steak tomatoes & eggplant
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)
The Red Dove Tavern in Geneva, NY
Appetizer of ---yes, fried chickpeas
Hermann J. Wiemer rose (me)
Red Newt Bistro at Red Newt Wine Cellars
Appetizer of Autumn Harvest Summer Sausage and mushroom pate with cornichons (me)
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
Olivada with focaccia
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 quesadilla with smoked tomato coulis, cumin infused black beans & dilled coleslaw (me)
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