My wife and I came into Syracuse last weekend and had (thanks to CNY Chowhounders) some great experiences.
On Friday, we went to Daniella's Steakhouse. While waiting for our table, we had some great cocktails. Dinner began with nice warm fresh-baked bread served with incredible sweet butter. Our appetizer was the crab stuffed artichokes, which were tasty, crisp, and not the least bit greasy. The salad with a crumbled blue cheese dressing surprised us with roasted peppers and black olives.The mains of prime rib were served as ordered and paired with tasty mash and risotto (for me). A very serviceable bottle of Cab Sauv set us back only $23 !! For dessert, the staff surprised my wife with a "birthday" Creme Brulee (served with a fireworks flaming candle) and a hearty rendition of Happy Birthday. Service by a gal named Beth was superb.
On Saturday, we had a late lunch at Aunt Josie's Italian restaurant. We received delightful service from Barbara, the grandaughter-in-law of the restaurant's late founder. Barbara also introduced us to her husband Michael, who came out of the kitchen to say hello. We started with "Mike's White Pizza" as an appetizer, knowing we wouldn't finish it (huge) but ordering it because for some mysterious reason, white pizza is hard to find in Toronto. Our meal came with soup, on this day a very flavorful Italian Wedding Soup. Our pastas were exactly al dente. Mine was with white clam sauce, classically and correctly prepared (you can't believe what other restaurants frequently pass off as white clam sauce). The portions were so huge, we couldn't finish. Barbara informed us that the portions used to be bigger (!), but she cheerily packaged up the leftovers for us. Our dessert was a delicious home-made cannoli with chocolate sauce, graced by a birthday candle as the staff again serenaded my wife (she's celebrating a special birthday but we won't mention the number !!).
As an aside, that evening we attended a concert at the Westcott Theater with the legendary blues/rock band Savoy Brown, with the incredible band founder, guitarist Kim Simmonds and his current Savoy Brown band of three fabulous CNY musicians, Joe Whiting, Pat Desalvo, and Garnet Grimm. We attend a lot of concerts and this was the best we've seen in a very long time. The Westcott serves drinks all through the night, something we don't see all the time in Canada.
After the show we decided to have a late bite, so we went to Dinosaur Barbeque, often recommended by contributors to this board. We shared two combo platters. The pulled pork was just OK. The ribs were disappointingly dry and burnt, although very tasty. The brisket was superb, as was the smoked prime rib. The sides of cornbread, coleslaw and mash and gravy were great, and the service by a cheery and helpful gal named Jezebel was excellent. The house draft beer was really good. This was all-in-all a very good experience that we anticipate repeating in the future. Oh, and the music makes for a fun atmosphere !!
We hope to come back to the arear soon and we look forward to trying other Chowhound recommendations.
670 State Fair Blvd, Syracuse, NY 13209