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Sep 22, 2011 07:01 AM

Dinner in Utica/Clinton/Oneida area

Visiting son at Hamilton College and looking for good places to eat in the area. I am sure son is hungry for a steak, but all kinds of places are fine. Have been to Nola in Clinton, liked it, have been to Simeon's in Utica, so so. Wondering about Delmonico's steakhouse, staying a the Oneida Community Mansion, so wondering about Zabroso, and also curious about Ancora in Utica. Would glady welcome any other recommendations. Thanks!

261 Genesee St, Utica, NY 13501

170 Kenwood Ave, Oneida, NY 13421

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  1. This is our fourth and final year, sadly, making our multiple pilgrimages to Clinton. Our experience can be summed up as follows - this part of the world is a culinary wasteland.

    Delmonico’s is fair, but very loud. Uncomfortably so. We’ve eaten at Chef Nicoletta’s Perugia and have had better than average meals (and had Easter Lunch there for 10+ the past 2 years, which we quite enjoyed). Over-priced and over-ambitious, but given the alternatives….

    Nola’s is our go-to place – we’ve never been disappointed. In the past, were able to make reservations for just a few of us, but now it’s 6 or more.

    Since our kid is now of the majority (along with all of her friends), we have taken them to Nail Creek Pub and Brewery in Utica, which we find very good and appropriate for this audience. Food is better than average, and some of the beer is quite good. Don’t know if you own a senior, though, and how you feel about this sort of thing.

    Good luck. If you find anything exception, please post back. We have several more trips to make before graduation.

    8195 Seneca Tpke, Clinton, NY 13323

    9 Replies
    1. re: CTeater

      Hi CTeater,

      Congrats on having a senior. Our oldest son just graduated in May from Bowdoin. Our youngest is a first year at Hamilton. Likewise, we had a very good meal at Nola's; however, I am sure that it will be full this weekend. The Nail Creek Pub sounds like it has lots of potential; I love beer and my wife and I are planning to attend the Craft Beer Tasting that Hamilton has scheduled for Friday. Perhaps we could bump into each other there. Thanks for the info and the realistic appraisal of the lack of quality cuisine in the area. However, any other suggestions would still be appreciated!

      1. re: dfishhead

        Have never been to a parents' weekend. My kids always preferred we come up another weekend, which we will do in a couple of weeks. Much more civilized. And reservations are readily obtained. I had one who went to Swarthmore. Always able to eat and drink well in Philly. There is a farm worth stopping at on the way back to the thruway, if you head up 233 (right before you get on). In the fall (and the one summer my kid stayed in Clinton, when we stopped by a couple of times), it is the highlight of my trip. Load up the trunk for next to nothing. Very good apples. Have fun.

        1. re: CTeater

          Hi, I went there in the '80s and unfortunately haven't been back since, but the place to go with Parents was the Horned Dorset in Leonardsville. Not close and not cheap, but you could be assured a high quality dining experience all around.

          I was surprised to learn recently that it is still there and still gets good reviews. Sorry, I might have missed your visit but for future reference...

          1. re: chipmonger

            The Horned Dorset is still in Leonardsville (45 min from Clinton) and is still a top of the line dining experience. We took my daughter there in May 2010 the night before she was graduated from Hamilton. Outstanding atmosphere, absolutely professional service, wonderful food and personal attention. Yes, it is pricy but it is worth it. Reservations are a must . . . . . I made the reservation for graduation just after Thanksgiving.

            1. re: Mike in Rhinebeck

              I was going to take you up on your recommendation; sadly, it appears closed. Phone number is not operational.

              1. re: CTeater

                Oops, that is too bad. I was starting to think they deserved institution status for having lasted (and apparently held up their standards) for this long, and in such a remote location.

                Tough times...

                1. re: CTeater

                  I didn't jump into this discussion because I hadn't been to the Horned Dorset in a number of years. I would have recommended it too. A quick check on the internet shows a local person from Oneida reviewed it on Yelp on 7/25/11.

                  However, further investigation shows they have a FaceBook page.

                  But, they have started an Artists' Residency Program and announced that "The Horned Dorset will reopen to the public in the summer of 2012."

                  1. re: Roger K

                    Thanks for all the information. Our son will be at Hamilton for the next for years, so we will definitely go there after it re-opens. We had dinner Saturday night at Delmonico's. Your basic steakhouse, but I must say the steaks were tasty. Friday night we drove to Oneida for dinner at Zabrosa's but they were closed for vacation. Our son had to be back for a football meeting so we stopped on rt. 5 at a place called the Black Stallion. It was totally packed and when we opened the door we were almost knocked over by the noise level. It was 45 minute wait, so we ordered him some take out, the fried seafood platter that came with scallops, haddock, clam strips, onion rings, fries and slaw. He said it was excellent. This place has absolutely no atmosphere and it is a locals place, however, the food looked quite good.

                    Black Stallion
                    5656 State Route 5, Vernon, NY 13476

        2. re: CTeater

          Visitng last weekend, saw that Perugia is now Cameron's. Anybody try it yet?

          8195 Seneca Tpke, Clinton, NY 13323