Archive for the ‘Culinary’ 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.

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

And The Winners Are!

October 22, 2009

The first round of competition in the 2009 Slice, Dice and Spice NY Culinary Pro-Am was held on Monday, October 19th, at the New York Wine and Culinary Center in Canandaigua.  Nine Chefs from area restaurants and their amateur teams competed–THREE were selected! 

The Winning Teams chosen by the judges to move forward to Sunday’s final competition are:

Team Warfield's

Team Warfield's

Chef Michael Bommelje – Warfield’s Restaurant,  in Clifton Springs

Team Juniper

Team Juniper

Chef Kate Elliott – Juniper,  in Buffalo

Team Doc's Lakeside

Team Doc's Lakeside

Chef Nick Rada – Doc’s Lakeside Seafood & Steakhouse, in Canandaigua.

The excitement continues as now each of these three teams will compete once again in the finals for the title of the 2009 Slice, Dice, and Spice NY Pro-Am cook-off Champions!  YOU can come and cheer them on.  The competition begins on Sunday, October 25th at  12 noon at the Wine & Culinary Center! In addition to the cook-off (which will be simulcast throughout the center) you can enjoy culinary treats from over 30 tasting booths representing Finger Lakes finest!  And maybe even more important….IT’S FREE!  So bring friends and family and join us for a great afternoon of fun, food and wine. 

Yet another Great Finger Lakes Find!

Slice, Dice & Spice NY~The Teams The Times

October 18, 2009

Great FoodTomorrow is the day…here is the schedule for the first day of competition-October 19th at the New York Wine & Culinary Center located in Canandaigua.  Nine teams lead by the chefs from local restaurants and their “foodies” compete for the ulitmate title of 2009 Slice, Dice and Spice NY Champions! Admission it FREE.  Don’t Miss It!

Slice, Dice & Spice~ The Teams are Ready!

October 17, 2009
Let the Competition Begin!

Let the Competition Begin!

We are only 2 days away from the beginning of the Slice, Dice & Spice NY Pro-Am Cook Off.  On Monday, October 19th, 9 area chefs and their amateur teams will compete to win. There will be only 3 teams to move on to the finals scheduled at the New York Wine & Culinary Center  in Canandaigua next Sunday, October 25th.  Chefs representing restaurants from Ontario County and Buffalo will face off to win a chance to become the 2009 Slice, Dice & Spice NY Champion!  It’s a competition not to miss and both events are FREE to attend!  What could be more fun?  It’s all about the food and wine from the Finger Lakes, come and visit and savor the flavor of the Finger Lakes.  Stay tuned to Great Finger Lakes Finds, or better yet go and cheer your favorite team on to win!