Whether you call them appetizers, starters, or antipasto, the first bites of a meal set the tone for your whole restaurant experience. To ensure your dinner starts off on the right foot, we recommend trying these eight unbelievable appetizers. Each has unique flavors and are from restaurants that have several other dishes your taste buds will thank you for. What are your favorite appetizers in Rochester? Let us know in the comments or tweet us at @SeizeTheWeekday.
Edibles | Truffle Tots
704 University Ave Rochester
These aren’t the tator tots from your high school cafeteria. These potato delights come perfectly cooked and topped with a truffle oil drizzle and a light sea salt. The bonus is the chipotle aioli dipping sauce, which has just the right amount of flavor kick. For your next course, go with the beef short rib that is braised for six hours.
Tony D’s | Arrancini
288 Exchange Blvd Rochester
This is quite possibly the best risotto fritter you will ever have in your life. Tony D’s fills these round delights with prosciutto, pine nuts and mozzarella. Then they are topped with an unbelievable pesto sauce that brings the taste to another level. For your entre, go with their wood fired bianca pizza that comes layered with mozzarella, asiago, provolone, ricotta, garlic and olive oil.
Rocco | Ricotta Fatta in Casa
165 Monroe Ave Rochester
If you’ve never had extremely fresh ricotta cheese, then you must try this appetizer. The Fatta in Casa comes with a healthy portion of house made ricotta next to a set of perfectly charred bread to lather it on. It is also placed in a delicious olive oil that makes it even more delicious. After that, get the lasagna for you entree and their butterscotch dessert.
Label 7 | Grilled Wings
50 State St Pittsford
Chicken wings seem like a simple appetizer, but Label 7 makes them much more interesting. These tasty finger foods are dry rubbed and coated with a pepper sauce. Then they are matched with a ‘buttermilk bleu’ dipping sauce that perfectly balances the flavors. After these wings, go with their burger, which some consider the best in Rochester.
- Monday – No corkage fee on wine
- Tuesday – No corkage fee on wine
Revelry | Beet Deviled Eggs
1290 University Ave Rochester
The presentation of the deviled eggs alone is enough to make these a must-have appetizer. They come dressed with a mustard caviar, bacon and a sumptuous brown butter cornbread crumb. You will never look at deviled eggs the same at your next backyard BBQ. For your next course, go with the burger and fried green tomatoes.
Grappa | Baked Gnocchi
30, Celebration Dr Rochester
New to the Rochester restaurant scene, Grappa has already garnered rave reviews – and this dish is part of the reason. The gnocchi comes out in a piping hot bowl with the fresh mozzarella still bubbling. Inside is their delicious ricotta gnocchi with cherry tomatoes and Parmesan gratin. Other dishes of interest here include the chicken cutlet and linguini & clams.
- Everyday – Happy hour from 4 – 6 pm
Tapas 177 | Fried Calamari Salad
177 St Paul St Rochester
One of the most famous dishes in all of Rochester, the Tapas fried calamari salad is on a whole different level for starters. The squid are flash fried and loaded on to a bed of greens with asiago cheese and a lemon balsamic vinagrette. The unbelievable vinagrette dressing is really what brings the flavor into a different statosphere. For your entre, go with the flattened potato gnocchi which is topped with roasted butternut squash, mushrooms, and spinach.
- Monday – No corkage fee on wine
- Wednesday – $5 glasses of wine for Women
- Friday – Free appetizers put out during happy hour 4:30 pm – 7:00 pm
Cure | Foie Gras-Bone Marrow Toast
50 Rochester Public Market Rochester
Don’t let the bone marrow part scare you – these tasty toasts are out of this world. The foie gras has an unbelievable flavor and then a concord gastrique is drizzled on top that adds the perfect amount of sweet. Afterwards, get the banh mi sandwich or the boudin blanc sausage – they will change your life.
- Wednesday – No corkage fee on wine
What are your favorite appetizers in Rochester? Let us know in the comments or tweet us at @SeizeTheWeekday.