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Sep 23, 2013 04:49 AM

Ithaca and restaurant by the road

Hi, will be going from NYC to Niagara falls in May with my wife and was hoping for some help with restaurant suggestions. We will be leaving from Newark as it seems to be the best location to pick up a rental car if you want to avoid driving in Manhattan. We expect to leave Newark somewhere between 10 and 11 on Sunday May 4th and need a place for lunch along the way. From looking at a map somewhere between Scranton and Binghamton seems ideal, is there any decent place for lunch in that area? Does not have to be fine dining by any means, a diner will do fine just as long as food is good.
On the way back we will spend Monday night, the 5th of May in Ithaca and I've been reading a little bit on older discussions on what seems to have been the top suggestions and came up with Moosewood, Just a Taste, Crooked Rooster and Hazelnut Kitchen as the most interesting alternatives. However most threads are quite old. Are these still good places? If so which one would you suggest if you only have one dinner on a Monday night? If these places are no longer up to standard or new and better have opened where should we go? We are open to any type of cuisine, but the ingredients should preferably be local. Also, as we are in the wine business, a good beverage list is a bonus, though not a must. I appreciate any feedback you might have.

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  1. You might consider Dano's on the east side of Seneca Lake.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Old Red

      Seems very nice and in line with what we tend to appreciate, but I guess we have to start a little earlier than 10 from Newark if we are to make it there for lunch or were you thinking of it as an alternative to dinner in Ithaca?

    2. I like Antlers in Ithaca! Great food with excellent selections.


      5 Replies
      1. re: Fred19

        Thanks, looks like a good alternative.

        1. re: Fred19

          We love this place after football games.
          The only problem is that they open at 5pm and the games usually get out earlier.
          The menu is great, the portions large, and the prices reasonable and the player piano makes it all happen well.

          1. re: jackiew

            Thanks, sounds very nice. Will be there on a Monday evening, is that game night (not from US)?

          2. re: Fred19

            If there anyplace in Ithaca that uses fresh high quality local ingredients somewhat creatively??? I'm going to Ithaca next weekend for 3 days and need something other than Hazelnut Kitchen. I've heard that Banfi is just not that good.

          3. We did a similar trip last year and I did a quick write-up. For the one dinner recommendation in Ithaca, I'd recommend Moosewood on principle, but Just a Taste had a better set-up for tasting different wines:


            And if you make it up to Niagara-on-the-Lake during your trip north, I recommend checking out Stone Road Grille and Greaves Jams and Jellies!

            1 Reply
            1. re: rovingfoodie

              Great summary, will be very helpful. Will be staying at Niagara Falls, but might have a lunch at Niagara-on-the-lake.

            2. Savory Maza in Scranton for authentic and fabulous Middle Eastern food. It's our favorite stop on the yearly trip to Syracuse.
              We've tried Moosewood, excellent, but I am not a vegetarian enthusiast.
              Not for nuthin' but you might want to fly into Buffalo. There are usually some good fares on Jet Blue.

              5 Replies
              1. re: Motosport

                Savory Maza is definitely an option. Buffalo not I'm afraid. Flying to New York from Stockholm and tickets already booked, will spend most of the trip in NYC, but been there quite a few times so I wanted to add a little to the experience, hence the road trip.

                1. re: JosefK

                  I think you might want to reconsider your "road trip." If you're staying in NYC, upstate NY is really not the gustatory grail you seem to be seeking. Perhaps the outer boroughs would be more satisfying, or the lower Hudson Valley.

                  1. re: mrsdebdav

                    I think Niagara Falls is their destination.

                    1. re: Motosport

                      Motosport - you are correct. This road trip is just to see the falls. We will also spend seven nights in NYC so plenty of gastronomic experiences there. Just hoping to make the best food-wise out of the side trip as well.

                      1. re: JosefK

                        If you go thru Buffalo there are several decent restaurants. Anchor Bar is the so called inventor of the "Buffalo" chicken wing. Do not get the hottest wings!! I could not eat them.

              2. We made a few trips up to Ithaca during the summer and were recommended to Lost Dog Cafe in Binghamton. For timing reasons we never made it there, but it looked good online.

                1 Reply
                1. re: DGresh

                  Thanks, I looked it up and seems very nice. Also appreciate the idea that it's run by four women, all ex musicians. However it seems to be closed on Sundays, which is the day it would have suited us...