Just got back from a two day trip to Rochester where, based on information from this board, I took my wife to The Dinosaur Bar-B-Que. This was my first experience of using opinions from this board, and as a long-time Texas resident, I had no small reluctance to explore BBQ in the frozen north.
But the hickory smoke reached out about a block away -- even in sub-freezing temperatures -- and my trepedations faded fast. This place bills itself as a "honky-tonk" and it lives up to the name and to the name of Bar-B-Q as well. The Ribs were merely ordinary in flavor with too much sweet sauce, but they were properly smoked and falling-off-the-bone tender. The pulled pork (which we don't see much of in Texas) was close to perfect. The topper, however, was the side dishes which I must admit we don't do much of out west. Everything was both freshly and locally made and each side we tried was excellent.
My wife enjoyed a cream of carrot and country ham soup which can only be described as incomparable. We ate there again the following day, and I have aleady recommended The Dinosaur to several friends.
Breakfast at the Highland Park Diner, a serious walk from a downtown hotel and worth every slushy step. Again, thanks to earlier contributors for this tip.
As we were spending our days at the Eastman School of Music, with limited time to wander, we looked for dinner as close as reasonable to the school. Aria Ristorante, at 120 East Avenue, is about a quarter note away from the school, and about as good a meal as I have had this year. Again I was impressed by fresh ingredients; this time combined with traditional Italian preparation and reasonable prices. Dinner for 4, which included salads for two and exquisite onion and italian sausage soup for two, four entirely different entres, three deserts and a fairly priced bottle of wine: less than 130.
I don't know when I'll be back in Rochester (I hope not in the winter months)but whenever it is i'll go back to all three of these places.