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Rochester/Finger Lakes report (very long)

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Rochester/Finger Lakes report (very long)

Scooter Pie | Jul 30, 2003 11:33 PM

Hi folks. I'm Los Angeles Chowhound who made the pilgrimage to my "ancestral home" (to steal a phrase from current events) in Rochester in July. I haven't been going to Rochester every year (though based on the report below, maybe I will now!), so it was fun to get an out-of-towner's viewpoint on the place.

Here are some of the more notable places I ate:

1) Dave's Village Bakery, 104A Village Landing, Fairport. My niece works here, so I popped in to embarrass her in front of co-workers :) She said the best seller is the pepperoni-cheese bread, so I bought a loaf. Very tasty!!! Nice pizza flavors with the bread instead of a crust -- interesting texture. I highly recommend it.

2) Ristorante Grappa, 145 N. Main Street in Fairport. Nice little neighborhood Italian place – I WISH we had more like this in LA. Good food, friendly service (and the bartender made a good apple martini!).

3) Lindburgers, 2157 Penfield Road, Penfield. They have something like 50 burgers on their menu. Good burgers, (they serve them on nice big rolls, too) and I like the number of choices, but VERY filling. Best to go there if you’re pretty hungry! The condiment selection should be expanded, however – that would be my biggest gripe.

4) The Dinosaur BBQ, 99 Court Street, Rochester. Fun environment, though it got annoying how the hostess would call people’s names over the loudspeaker when the table was ready. In all honesty, the barbecue was just average, though I’m admittedly not a barbecue connoisseur, but it wasn’t as good as some of the stuff I’ve had at more “down home” places, even in LA. But it is fun, and I’d go back. Children seem to like it, as do the bikers! They also seemed to have a big selection of beers (though mostly in bottles, not on tap, if I’m not mistaken)

5) Tastings, 3195 Monroe Ave, Pittsford. WOW!!! This is one of the real treasures of Rochester. What a wonderful meal we had here. Definitely order from the tasting menu if you go (at least the first time). They do an excellent job pairing wine with foods, and the staff is very knowledgeable. Seriously – if you are in Western New York: Go here!! I saved the menu, so I can detail what I had – I was very pleased with these selections, by the way. I also had a bite of the New York strip steak that someone else ordered, and that was also nice:

• Chilled corn soup with Roederer Estates sparkling wine

• Pan seared wild Alaskan king salmon with a Hermann Wiemer gewurtztraminer (a Finger Lakes wine). The scallion dressing with the fish was excellent

• Lemon grass grilled rack of lamb with Rosemont Estates “show reserve” shiraz from Australia

• Strawberry and rhubarb tart with Deinhard Beeren Auslese Riesling, from Germany. Usually I’d pass on a German Riesling as being too sweet, but it complemented the dessert VERY nicely.

6) Finger Lakes wine tasting: We went to a handful of vineyards around Keuka and Seneca Lakes. As you'll see, I'm no wine expert, but I'm learning:

-Fox Run – I liked the 2000 sable, a nice, smooth dry Red

-Prejean – they had a very interesting *white* merlot

-Glenora – my favorite. Unfortunately, I lost my notes, but I enjoyed their fruity wines – not frightening like the Bartles & Jaymes of my youth!! We had a spectacular lunch at their restaurant overlooking the lake – I highly recommend stopping at Glenora just to eat, even if you skip the winery (but why would you do that?)

-Bully Hill - we saw the whole tourist trap thing they have going, took a walk around, and left without tasting anything. Actually, I object to something Bully Hill does with its wines: Everything has a cutesy name, like “Love my Goat,” but the bottle doesn’t tell you anything about what kind of grapes are used

-Dr. Konstantin Frank – My family members are big fans of this place, so we saved it for last. I really liked the 2002 Rkatsiteli, and the 2001 Pinot Noir reserve. My brother really loves the cabernet sauvignon – he turned me onto the Frank vineyard years ago….

Anyway, that’s my visit, and my recommendations! And I’m RARELY so thorough in my recollections about restaurants I visit in Los Angeles – somehow, it seems more special when you’re on vacation

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