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Sep 24, 2010 10:42 AM

Rochester Best for Dinner?

We will be staying in Rochester for an evening next month and would like to have dinner at one of the city's finer dining establishments. Have heard of Rooney's and Restaurant 2 Vine. How do these compare and are there others as good or even better?

Restaurant 2 Vine
24 Winthrop Street, Rochester, NY 14607

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  1. We have not been to Restaurant 2 Vine (we really don't get out much!), but my husband I went to Rooney's for our wedding anniversary last year - and we'd go back any time!

    Here's my blog post about it:


    1. 2 Vine serves decent food at pretty steep prices. It is more of a "see and be seen" place, and, as I'm guessing you are not a Rochesterian, that is probably not much of a selling point. (We are not an especially attractive people ...).

      Rooney's is fantastic. Don't be put off by the neighborhood - it is in simple, residential area. The "diamond in the rough" cliche applies perfectly.

      Lento is also outstanding, features local products (to the point of telling you from how many miles away the item is sourced ...). A little pretentious for me, but very good food / service / atmosphere.

      Good Luck is also decent - features "small plates." Calling in advance is a must, as it keeps odd hours.

      If steak / seafood is your thing, consider Black and Blue in Pittsford Plaza. I'd also go to Eros for Mediterranean; it's downtown (near 2 Vine).

      Finally, no Rochester post can be written without making mention of the Nick Tahou Garbage Plate (it's an ordinance). It's legendary. It's horrible. I kind of like it. Go to the new location in Henrietta - the grease has not had time to build up yet.

      1 Reply
      1. re: budgetrick

        Just went to Lento last night. Enjoyed it very much, though it was a tad uneven. I didn't think it was particularly pretentious. Very ambitious menu; some things executed better than others, but all plates made sense. Locals say Good Luck is even better but it is definitely quirky. BTW I am told it serves family style entrees in addition to small plates. Don't know; wasn't there; check the menu on-line.

        Good Luck
        50 Anderson Ave, Rochester, NY 14607

      2. To tag onto this inquiry . . . I'm heading to Rochester this week for work. As a woman eating dinner alone, do you think I would be comfortable at Lento, Good Luck and/or Edibles? Am also thinking of Dinosaur (I know the Syracuse joint)

        I'm thinking: Edibles on Monday, Lento on Tues and maybe Good Luck on Wed.

        I would appreciate advice, including whether I should go early and/or eat at the bar.
        BTW, I love seasonal locally sourced food in a resto that is upscale but not snooty.


        Good Luck
        50 Anderson Ave, Rochester, NY 14607

        3 Replies
        1. re: NYchowcook

          Edibles is a fine choice, but it does not have a bar, per se, at which one could sit and eat. I'd see no problem in getting a solo table there, however.

          My snarky (regretable) comment above about pretentiousness notwithstanding, Lento is also an excellent choice. It is slightly upscale, not snooty at all, and meets some of your other criteria (seasonal, local).

          My previous comment about Good Luck's odd hours, is, however, on point: it may or may not be open for dining (or even drinks) on a Wednesday. Last time I tried to drop in for drinks mid -week, it was only doing Th - Sun service. Give them a call. (Ditto for whatever you decide for Monday: a fair number of places close on Mondays.) I've only eaten at the bar at Good Luck, and a single woman would, I think, feel comfortable doing so, too. The bar staff were very pleasant and easy to chat with.

          Rochester tends to be a "drinking at the bar after work from 5:00 - 6:00" and "dinner reservations @7:00 pm" kind of town; thus, a 6:00 - 6:30 time might be optimal to avoid the bar crowd and and feel most welcomed at a bar as a diner.

          Good Luck
          50 Anderson Ave, Rochester, NY 14607

          1. re: NYchowcook

            Might be too late here, but I've been in Rochester on business and ate alone at Lento. I was seated at a 2-top even though it was a busy night (I'd expected to head to the bar) and offered polite but non-intrusive service.

            Had a good book, delicious oysters and a few apps and grazed for about an hour without feeling rushed. I can't remember a more pleasant meal I've had when dining solo.....

            Met with a friend to eat at Good Luck....seems like more of "a scene" but is probably just fine if you're eating alone.

            Also ate at Tony D's- wood-fired pizza- wonderful stuff, and totally felt fine eating there on my own..... though I live in a town where my pizza options are kind of sad.
            (Incidentally, if you have not used RocWiki, it's a great source to find out more about the Rochester area.)

            1. re: 4Snisl

              Thanks everyone for your help. Krislady, your blog post was a scream and very helpful. And budgetrick your comments were not at all snarky (especially for a chowhound board- in fact we need more honesty and less gushing here).