Wednesday, July 4, 2012

a little visit around seneca lake

It was time for two days of serious exploration of the northern end of Seneca Lake early in July. I would say that the goal was accomplished--6 new wineries and 2 excellent restaurants later, and an amazing expanse of scenery to boot.

 Our plan this summer is to follow the guidelines of Evan Dawson's book, "Summer in a Glass," and visit wineries and their owners that have been innovators on the wine making scene in the area.

We were very impressed with an up and comer of a winery: Red Tail Ridge. It is being developed with sound environmentally friendly practices. The winery is the first LEED ( Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design ) Gold certified green winery in New York State. The wines are excellent and we purchased the 2009 Reisling and some Blaufrankisch.

Along the west side of the lake on Route 14, Geneva is Ports Cafe, a restaurant with the best daily menu choices anywhere! My Chilian sea bass was perfect--and my husband's veal porterhouse barely needed a sturdy knife. Fresh local produce was served and in our case it was mixed grilled vegetables and sour creamed smashed potatoes. I liked the fact that local Finger Lakes wines were plentiful and available. It is a small and somewhat noisy place, but that didn't take away from lingering into the evening.

A second restuarant is Dano's Heuriger on the east side of the lake near Lodi on Route 414. You can order tapas style or as meals. Austrian food is the speciality, and the atomosphere is very conducive to a slow European eating experience inside or outside on the expansive patio.