these are my suggestions
best Italian Dinner Restaurant: Ventura's east Utica
787 Lansing St really excellent food, classic interior, the best. been around since i was a little kid (50's and before that)
best cheese on top pizza: Four Seasons Rte 49, Marcy (going towards Rome) old P&C plaza great pizza one warning: even the good pizzerias around here are succumbing to the heresy of using canned peppers unless you insist they use fresh ones
best sauce on top pizza: Joe's, Main St, Whitesboro
(west side of Utica suburb) the cheese is next and meats are underneath the cheese.
most sauce pizza shops in Utica, Rome and Herkimer are former employees or relatives of O'Scugizzo's Pizza in Utica which is still open but i dont like their crust, it's too chewy for me nowdays. they knead the dough too much. if you dont mind that, try them also.
Capri Pizza 708 Oriskany Blvd Yorkville Ny (west side of Utica) is a good thin crust pizza, cheese on top
there are many other decent pizzeria's in the area also
Diners: we have a diner drought in this area
The Hartford Queen diner Commercial Dr New Hartford x
Barnes & Noble makes a great Bread Pudding with custard on bottom. same goes for their Grape Nut pudding. the rest of the place is expensive and so-so.
coffee is bad. industrial.
more when the boss isn't looking ;)