Musing with Max

Musing with Max

August 3, 2011

Finger Food

This will definitely be my last post on the Finger Lakes (guess it's evident we haven't gone anywhere in a while) but since our lives seem to revolve around food (and wine) I definitely need to write about that. Our house on the lake had two outdoor grills so of course we grilled...twice

steak tomatoes & eggplant
chili rubbed pork ribs with herbed rice

and lemon lime daiquiris before the wine arrives

And then of course we ate out...a lot. The first time we went up there a few years ago I remember being very pleasantly surprised at how good the food was considering that as far as I could see this was out in the country and would lack the sophistication of say...New York City. Wrong. First of all, this may be the country but it's wine country. And for the most part vintners tend to have a pretty sophisticated palate and tend to be a pretty sophisticated bunch. There are also a huge number of farms, a lot of them started by people who were sick of the city and wanted to live off the land (like me, but who actually had the guts to do it) and bought farms which supply the restaurants with very organic fresh ingredients and that includes vegetables, fruits, meats, poultry and dairy. They make awesome cheeses. I was very happy to be proved wrong.

Lunch at Opus Cafe at Fox Run Vineyards

hummus with olives and warm bread with a glass of Arctic Fox (me)

Italian pannini with chardonnay (Frank)

Dinner at The Red Dove Tavern in Geneva, NY

Appetizer of ---yes, fried chickpeas
Salmon BLT & delicious fries with Hermann J. Wiemer rose (me)
Cheeseburger & delicious fries with Ithaca Pale Ale (Frank)

Dinner at Red Newt Bistro at Red Newt Wine Cellars
Appetizer of Autumn Harvest Summer Sausage and mushroom pate with cornichons (me)
Verjus Scallop ceviche  (Frank)

Poached Sea Bass over basmati & bamboo rice and tarragon creme fraiche (me)
Grilled Red Snapper with polenta & vegetables (Frank)

Chocolate Mousse (me) which was more like chocolate panna cotta-yummy either way
Fruit cobbler with vanilla bean ice cream (Frank)
accompanied by a delicious bottle of Hermann J. Wiemer Blanc de Noir
As we expected from being there before, the food at the Red Newt was delicious. Sophisticated, elegant and understated which fits in perfectly with their beautiful setting and is just as sophisticated and elegant as their lovely staff. The same for the Opus Cafe at Fox Run, it's a perfect place to have lunch overlooking the vineyards, unfortunately they didn't have their amazing grape salad this time. Drat, guess I'll have to make it myself if I can find the recipe the chef gave me last time we were there. It was great to discover that we were so close to Geneva, NY and to find the Red Dove Tavern. The town is really pretty and the restaurant had a great atmosphere with a super friendly staff and excellent food, despite the fact it was a bit of a ghost town since school isn't in session yet. I would love to see it during the Fall semester. We also had lunch at a really cute place in beautiful Ithaca, Simeon's which had good food and atmosphere and a most adorable waiter that I wanted to adopt but Frank wouldn't let me. Unfortunately I didn't photograph the food.

But I've saved the best for last! No one should ever----ever---ever go to the Finger Lakes and miss The Stonecat Cafe
Hell, people should go there just for that, from here it's only 4 hours. It's not only that they have the most gorgeous weeping willow by the back terrace

or that if you sit on that back terrace you overlook their beautiful cutting garden

and their wait staff is cool and funky just like the place itself; it's the sublime food which is just out of this world. This guy can cook and boy he has no fear in using herbs and spices liberally. This food just packs a wallop and explodes in your mouth. It's so nice, we went there twice.

Sunday Brunch

Olivada with focaccia
Cornmeal crusted catfish with smoked tomato coulis, dilled coleslaw & roasted potatoes(me)

Poached eggs Louisianne with smoked andouille sausage on herbed cornbread & roasted potatoes (Frank)
and an amazing bottle of Atwater Estates Brut which we were disappointed not to be able to buy at their vineyard since it is usually sold out immediately to places like the Stonecat Cafe.


Organic house salad with dried cherries and caramelized nuts (me)

Smoked chicken posole (Frank)
Smoked chicken quesadilla with smoked tomato coulis, cumin infused black beans & dilled coleslaw (me)
NY Strip steak with rosemary garlic mashed potatoes & summer squash (Frank)
to die for Chevre cheesecake
with a bottle of Shalestone Cabernet Franc
I've already tried duplicating the rosemary garlic mashed potatoes, Frank has challenged me to the cheesecake...maybe I'll have to go back and try it again!

cause Max is ready for another vacation

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