It’s getting colder out, which means it’s the official start to ‘drinking in front of a fireplace’ season. Luckily, the Rochester restaurant scene is filled with spots that host cozy fireplace experiences. Below are some of the more popular places, along with their best dishes that can warm you up on chilly winter nights. What good restaurants and bars with fireplaces are we missing? Let us know in the comments.
289 Alexander St, Rochester
One of the only spots in Rochester for Caribbean fare also has one of the best fireplace settings. The Havana Cabana fire is set into a beautiful exposed brick wall in the back of the restaurant. Get a table next to it and warm up with their famous Havana Cabana Paella. This dish comes loaded with bay scallops, jumbo shrimp, calamari, clams, octopus, chorizo sausage and split chicken simmered in a saffron herbed sea broth. For your drinking pleasure, the bar area is stocked with nearly 100 rums to choose from along with flight options. Go on Wednesdays for their BYOB wine night with no corkage fee.
550 East Ave, Rochester
Located in the upscale Strathallan Hotel, Char is a local favorite for wood fired steaks and homemade pastas. Their modern designed space has a sheek lounge space with a delightful fireplace. Grab one of their seven signature cocktails and cozy up in the plush chairs. If you want to get a bite to eat, stick with any of the steaks on the menu. They have all the top cuts available such as ribeye, filet mignon, porter house, NY strip and sirloin.
Next Door by Wegmans
3220 Monroe Ave, Rochester
The Wegman’s owned restaurant is known for its unique interior design and one of the best features is the towering stone fireplace in the main dining room. Tucked in the corner, try to grab the booth that sits nearby for the best ambiance and fireplace scents. A hearty menu item for a cold night is the Next Door Bolognese which comes with a tasty blend of beef, veal, pork in a creamy tomato sauce with orecchiette. Other tasty dishes worth your time are the burger, steamed pork belly buns, and truffle mac n’ cheese. If you are thirsty, they have their own beer that is brewed by Rohrbach’s called the The Next Door Ale.
1776 Monroe Ave, Rochester
Brighton’s popular sports pub, the Otter Lodge features a gas fireplace in the back corner of this cozy tavern. Sit in the high top table next to the fire and get a great view of the multiple TV’s that lace the bar wall. The Otter has some of the best bar food in town and you can’t go wrong with their country sweet chicken wings. They also have a good selection of local craft beers on tap. Combine those wings with the delicious Three Heads Kind IPA and you will be in heaven.
120 East Ave, Rochester, NY
This Belgium themed restaurant has the ultimate European pub feel with dark wood paneling and two fireplaces. One fireplace is adjacent to the bar and the other is out in their delightful beer garden. The beer selection is king here with 24 drafts that are solely focused on Belgium beers. For food that will warm you up, go with the Belgian grilled cheese.
3001 Monroe Ave, Rochester
Situated in the historic Spring House, Monroe’s offers an interesting mix of New American and Italian cuisine. Get seated in the booths near the fireplace and make sure to order their delicious chicken French. Other plates to check out are the lobster mac-n-cheese and gnocchi. The bar area is a also great place to watch a game with happy hour running Monday through Saturday from 4-7 pm.
Richardson’s Canal House
1474 Marsh Rd, Pittsford
Mostly known for their outdoor patio overlooking the Erie Canal, Richardson is also a great winter spot due to its cozy atmosphere and multiple fireplaces. One fire is situated in the dining area and the other near the bar space. For food, get either the b or r while the lamb is served with
725 Park Ave, Rochester
Tucked back off Park Avenue, Dragonfly is a rustic designed tavern with a beautiful stone fire place as its centerpiece. Grab a craft brew and sit at the high top tables with a view of the huge television hanging over the fire. If you are hungry, pizzas are the specialty here. Go with the meat lovers pie that is absolutely loaded with pepperoni, sausage, capicola, bacon and sirloin topped with mozzarella cheese.
1256 Mt Hope Ave, Rochester
This long time U of R hang out has a crackling fire right next to the bar and seating area. Get one of the two tables next it and hit up their chicken wings, burger or quesadillas. The chicken wings are some of the best in town. They also have some higher end entres like steaks and chicken French. Come on Monday nights where the special is $3 for Bud drafts and $9 pitchers of Bud.
384 East Ave, Rochester
If you are looking for a more intimate dining experience, check out the side room at the City Grill. The room is accented by a classic fireplace that creates a warm and inviting setting. The chicken cutlets, egg plant stack, and wood fired pizza are the dishes of choice for a cold winter night. They also have a respectable craft beer selection to serve your ale and lager needs. Every wednesday they have BYOB with no corkage fee on wine, half off bottles of wine, half off egg plant stack.
315 Gregory St, Rochester
This trendy spot in the South Wedge just won Best New Restaurant in City Newspaper’s Best of 2015 poll. If you check out the lounge room, you will find a funky fireplace and plush seating to curl up on. They offer a delightful selection of craft beers – with a lot of local options. For food, they have an interesting mix of Asian fusion cuisine with the pork belly buns and ramen bowls being popular choices. Also, ake sure to take advantage of their Taco Tuesday deal!