As we close out the year, it is good to look back at new restaurants that have become a strong piece to the flourishing Rochester food scene. These five spots captured the attention of local food lovers with everything from a unique French menu to a seven course experience that will blow your mind. And if you learn anything from this list it should be – get that damn pizza at Fiorella! Let us know your favorite new restaurants in the comments.
688 Park Ave, Rochester
Many Park Avenue diners were disappointed when Cibon closed its doors at the end of 2014 – but they were quickly delighted to see what it became. The same owners re-opened with a new name, creative French menu and strong focus on delicious cocktails. Everything on the menu is good, but you can’t go wrong with the cheese plate, frites, croque madame, bouillabaisse, and salmon. After your entre, save some room for the crème brûlée, that is one of the best in town. They are also known for their unique absinthe drink menu that packs a high alcohol punch. Come from 5 – 6 pm on Monday through Friday to get the house absinthe for $6. They also have BYOB with no corkage fee on Tuesdays for your further drinking enjoyment.
4) The Cub Room
739 S Clinton Ave, Rochester
Another addition to the already hot South Wedge food scene, The Cub Room offers a new American menu with fresh and local ingredients. One major benefit is the restaurant’s proximity to McCann’s Local Meats which provides some of the choice cuts on their menu. Because of this neighborly relationship, we highly recommend going with the Cubby Burger or Prime Sirloin Steak. The steak comes with bacon blue cheese bread pudding, Swiss chard and red wine jus – just saying those ingredients makes you salivate. The Cub Room also plays host to a spacious bar area that is a great spot to meet up for a cocktail.
30, Celebration Dr, Rochester
The newly constructed College Town at U of R is bustling with activity – and Grappa is its main attraction. The ‘new Italian’ menu and trendy atmosphere have drawn lots of attention since opening. One of the signature dishes is the gnocchi that 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 spicy meatball, chicken cutlet and linguini & clams. Make sure to come during happy hour, which is every day from 4 – 6 pm with two for one select drinks, apps and pizzas.
5, Rochester Public Market, Rochester
If you have not tried the pizza at this Public Market restaurant, you are truly missing out. Fiorella uses naturally leavened dough that ferments over a period of time on its own – resulting in a superior tasting pizza crust. Try the Bianca pie that comes with fresh garlic, smoked mozzarella, pecorino and greens. You have the option of adding spicy salame, which you should take advantage of. They also have some delightful handmade pastas and local craft beer options. With Cure and Fiorella on the same block, the Public Market is now a strong-hold for local dining.
1) The Kitchen
5 S Main St, Pittsford
Just about a year ago this Pittsford Village restaurant hit the food scene with its two hour, seven course, food tasting journey. The pre-fixed menu here changes every couple weeks, but is described as Modern American Haute cuisine. You are in the hands of New York City trained chef Joseph Cipolla – so just let him go to work and get ready to dine like a king. The price tag is high here, but if you are looking for an intimate, multi course meal that you will talk about for months, this is your place. One bonus though is they have BYOB wine and beer with a $5 corkage fee per bottle of wine, which can lighten your bill. Keep in mind, the location is small and they only offer one seating Wednesday and Thursday and two seatings on Friday and Saturday.
Let us know the new restaurants you are enjoying in the comments below.