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Jun 27, 2010 02:50 PM

Looking for good eats in Ithaca and Geneva

Will be vacationing in Ithaca and Geneva. Would like recommendations for all meals, along with good dinner places from casual to gourmet.

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  1. When you say Ithaca, you mean Ithaca, NY right?

    1 Reply
    1. re: aj84

      I'm re-posting what I wrote for another thread:

      - The Heights - quite posh and pricey, this is where campus recruiters from the big hotel companies and investment bank firms host their dinners when they are in town
      - Maxie's is great for oysters
      - Collegetown Bagels is located at Cornell's collegetown and it's awesome! The CTBLT is great and so are the sangrias
      - Just A Taste - tapas with wine tasting located on Ithaca Commons
      - Dijon - French bistro. very very good
      - John Thomas steakhouse for dinner
      - Four Seasons - great Korean food and run by a family, casual
      - Carriage House - best place in town for brunch. they serve homeade tomato ketchup. reservations required.

      Also make a stop on campus and go to the Cornell Dairy Bar for ice cream of all kinds of flavors.

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

      Four Seasons
      404 Eddy St Ste A, Ithaca, NY 14850

      Carriage House Cafe
      305 Stewart Ave, Ithaca, NY 14850

    2. I can recommend some places in Ithaca. Are you interested in any particular cuisine?

      Carriage House on Stewart Ave is very popular for upscale breakfast. I had stuffed french toast there that was very good, although a bit pricey. It's a small quaint place with a warm atmosphere. I would highly suggest it for a vacation.
      I love going to Sunday brunch at Hai Hong for dim sum.
      Collegetown Bagels (I prefer the one on college ave) is a classic for sandwiches and bagels.

      Ithaca Ale House has really good modern bar/pub style food. The eggplant fries are AMAZING but a little greasy and filling. One of my favorite casual lunch places.
      Sanggam's has a really good Indian lunch buffet (but I'm not really an Indian food connoisseur).
      Wings Over Ithaca has THE BEST boneless chicken wings. Honestly I've never been into boneless wings or chicken tenders but these are delicious. They're super moist and just really tasty. I personally don't like the ambiance there though so I prefer it to-go.

      Ruloffs has great burgers and salads. Typical bar restaurant food.
      The Nine's is famous for their deep dish pizza.
      Kilpatrick's is my favorite pub style restaurant. Everything there is good. You really can't go wrong.

      Not so casual:
      Antlers is good American steakhouse food. They usually have very reasonable dinner specials on weekdays (like prime rib, lobster, etc ~$17).
      Northstar House has really good eclectic American food. The vibe there is a bit hipster and the menu items sound unusual (I had seared tofu scallops with chickpea mash and roasted broccoli and it was amazing!).
      ZaZa's is really good Italian. It's an upscale place and the atmosphere/decor is good for dinner.

      Hope this helps!

      Carriage House Cafe
      305 Stewart Ave, Ithaca, NY 14850

      130 E Seneca St, Ithaca, NY 14850

      Hai Hong Restaurant
      208 Dryden Rd Ste 2, Ithaca, NY 14850

      1 Reply
      1. re: tinery

        Had drinks and apps (3 spreads w/ toasted pita and cranberry/jalapeno mac & cheese) at the bar at Northstar this past weekend - really enjoyed the vibe and menu. We'll return for a full meal.

      2. In Ithaca, Dijon is currently closed. Ithaca Bakery is good for breakfast & lunch; FineLine Bistro is a nice business/casual dinner choice (as is, Just a Taste tapas). For Geneva, check out Red Dove Tavern, Ports Cafe & Madderlake Cafe (relocating sometime this summer). A nice, winery lunch option is Simply Red at Sheldrake Pt, about 15 minutes southeast.

        5 Replies
          1. re: aj84

            Dijon was sold in Dec '09. Mark Papera, the chef/owner, is now at the Bistro at Thirsty Owl Wine Co, overlooking Cayuga Lake near Ovid.

            1. re: Sop

              Say it isn't so. How far is that from Ithaca. When I vist my father I love to go there.

              1. re: jhopp217

                Thirsty Owl is probably about 30-40 minutes north of Ithaca, on Route 89.

          2. re: Sop

            Had a great meal at Just a Taste--appreciate the recommendation. Because of a thunderstorm, we waded into Bandwagon in Ithaca and had some good burgers along with fries I just might kill for. We loved Dano's on Seneca--reminded us of the heurigers outside Vienna. Would have been glad to eat there several more times if Geneva wasn't a little too far. Most of the recommended places were closed while we were in Geneva. Had a decent, though certainly not special, lunch at Geneva on the Lake. Had a great burger and an excellent French dip at Parker's in Geneva.

          3. I agree with basically all of these suggestions! Just A Taste, Maxie's, and The Nines are some of my favorites. I agree that Sangam is good too, especially for the price. And I do adore Wings Over Ithaca! A great brunch place is Dewitt Cafe in the Dewitt Mall near the Commons. Can be a bit hard to find if you don't know about it but they always have delicious, interesting brunch specials on Saturday and Sunday. I don't think they are open during the week.

            7 Replies
            1. re: Solstice444

              Oh yes I forgot about Maxie's! They're always packed for dinner.

              1. re: tinery

                I had the most fantastic dinner at Maxie's. I can't wait to go back there. And the breakfast I had at the Dewitt Cafe was delicious. The rosemary home fries were incredible. If you like Thai, Taste of Thai is excellent. I'd stay away from Antlers. And don't miss the ice cream at the Cornell Dairy bar. The only time I have ice cream is when I visit my daughter at Cornell. Too bad she only has one more year!

                1. re: Rheta

                  Unfortunately the Dairy Bar is closed because Stocking Hall is closed for renovations. But it appears that you can still get Cornell ice cream at Trillium Express. At least your daughter only has one more year...I would've been angry if I was an incoming freshman this upcoming August! I don't know if they're still producing their milk, cheese, etc., but at least they will still be producing ice cream somewhere.

                  From Cornell's Food Sciences site: "The Cornell Dairy Bar is now closed in preparation for the Stocking Hall renovation project. Beginning July 6th, please visit Trillium Express (Kennedy Hall) Monday - Saturday, between 11:00am and 6:00pm to indulge in Cornell Dairy ice cream."

                  And I totally forgot about Taste of Thai, love that as well.

                  1. re: Solstice444

                    Cornell ice cream IS good but I wouldnt' go searching for it, since there wont' be a lot of variety in the prepacked pints (sometimes you can find bavarian raspberry fudge which is pretty good).

                    I can't believe I forgot about purity. i LOVE purity ice cream 100x more than Cornell dairy. Boomberry is the best black raspberry based ice cream I've ever had, cinnamon, peppermint, almond joyous...I could go on. You MUST go there for ice cream.

                    Taste of Thai is good but I've had much better Thai outside of Ithaca but as far as being the only option (aside from taste of thai express which is a joke) it's ok.

                    Sticky Rice is great but it's hole in the wall with strange hours.

                    Taste of Thai
                    216 E State St, Ithaca, NY 14850

                    1. re: tinery

                      Bavarian Raspberry Fudge is my favorite :-)

                      1. re: tinery

                        I like Purity however as you wouldn't search for Cornell Dairy you needn't drive to Ithaca for Purity. You can buy it many places around where it's made, Syracuse at the Byrne Dairy plant.

                        Byrne Dairy
                        240 Oneida St, Syracuse, NY 13202

                        1. re: Old Red

                          On Rt 89 in Interlaken (halfway between Geneva & Ithaca) is Cayuga Creamery - lots of yummy flavors. I prefer it over Purity.

              2. Be sure not to miss the Greenstar Cooperative market downtown... the best holistic market in the universe, as far as we are concerned, for wonderful picnicking items... also, the Mate Factory right on the commons is fabulous for a brunch or a light meal -- do not miss the latte mate!! I dream about them...

                5 Replies
                1. re: slimbombay

                  Do you have to be a member to go into Greenstar Coop.?

                  1. re: Rheta

                    Nope- members get a discount, but anyone can shop there.

                  2. re: slimbombay

                    slimbombay, may I ask a personal question? Have you always lived in Ithaca? I ask this only because my father moved their a few years ago and one day while visiting he asked me to drive him there. He picked up about three items. I think it was fruits or veggies and a container of oatmeal cookies. The cost was about $13. Near me, I could go into the same place and get the same items for about $6. The food was not any better or any worse than anything else I've ever had so I wondered why people go there.

                    1. re: jhopp217

                      The people I know that go there are interested in fair trade, organic foods that they can feel good about buying. To me it is perplexing because Wegmans has an excellent selection of natural organic foods at much better prices. Personally I wouldn't consider Greenstar a destination for visitors.

                      The weekend Farmer's Market would be a much more satisfying experience and a definite must-do.

                      1. re: tinery

                        I've been a few times. Sometimes the prices there baffle me too, but after tasting some of the products, I was sold! Not to mention the atmosphere was wonderful and on a brisk fall day, it was great having a nice cup of hot cider and talking the locals.