Please note that owners, chefs, menu items, prices and other details can often change, and we recommend that you call ahead before you go.
All of these restaurants accept American Express, Visa and MasterCard unless otherwise noted.
For more restaurants worldwide that hold Wine Spectator awards for their wine lists, see our Restaurant Search database.
9564 Route 414
Lodi, NY 14860
Telephone (607) 582-7555
Web site www.danosonseneca.com
Open Lunch and dinner, days vary; call for schedule
Cost Entrées $12–$18
This small dining room on Seneca Lake’s eastern shore, nestled between some of the top wineries, may be the best restaurant in the Finger Lakes. Chef Dano Hutnik was a ballet star in Austria, studied cooking in Paris and San Francisco and had a successful restaurant in Ithaca. But he and his wife, Karen Gilman, fell in love with the wineries. A “heuriger” is a traditional Austrian country restaurant where the latest wines are sampled. Try the potted foie gras, a decadent Hungarian dish, or fresh duck sausages in a white-bean casserole. Gilman makes a tempting array of desserts, and the wine list is a collection of Finger Lakes standouts.
Giverny at Mirbeau Inn & Spa
851 W. Genesee St.
Skaneateles, NY 13152
Telephone (315) 685-5006
Web site www.mirbeau.com/dining.html
Open Lunch and dinner, daily
Cost Tasting menu $59–$64
Award of Excellence
If you’re at the northern end of the lakes, Skaneateles is about 30 miles from Geneva, and the food is worth the drive at this luxurious spa. Chef Edward Moro once worked at the Little Nell in Aspen, Colo., and Pinot Blanc in Napa, Calif., and now focuses on modern French cuisine with Asian influences at Giverny. Try a four- or five-course tasting menu. The Award of Excellence–winning wine list could use more local wines but offers plenty of good options, and the inn regularly hosts wine dinners featuring vintners from around the world.
Heights Café & Grill
903 Hanshaw Road
Ithaca, NY 14850
Telephone (607) 257-4144
Web site www.heightscafe.com
Open Lunch, Monday to Friday; dinner, Monday to Saturday
Cost Entrées $21–$29
Award of Excellence
This Award of Excellence winner near the Cornell campus is hidden in a strip mall, but the dining room is warm and modern. James Larounis of the Culinary Institute of America offers a mix of contemporary cuisine, a lengthy wine list with plenty of New York bottlings and an impressive Scotch selection. Appetizers include organic barley risotto with duck confit and truffle oil, while entrées include pan-seared, bacon-crusted veal tenderloin—topped with scallops, which might be overkill.
Lancellotti Dining Room
1001 Lochland Road
Geneva, NY 14456
Telephone (315) 789-7190; (800) 343-6382
Web site www.genevaonthelake.com/cuisine.html
Open Lunch and dinner, daily; off-season, call for schedule
Cost Entrées $34; prix fixe menu $59
The old dining room at Geneva on the Lake is filled with marble pillars and molding. The food is solid and the wine list varied. Appetizers include simple warmed Brie with dried cherries, while entrées include hearty venison osso buco.
215 E. State St., Ithaca Commons
Ithaca , NY 14850
Telephone (607) 277-2253
Web site www.madelinesrestaurant.net
Open Dinner, daily
Cost Entrées $15–$24
With a funky, modern dining room, a beautiful bar and a dessert case that will make you salivate, Madeline’s is downtown Ithaca’s hottest restaurant—the product of leading local restaurateur Lex Chutintaranond—although service can be uneven. Dishes include seared diver scallops with Asian slaw and frenched pork chop with sweet potatoes and spinach. Before dinner, pop into Just a Taste Wine and Tapas Bar down the block, an Award of Excellence winner also created by Chutintaranond.
Red Newt Cellars Bistro
3675 Tichenor Road
Hector, NY 14841
Telephone (607) 546-4100
Web site www.rednewt.com
Open Lunch and dinner, Wednesday to Sunday; off-season, call for schedule
Cost Entrées $20–$29
Chef Debra Whiting takes local ingredients seriously. Depending on the season, try the sage ravioli with roasted beet-walnut chèvre or the chicken breast stuffed with pear, Gorgonzola and spinach. Whiting offers well over a hundred Finger Lakes wines and eight different wine flights. There are also New York state beers and hard cider.
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