The Finger Lakes Region of New York state features beautiful scenery, pristine lakes, charming villages and is an ideal destination for food and wine lovers. These are my top five must see destinations for food and wine enthusiasts planning a visit to the region.
- My favorite winery is Ravines Wine Cellars. The Finger Lakes is known for its Riesling grapes and according to the New York Times, Ravines offers one of the best values in the region. Winemaker Morten Hallgren has a long history in winemaking and prior to starting this establishment with his wife Lisa, he worked Dr. Konstantin Frank. The Hallgrens are passionate winemakers and it shows in the quality that they provide.
- Next on my list is The Union Block Bistro. Finding a great restaurant in a small town can often be a bit of challenge and for those who hail from big cities, you may find that local opinions on what makes a good restaurant is not always in line with the same criteria used by big city folks. However, you will be happy to find that this great restaurant would be able to hold its own in a big city, yet it is located in the village square in Hammondsport. Chef and owner Craig Wilson features creative Mediterranean inspired cuisine and beautiful and unique antipasto plates featuring homemade tomato jam on crostini and a variety of other samplings using local and seasonal ingredients. In addition to the amazing food, they have live music on the weekends and 10 craft beers on tap.
- The Windmill Farm and Craft Market Located midway between Penn Yan and Dundee on NY Route 14A, the Windmill has become a premier tourist attraction, with approximately 100 vendors. Only open on Saturdays, Memorial Day and Labor Day from 8 until 4, it is not unusual to see between 8000-10000 people come to the Windmill on a summer Saturday. Serving as an outlet for farmers, artisans and the local Mennonite community, there is something for everyone. Stop and have breakfast or lunch at one of the many food vendors and spend the day browsing through the shops and buildings filled with fresh produce and flowers.
- If you are a coffee fan, head over to the Keuka Lake Coffee Roasters. Although, their items are available regionally, the main store location is a cute little log cabin nestled in an inconspicuous site off 54A on Keuka Lake. Try some samples and pick up free recipes that feature their coffee beans, gourmet salts, sauces and marinades. They also carry a line of gourmet chocolate barks that use their gourmet beans and have a great selection of local pottery and art. Owners Susan and Brian are committed to working with the Finger Lakes Community and support other local businesses and charitable organizations.
- The Flour Shop Cafe and Bakery The Flour Shop is located in a building on Main Street in Penn Yan that formerly was a flower shop. Not only do they have beautiful and delicious cupcakes with unique flavors like pink lemonade and bananas foster, they serve great coffee, sandwiches, salads and scones. I have seen their cupcake arrangements at several birthdays and weddings and in my opinion they are far superior to standard cakes in taste and presentation.