Let’s Talk Food – The Finger Lakes Experience

Travel.  Vacations.  You come, you play, you eat, you sleep.  You experience what is not at home.  And food can be a large part of that experience.  Do you know that favorite foods differ in regions within the same state?  New York gives us pastrami sandwiches, Chinatown and Little Italy in ”the city”, while clear across the state, Buffalo is home to the infamous chicken wings, giros, superb pizza and beef on ’weck.

tender grilled beef and garden-fresh vegetables

And, located in the middle of upstate New York, you will find the Finger Lakes.  An area known for it’s stunning topography, fashioned from glaciers that left behind glittering long, deep lakes, gorges, waterfalls, and plenty of fertile farmland.  Throw in to this mix the culture of a small city that has two reknowned colleges, Cornell University and Ithaca College, and you have progressive thinking that brings us the best in agriculture.  We’re talking organic foods, luscious grapes on the vines turned into award-winning local wines, meat and poultry that is free-range and free of growth hormones.  All locally grown, fresh and healthy.

beautiful vegetarian baked eggplant dish

The locavore movement is alive and thriving in the Finger Lakes.  Restaurants such as Simply Red Bistro,  Hazelnut Kitchen, Suzanne Fine Regional Cuisine and Ithaca’s very own Moosewood Restaurant feature menus created with local, organic, seasonal ingredients.  World-class chefs are bringing their talents and families to upstate NY, not only for the quality of life but also to merge their passion for creating delicious dishes with the farm-to-table opportunity these communities provide.

Chef Samantha preparing dinner in Atwater vineyard

Perhaps the best way to experience the natural beauty of our area in combination with the bounty of the field is through Vine Dining. At Atwater Estate Vineyards along the Seneca Lake Wine Trail, a table is set in the vineyard overlooking Seneca Lake, and Chef Samantha Buyskes of Simply Red Bistro will prepare the dinner table-side for 24 people.  This popular event is being offered on three dates;  Sunday, July 31st, Friday, August 26th & Friday, September 23rd, 2011.  Book your place at the table and your room at the Halsey House and make a memory you’ll long to repeat for years to come.

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