Ready for a great culinary adventure? Celebrated restaurants, cooking schools, farmer markets, wineries and craft breweries across the state have whatever your heart (or palate) desires!
New York Classics
All the best ingredients for great dining come together in New York. For starters, there’s amazing variety. With culinary traditions from around the world combined with the bounty of our farms, orchards and vineyards, New York offers food journeys like nowhere else. From NYC food trucks to international haute cuisine and world-class wines, there’s something to please every palate. And across the state, you can enjoy classics like New York pizza, Buffalo wings, Ithaca greens, Waldorf salad and Thousand Island dressing in the places they were invented.
With over 20,000 restaurants, New York City has amazing diversity. Follow famous chefs to hotspots like Buvette, Jody Williams’s Parisian-inspired “gastroteque” in the West Village. Savour authentic Japanese dishes at Niko in SoHo, haute Peruvian cuisine at La Mar in the Flatiron district, or a prime steak at Peter Luger, a Brooklyn classic.
Specials come with ocean views on Long Island, where chefs are inspired by fresh local seafood and produce. Watch the fishing boats from your table at Dave’s Grill, a waterfront bistro on Montauk Harbour. In Riverhead, the 1896 Tweeds Restaurant & Buffalo Bar gets sizzling reviews for bison steaks, rated “excellent” by Zagat. Take a seat at FDR’s favourite table at the Beekman Arms in Rhinebeck. The Hudson Valley landmark with strong oak beams and broad plank floors has been welcoming guests (including George Washington) since 1766, when Revolutionary War heroes drank rum toddies and townspeople took refuge when the British attacked. Ithaca’s Moosewood, named one of the most influential restaurants of the 20th Century by Bon Appétit, inspired a series of cookbooks for generations of whole food fans. Another Finger Lakes classic, Dinosaur Bar-B-Que opened in Syracuse in 1988, quickly becoming famous for great food and live blues. Since then it’s opened branches in Rochester, Harlem and Troy, in the Capital-Saratoga region. In Saratoga Springs, the historic Olde Bryan Inn features a friendly cottage atmosphere and spacious tavern. Affordable dishes, from casual to elegant, include selections from former owner Alexander Bryan’s 1825 Bill o’ Fare. The High Rock Spring is just across the street. Tradition says that Native Americans visited as early as 1300 to gain strength from the “Medicine Spring of the Great Spirit.”
Tasteful Tours & Classes
Learn to create your own masterpieces with cooking lessons and culinary tours. In the Hudson Valley, tour the world’s premier culinary college, the Culinary Institute of America. Put on a chef’s coat and take a class or reserve a table at one of the five student-staffed restaurants. Nearby Sprout creek Farm crafts artisanal cheeses using age-old traditions. Watch the process, learn to make your own cheese or buy some at the farm market, which also sells seasonal vegetables. Sign up for Cooking Weekends at hotels such as the Castle on the Hudson, with Vintage Hudson Valley. You can also dine like royalty (with the option to spend the night) at the 100-year-old medieval-style castle; the dining room has a worldwide reputation for excellence. NoshWalks to deliciously diverse neighbourhoods in each of New York City’s five boroughs include a Queens tour of Brazilian markets, as well as Venezuelan, Greek, French, Mexican, Balkan and Ukrainian specialties. Healthy food tours with BarbsGetaway.com lead to vegan cafes, celebrity-favourite raw food restaurants, and the lively NYC Greenmarket’s amazing fruits, vegetables, wines, dairy, and baked goods.
Located near the Canandaigua wine trail in the Finger Lakes, the NY Wine & Culinary Centre highlights New York State’s wine regions, brewery trails and farms with exhibits, classes and chef demonstrations. The Taste of New York Restaurant presents dishes made with New York ingredients that pair perfectly with New York wines and beers.
Just north of Manhattan, discover the Hudson Valley’s farm markets, artisanal cheese makers, family-owned wineries and celebrated chefs. Restaurant North (in Armonk) gets rave reviews for its refined farm-to-table American fare created by chef/owner Eric Gabrynowicz, recently nominated for “Rising Star Chef of the United States” by the James Beard Foundation. In Pocantico Hills, the Stone Barns Centre combines a sustainable farm with Blue Hill restaurant, preparing flavourful dishes with the day’s harvest. Get a taste of the simple life in the Chautauqua-Allegheny region along New York’s Amish Trail. More than 100 farm shops feature traditional crafts, baked goods, cheeses, and home-grown fruits and vegetables.
Tour award-winning wineries and breweries across the state to learn from experts—or decide for yourself—the perfect complements to New York’s fine foods. Pellegrini Vineyards and Clovis Point, international-medal winners, are among nearly 30 wineries on the North Fork of Long Island. The North Fork Trail scenic byway runs past vineyards, farm stands and charming villages from Southold to the Atlantic Ocean. The Finger Lakes region’s four wine trails—surrounding picturesque Canandaigua, Cayuga, Keuka and Seneca lakes— host tours and special events like the Finger Lakes Wine Festival at Watkins Glen in July. In Central New York, tours of Saranac Brewery finish with fine-crafted beers and sodas served in their 1888 tavern. Chautauqua-Allegheny’s Ellicottville Brewing Company wins international awards creating small batch brews with their all-natural, Old World brewing system. Check out their Brewer for a Day course; you just might become a brewmaster!
NYSDED-Photo by Darren McGee