing?

    It's been two years since I had a meal in Ithaca. My wife and I really enjoyed Maxie's for cajun. The oyster po' boy was memorable two years later. Liked it so much we went back again on the same trip. Had a great experience at the bar with a bartender that really took care of us. They do have steak on the menu, though seafood is their thing.

    Just A Taste for tapas and wine flights. Everything was memorable. Careful service. Casual and small. They took great care putting the small plates together.

    Other places we found to be very casual, granola, or just okay. We were very disappointed with Boathouse Grill. Moosewood is VERY crunchy granola.

    We did not eat at these places, so no reviews, but they do serve steak, so perhaps it's a starting point for you....

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

    Maxie's Supper Club & Oyster Bar
    635 W State St, Ithaca, NY 14850

    Mahogany Grill
    114 N Aurora St, Ithaca, NY 14850

    Simeon's On the Commons
    224 E State St, Ithaca, NY 14850

    Madeline's Restaurant
    215 E State St, Ithaca, NY 14850

    6 Replies
    1. re: jerryc123

      Boathouse in godawful. Don't bother. It used to be that you could get a good steak at John Thomas, not sure if that's still the case. My favorites are Just a Taste downtown and Hazelnut Kitchen out in Trumansburg. Other good ones are Madeline's (def upscale, great desserts too), Maxie's, and Lost Dog Cafe (more casual). I wouldn't do Simeons or Mahogany Grill, personally. Some People rave about ZaZa's; I've never been.

      1. re: Emmmily

        I strongly agree with the Just A Taste and Maxie's recommendations. I guess Just A Taste would be considered the more upscale of the two. I've gone to ZaZa's only once, but enjoyed it. Mahogany Grill is good, but not memorable. Someone else had posted recently that Lost Dog is now closed, sadly.

        1. re: Emmmily

          Emmmily, thanks for the heads-up on Hazelnut Kitchen, I had not heard of that before, and now it is definately on my list of places to try when I get to Ithaca. (Well - OK - Trumansburg.)
          John Thomas looks really "old school" and perhaps that is what the original poster had in mind.
          Also, Dijon looks good for French, and Felicia's Atomic Lounge is on my to-try list as well, since I have an interest in classic cocktails.

          John Thomas Steakhouse
          1152 Danby Rd, Ithaca, NY 14850

          Felicia's Atomic Lounge
          508 W State St, Ithaca, NY 14850

          311 3rd St, Ithaca, NY 14850

          Hazelnut Kitchen
          53 E Main St, Trumansburg, NY 14886

          1. re: jerryc123

            Felicia's is a funky little bar/club with tasty snacks and yummy drinks - nice HH too.

            1. re: jerryc123

              Felicia's has great drinks. Lost Dog, I believe, is open but under new management. (Just did a google, it's called Wildfire Lounge now. They've got an incredible live jazz act there Wednesday nights 6-9 in their upstairs area, but it's definitely not upscale.) I've heard good things about Dijon but not been there yet myself.

              (Disclaimer: I grew up in Ithaca, now go to grad school in CT. My parents still live there so I hear a lot about the food scene from them and am in town several times a year to visit, but can't really call myself a local anymore.)

              1. re: Emmmily

                My father went to the Antlers the other night and had a roast duck with a marsala stuffing. Said it was delicious. Fellow diners had the pork ribs. Not sure what kind of ambience it is, but he did mention a fireplace and said it ws rather inexpensive.

        2. Not sure if it's still open, but Dijon was wonderful the time I was there. Very quaint, but upscale look. Excellent service. The food was excellent.

          2 Replies
            1. re: addictedtolunch

              Add me to the chorus recommending Dijon.

              I also think that Hazelnut Kitchen might serve the original poster's needs precisely. Though it's not a steakhouse, they do prepare locally raised meat and poultry (and do it very well, I would add). Because their food is local, they seem to have a very careful, detailed relationship to their ingredients; I imagine this will help with avoiding allergens.

          1. I've heard good things about John Thomas Steakhouse. We're going there for commencement in May. Outside of town I like Simply Red at Sheldrake Point Winery in Ovid and Red Newt Bistro at Red Newt Winery in Hector.

            1. mercato! awesome food and much better service than you are going to get at places like madeline's.