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Downtown Rochester Dinner Recs

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Will be staying at the Hyatt in a couple of weeks. Looking for good food of any kind within a reasonable walking distance.

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  1. Check out Lento. I've had a few very good meals there. It's a "local-seaonal-sustainable-farm-to-table-able restaurant." Clean, straight-ahead prep. of very fresh, fine ingredients. In addition, they have a wonderful raw bar with a very large selection of oysters from both coasts and some very nice cocktail selections.

    1. I like both Lento as well as Good Luck, but both are a good 30 min walk from the OP's hotel. That said, if you like Italian food I would suggest Osteria Rocco which is only about half the distance from your hotel. Another suggestion would be Max of Eastman which is even closer.

      Good Luck
      50 Anderson Ave, Rochester, NY 14607

      1. Samba Cafe, a new Brazilian restaurant on State Street, got a nice write up in last week's City Paper, with special notes for friendliness and authenticity. It is open until 6 but the review mentioned extended hours starting in October. It is bare bones, but The Pizza Stop on State Street is one of my favorite places for a slice in Rochester. I'm not sure if they stay open for dinner. And, Dinosaur BBQ is not far away either, and is a fun and popular place for a lively meal.

        1. Downtown Rochester is not exactly bustling after 5 PM. If you are hell bent on walking, then just go to Dinosaur. It's delicious and a "place to go" when visiting Rochester. A little bit farther is Corn Hill landing which has Tony D's (decent wood fired pizza) and Virtu (which is upstate-upscale and hit or miss). There is a decent indian place at Corn Hill now and Aladdin's also has a branch there (casual Mediterranean, great for veg). For real food you'll need to leave the city and that means driving. Good Luck is good, as suggested below. Owl House on Marshall St just outside the city is pretty good, also very good option for veg. Hose 22 on the west side is also good, but that is much farther than the other options.

          Good Luck
          50 Anderson Ave, Rochester, NY 14607

          2 Replies
          1. re: Zehrapushu

            Note: in the above, it is written that to go to Good Luck or Owl House you will 'need to leave the city'. This is not quite accurate; I think the poster means you will need to leave downtown as defined by the 'inner loop'. Both places mentioned are still very much in the city and are only a mile or two distant.

            Good Luck
            50 Anderson Ave, Rochester, NY 14607

            1. re: jmoryl

              Correct. What I mean by that is they are not walking distance from the Hyatt. I apologize to Rand McNally.

          2. Thanks for all of the suggestions.

            1. You might want to try Eros (notwithstanding a post of mine from a month or so ago carping about the service; maybe it was a bad night?). The food is great, and it is an easy walk from the hotel. Besides the unfortunate name, it has the look of a "gentleman's club" from the outside and is kind of out of the way ("behind Spot Coffee" is how most people will locate it), but it is totally legit.

              Not sure about Virtu - there was a report a week or so back that it had closed for failure to pay taxes. If it's open, it is worth a visit.

              Eros Restaurant & Bar
              37 Charlotte St, Rochester, NY 14607

              1. Second the votes for both Osteria Rocco ans Eros. ROcco is SOuthern Italian, but not really a "red sauce" place. The food is delicious. The only drawback is that the place is small, and it gets crowded and noisy on weekends. Eros is run by a Greek husband and Sicilian wife, and both cuisines are nicely represented. Around the corner is a more upscale Italian place called 2Vine. It is very popular but I don't really see the attraction. The food is good, but not outstanding, and the vibe is more "scene" than "meal." Back on Main Street is a nice pizza/pasta place called Veneto. I have been there dozens of times and never been disappointed. My only complaint is that the menu hasn't changed much fsince it opened and I've had most everything on it.
                One last recommendation for lunch. Just a short walk from your hotel is a little Jamaican restaurant called Shirley's Island Cuisine. It's a hole in the wall (down a set of stairs) and the service is frankly, terrible. But oh, the jerk chicken and curry chicken (and goat) are fabulous. Not for the impatient.

                Island Cuisine
                1048 Islip Ave Unit B, Brentwood, NY 11717

                1. I should have included Tapas 177 on St. Paul Street in my original reply. I go there more for cocktails than for dinner, but the food has been excellent on the couple of occasions that I have dined there, and the kitchen's skill is demonstrated for all to see with the free appetizers offered during the Friday happy hour. It is only about a block and a half from the hotel. A few steps further will get you to Scotland Yard, which has gotten a few nice write-ups in the local press. Never been myself; it seems more bar-like, but it does have a kitchen.

                  Tapas 177 Lounge
                  177 Saint Paul St, Rochester, NY 14604