And so our first trip to the Finger Lakes was to be.
We learned a few things… Make good use of technology. If you have a smart phone, check out the Finger Lakes app. It is helpful for navigating, lists of wineries, shop hours of and so much more. I love using the urbanspoon app to find places to nosh.
We took this trip with Dan’s parents and started early but made a stop to visit family, Dan’s great Aunt and Uncle (Aunt Margie will be 100 this year). Uncle Carl made a rather tasty, old school whiskey sour…
- 2 shots Canadian whiskey
- 1 part lemon juice
- 1 spoonful sugar
- a cherry and wedge of orange.
After a homemade lunch of pot pie, we were on our way back to Ithaca and the B&B, with one stop at a the Phoenix Used & Rare Bookstore.
Our B&B hostess Diana foraged some nibbles and wine for us to enjoy while we shared the of other guests. After stories and laughs we were finally off for dinner at Moosewood.
Moosewood cookbooks were the first true vegetarian cookbooks that stole my heart. How can you not eat the hand drawn images with your eyes as you salivate over the simply prepared recipes full of foods as nature intended. So Moosewood was a big deal for me and something m y father in law, who had visited previously, was eager to share.
The wait was short and the bar was open so we pulled up a seat to dine with our host /bartender Tom, who has been with MW for the past 4 years. Dan & John had a local brew, Jane enjoyed an organic bloody mary and I had an rum with a dash of unfiltered ginger ale.
We ate were celebrities meet to eat but better than that we broke bread were other folks who have been inspired by some of all of the Moosewood Cookbook make this a bucket list visit.
The menu changes from day to day with a fresh lunch and dinner options. I must admit that the appetizer was a big letdown, a thai noodle salad with a peanut dressing. I Interpreted this mean meal rice noodles and dressing but it was boxed spiral pasta that was dry and uninspiring. The salad was a quick memory as samples started to arrive.
Before we ordered our dinners, Tom was so gracious to bring me samples of each house-made dressings and a spoonful of each soup du jour. The garlic and feta dressing was my favorite but the lemon and tahini dressing was a close second. The creamy tomato bisque… come on now, I’m a sucker for tomato and grilled cheese and this smooth, savory tomato bisque hit the spot. All of the recipes are in the Moosewood cookbooks.
After enjoying the Thai curry, West African stuffed eggplant (which Dan cleaned off his plate), and pecan crusted salmon Tom, our amazing host, brought me a sample of the local red and white Port wine and vegan chocolate cake. Both were divine and after a spicy curry the white port was a smooth, sweet palate cleanser.
With a copy of the Moosewood Desserts Cookbook, 2 vegan chocolate chip cookies & chocolate cake in my bag we were ready to head on to the next destination for dessert. Our hostess suggested Madeline’s,located in the Commons.
We were distracted on the way for dessert. A bright and shiny used book store sung it’s siren song with glowing windows and racks of dollar books teasing us from the sidewalk. We did not make it out with empty hands.
Madeline’s was packed at 8:30pm. When you visit, for dessert, tell the host that you are there for dessert and they will direct you to a back corner of the dimly lit, trendy restaurant to ogle 2 pastry cases full of handmade pastry. We sampled 3 desserts but I am told the the sponge cake (in the shape of a dome) is the signature dessert and not to be enjoyed alone. next time.
The bourbon pecan cake, with decadent layers of chocolate bourbon ganache studded with pecans, was devoured by John & Jane. Dan inhaled his raspberry chocolate torte and I ate the vegan strawberry layered cake.
The vegan cake must not be a big seller because my piece was a dry, dry, dry end piece. It was not something to be recommended.
More on day 2 to follow…