Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

Nolan’s on Canandaigua Lake

May 6, 2011

Last Sunday, my girlfriend Ryan and I were coming back to Canandaigua from a weekend at her parents. It was kind of a special afternoon, being that we started dating a year ago to the day. We caught a matinee movie at Canandaigua Theatres and were looking for a place to enjoy a nice and quiet dinner. Anyone that dines out often knows that Sundays are tough. Most places are closed and the ones that are in fact open, you just don’t feel like going to! I heard about a new restaurant that just opened, Nolan’s on Canandaigua Lake… So I figured, let’s try it.

View from Lakeshore Drive

View from Lakeshore Drive

Nolan’s is on Lakeshore Drive in Canandaigua and for those that are familiar with the area, it is in the same building that once housed Kellogg’s Pan Tree Inn. When you walk in, you definitely feel the history of the place. If you aren’t familiar with Kellogg’s, it was a Canandaigua mainstay for years and years. I spent my summers as a child eating breakfast there almost every week with my family. The breakfasts were amazing, as were the cookies, but best of all were the homemade cinnamon rolls. Ask anyone who dined at Kellogg’s over the years, and they will tell you these cinnamon buns are the best they’ve ever had! But, enough about cinnamon rolls … for now.

Sometimes you go to a brand new restaurant and you experience what one may call “growing pains.” You know – the service is slow, the servers have no idea what is on the menu, the food comes out cold, etc. All too often I experience this scenario, but I assure you, I experienced no such thing at Nolan’s on Canandaigua Lake.

My first dinner at Nolan’s was exceptional. We started the evening off with a bottle of Heron Hill Riesling. In addition to Heron Hill, there are wines from Dr. Konstantin Frank and Hazlitt. They also have Naked Dove Brewing Company beers!

The menu is diverse, with seafood, steaks, pasta, chicken sautés and light fare like burgers and sandwiches. Figuring out what to order was no easy task. We pondered it for quite a while until I ended up with Asiago Scallops and Ryan went with the Chicken French. We’ll have to come back again soon because the Riesling Festival Chicken sounded delicious and we’ll have to try a steak, as all Nolan’s beef is certified angus and wet aged for 28 days.

I had a house salad to start and Ryan had a wedge salad, which was phenomenal. The Asiago Scallops were large, and served over a bed of tomato bruschetta and topped with melted Asiago. Let’s just say there were no leftovers from me! Ryan’s Chicken French was just as good and there was certainly no need for a knife, the chicken was so tender it was like cutting through butter.

At this point we were stuffed, and couldn’t even think about dessert. But, I figured we should at least hear what they have. Our server told us about the signature dessert, an original recipe Kellogg’s cinnamon roll served a la mode. I was sold! I later found out from Nick Violas, the owner of Nolan’s, that the Kellogg family was nice enough to give them the original recipe.

It was everything I remembered it to be and as soon as a tried it, I felt a bit of nostalgia that is hard to explain. I was brought back to being four years old, holding my mom’s hand as we walked into Kellogg’s. I was brought back to my summers swimming in Canandaigua Lake and boating with my father. It’s quite amazing how tastes, sights and sounds can trigger memories. For me, the cinnamon roll and Nolan’s was a subtle reminder of what I love so much about the Finger Lakes.

Nolan’s on Canandaigua Lake is brand new, but its unique nod to Finger Lakes history makes it feel like it’s been here forever. I walked out of the restaurant and directly to my left was Canandaigua Lake. It was then I came to the conclusion that I couldn’t have asked for a better Sunday night dinner in the Finger Lakes. We’ll certainly be heading back soon.

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Maple Sugar Weekends in the Finger Lakes

March 27, 2011

Spring is here (well, according to the calendar) and that means the sap is flowing! Every year, two weekends in March are proclaimed “Maple Weekend” by the NYS Maple Producers. Maple producers around the state open their facilities to the public for tours, tastings, pancake breakfasts and more!
We decided to visit the newest member in our area – Wohlschlegel’s Naples Maple Farm at 8064 Coates Road, high atop the hills surrounding Naples. Their maple syrup is made in a new barn-style building, and the view from there is absolutely spectacular. It’s a family business, with three generations lending a hand, along with friends and neighbors. We sampled maple syrup and maple cream, and toured the production facility. I learned that they collect sap from 4200 taps, and that it takes 40 gallons of sap to make ONE gallon of syrup. There were lots of people there, young and older, families and couples – everyone enjoying the outdoors. We bought a bottle of syrup, and headed for home – taking the scenic route, of course!

Submitted by Rebecca Donovan

Red Dove Tavern in Geneva, NY

February 11, 2011

A group of us met at The Red Dove Tavern in Geneva last week.  Although I had heard great things, I had not been there before.  We had the best winter weather lunch! I had a field green salad, followed by an excellent beef stew served over horseradish smashed potatoes – delish!

The restaurant is cozy and casual, with a chalkboard menu that changes daily.  We talked with the owner, Rune Hilt, who says he gets his menu inspirations from the abundance of locally available foods. Rune, originally from the Philadelphia area, told us about his first visit to the Finger Lakes – it was a “scenic detour” on a trip from Philadelphia to Buffalo. Rune and his partner came back to visit the Finger Lakes several times, and when they were ready to open their own restaurant, they immediately thought of Geneva.

Seneca Lake and Hobart and William Smith Colleges were two pluses, along with the availability of local food and wine. Rune talked about his great relationships with Normal Bread, Red Jacket Orchards, Billsboro Winery and White Springs Winery. The Red Dove Tavern has installed a wine-on-tap system – a new innovation. Only a few local wineries are putting wine in kegs, but Rune is hoping that more will follow.  I, for one, am very happy that Rune and his partner chose Geneva as home for The Red Dove Tavern!

Submitted by Rebecca Donovan

Tea Party Birthday

November 23, 2010

Historic Dryer House Emporium

I took my girlfriend, Ryan, and her mother and father last Thursday night to the new location of  Grandma Hattie’s Tea Parties.  Ryan and I had had lunch there and decided it would be a perfect “unique” idea for her Mom’s birthday. We talked with Kathy Houser of Victor,  and she agreed to make it a very special birthday celebration.  We had scones, two different soup choices, butternut squash and Italian wedding, and finger sandwiches. The special touch was that Kathy had asked us ahead of time about Ryan’s mom’s favorite things and we told her kitchen is decorated with a watermelon theme.  Kathy then proceeded to make it very special by making dessert cupcakes that were decorated with watermelon designs, complete with a candle in each cupcake and also served tea in a special Happy Birthday Teacups.  A really big WOW factor, it was such a unique experience for someone to have who had never been to a “Tea Party” before.

A Unique Experience

It was a great event for Ryan’s mom and for those curious minds who want to know, “No, I did not wear a hat.”

I would definitely recommend this to someone looking for a special, unique event.

Submitted by AJ Shear

Finger Lakes FOUND!

July 19, 2010

Sailing on Canandaigua Lake

On Friday morning, July 16th, 3.7 million readers opened their USA Today morning papers to find a full-page spread on New York’s Finger Lakes!  Extolling the virtues of the Finger Lakes Region, the article talks about its 11 eleven lakes spread like the fingers on two hands, great waterfronts, great wine and great second home market! 

Sunrise over the vineyards in the Finger Lakes

For those of us who have lived here all our lives, it’s tough not to scream, “I told you so”.  With that said, it’s a tribute to the 11 regional tourism promotion agencies who have continued to  work together tirelessly to promote the Finger Lakes as a premiere year-round destination.

Enjoying great food, wine and friends. What fun!

Area journalist, Katharine Dyson, says, “It’s a place that has a firm grasp on what’s important, like fresh air, farmers markets, little traffic, outdoor concerts, and lake water so clear you can see right to the bottom.”  And, according to many, it’s about the people who live here that make the Finger Lakes so welcoming to visitors.

It's a short hike to the waterfalls in Grimes Glen, Naples.

Great Finger Lakes Finds  mentioned in the article included: regional wineries, Watkins Glen Raceway, Finger Lakes Gaming and Racetrack, the New York Wine and Culinary Center, more than 1,000 waterfalls, boating, fishing, golf , ski resorts, and parks.  Others to explore include:

Letchworth State Park is known as “The Grand Canyon of the East”
For thoroughbred racing and casino gaming, visit Tioga Downs
Boating, Great Lakes fishing, and the Erie Canal
Cayuga Lake, the longest Finger Lake, is home to the Cayuga Wine Trail
Visit Mark Twain Country!
Ithaca is overflowing with lively culture, unique shopping waterfalls
Syracuse is home to fantastic sports teams like the NCAA basketball Syracuse Orangemen
A multitude of family-friendly museums and attractions in Rochester
NASCAR fans head to Watkins Glen International
Four seasons of family fun on Keuka Lake
Experience New York’s bounty at The New York Wine & Culinary Center

Start planning your next vacation get away!  Less than a day’s drive, New York’s Finger Lakes are here for you.

The Little Lakes of the Finger Lakes

December 8, 2009

The Little Lakes of the Finger Lakes

The Finger Lakes Region of New York State is made up of 11 long slender bodies of water that form a striking resemblance to the fingers of an outstretched hand.  While the larger of these lakes are most notable and probably most popular lakes, for many area visitors, there is a Great Finger Lakes Find in the “Little Finger Lakes” located in western Ontario County~ Honeoye, Canadice and Hemlock Lakes.

Honeoye Lake translated by the Native Americans means “Lying Finger”.  Honeoye Lake is 5 miles long, has a depth of 30 feet and is a prime fishing spot in the Finger Lakes.  Coming into the winter months, it is the most popular lake for ice fishing because the water freezes quickly and maintains its solid surface throughout the winter months to become a natural playground for ice fishing, skating, and even ice boating. 

Cross Country Skiing fun

Many will enjoy the nearby Harriet Hollister Spencer Park state recreation area (be sure to click on this link to see a video of cross country skiing in the park).  You’ll find spectacular views of Honeoye Lake and the Rochester skyline to the north.  Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy miles of trails for hiking and in the winter it is a popular locale for cross-country skiing, snow-shoeing and even dog-sledding. 

Aerial view of the Little Lakes

 

Canadice Lake is peaceful and tranquil.  The lake is 3 miles long with a depth of 91 feet. Perhaps named with a bit of humor, the Native American translation is “Long Lake” and while the lake is quite tiny, it has some of the most natural beauty of all the Finger Lakes.  In fact, only car top boats are allowed on the lake keeping it pristine and therefore a popular spot for canoeing, kayaking, and relaxing.

Hemlock Lake is translated as “Sister Lake to Canadice” and surprising to many supplies drinking water to the city of Rochester. The lake is 8 miles long and has a depth of 96 feet. As the “sister lake” to Canadice its tree-lined undeveloped setting creates quite a contrasting experience to many of the larger, more populated lakes.  Both Hemlock and Canadice are remote and provide peaceful places to relax and enjoy nature.

Little Lakes Inn and Healing Center

At the end of a perfect day of fun in the Little Lakes, you can settle in for a great night’s sleep at The Little Lakes Inn & Healing Center, a completely restored Italianate-style inn, tucked in the cozy countryside along Honeoye Lake and one of the newest bed & breakfasts in the Finger Lakes.  Here you will find all the comforts of home and more.   

Thinking about your next get away?  The Little Lakes of the Finger Lakes is a Great Finger Lakes Find!

Incredible Views ~ In Between

November 11, 2009
GFLF Dunton Rd Naples View
Scenic Views Between the Lakes

The Finger Lakes are well known for spectacular scenery and  beautiful lakes. You can travel the popular routes that run north and south along the lakes and be sure to enjoy scenic vistas. However, if you drive “between” the lakes from east to west, there’s a treasure of hidden beauty in the valleys and hills that surround the lakes as well. 

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Scenic Over Look County Rd. 12

Two of the larger Finger Lakes, Seneca Lake and Canandaigua Lake, provide many of the most popular views.

This favorite view in the Finger Lakes is from the scenic overlook on County Rd. 12 near Naples looking north on Canandaigua Lake with South Hill and Bare Hill on the right.

 

GFLF Seneca Lake

Seneca Lake from HWS campus

 

Likewise, at the north end of Seneca Lake there is a spectacular view from Route 14 on the campus of Hobart & William Smith Colleges. 

 

But, in between these two magnificent lakes is also an area of panoramic pleasures.  You will travel rolling hills and farmland along scenic country roads, visit small towns filled with hometown charm. And, for the adventurous, there are valleys, waterfalls and gorges just waiting to be explored.

 Whether you travel by car, bike or on foot, the views are astounding.  Just look at this video and see Incredible Views ~ In Between.  Another Great Finger Lakes Find is here waiting for you…in between the Lakes.  Don’t forget your camera.

Stay posted, as the next Great Finger Lakes Finds blog will share the wonders of the “Little Lakes” of the Finger Lakes.

The Wonder of the Leaves~ Finger Lakes

October 28, 2009
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The Leaves and Colors in the Finger Lakes

Fall is one of the most beautiful seasons in the Finger Lakes.  We all enjoy the colors of autumn leaves. Did you ever wonder how and why a fall leaf changes color? Why a maple leaf turns bright red? Where do the yellows and oranges come from?

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Japanese Maple Leaf

Here is a quick review of what you may already know.  Leaves are nature’s food factories. The plants use sunlight to turn water and carbon dioxide into oxygen and glucose. Oxygen is a gas in the air that we breathe. Glucose is a kind of sugar. Plants use glucose as food for energy and for growing. The way plants turn water and carbon dioxide into oxygen and sugar is called photosynthesis–putting together with light. A chemical called chlorophyll helps make photosynthesis happen. Chlorophyll is what gives plants their green color.

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The Colors of Yellow and Orange

But as the summer ends and autumn comes, the days get shorter and shorter and the trees begin to get ready for winter. The trees will rest, and begin to shut down their food-making factories. The green chlorophyll disappears from the leaves. As the bright green fades away, then we begin to see the yellow and orange colors that have been in the leaves all along just covered up by the green chlorophyll.

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The Red Maple Leaf

The bright reds and purples we see in leaves are made mostly in the fall. In some trees, like maples, glucose is trapped in the leaves after photosynthesis stops. Sunlight and the cool nights of autumn cause the leaves turn this glucose into a red color.

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The Oak Leaf Changes

The brown color of trees like oaks is made from wastes left in the leaves.

The leaves create the beauty of fall foliage in our region, but they are also the subject of many works of local art, agriculture and culinary delights.  

It is the combination of all these things that make the beautiful colors we enjoy in the fall and the experience of being in the Finger Lakes.  Plan a Finger Lakes Get Away now,  pack your bags, your camera and come drive  the Finger Lakes.

Another Great Finger Lakes Find!


Juniper Wins Slice, Dice & Spice NY 2009

October 26, 2009
Kates TEam

Team Juniper Wins!

Congratulations to Chef Kate Elliott of Juniper in Buffalo and her team on winning the 2009 Slice, Dice and Spice NY Championship!  It was an awesome competition at the New York Wine & Culinary Center in Canandaigua.   A great afternoon of frenzy, food, wine and fun as 3 pro chefs and their amateur teams came together vying to become the 2009  Slice, Dice and Spice NY Pro-Am Cook Off Champions.  It doesn’t get much better than this–or taste so good!  Check out the chefs and theFinger Lakes restaurants.  The winning team members included: 

Chef Kate  Elliott, Juniper, Elmwood Avenue in Buffalo

Laura Kenyon, from SUNY Geneseo and a Farmers Market foodie

Russ Kenyon, attorney, Kenyon and Kenyon, Canandaigua

 Angela Parr, Cornell Cooperative Extension, Canandaigua

 Kathleen Houser , Aunt Hattie’s Tea Party, Victor

Great Finger Lakes Finds!

Slice Dice and Spice NY Finals

October 22, 2009
Slice Dice and Spice NY

Did you realize that the Slice Dice and Spice NY finals will be held this Sunday at the New York Wine & Culinary Center? And that it is FREE and open to the public. 1 – 4 on Sunday October 25th. Questions? 585-394-7070

Slice Dice and Spice NY