If you’re seeking to enjoy a short-break with a loved one in upstate New York, perhaps on the shores of Lake Ontario, then you couldn’t do much better than staying in one of the Rochester hotels and enjoying all the city has to offer. And, let’s not pretend otherwise, should you be wanting to get away from it all with that special someone, then at some point during your break you’re bound to want to spend at least one romantic evening out – no doubt, at an atmospheric, awesome restaurant. Well, don’t doubt it, the attraction-packed city of Rochester has more than its fair share of them; among which you’ll find this trio of excellent examples…
Lento(274 Goodman Street North, Rochester New York 14607)
Situated just off Village Gate Square, this place is a fine venue for a couple’s-only night-out as it’s all about sustainable dining. Not to say it’s a pious place, but while it steadfastly maintains a farm-to-table approach, its dishes are utterly heavenly. Not least because the menu changes swiftly to keep punters on their toes; that said, definitely try to catch the homemade pasta dishes, fish entrées, the ‘traditional poutine’, First Light Creamery cheese curds and, come dessert time, the milkshakes. Moreover, the excellent, locally-sourced, seasonal food is well accompanied by the restaurant’s money-saving themed nights (for instance, ‘dollar oyster nights’, ‘no corkage fee nights’ and ‘$5 specialty cocktail nights’). Who can say fairer than that?
Fiamma Piazza e Vino(1308 Buffalo Road, Rochester New York 14624)
Rochester’s ideal restaurant for those who relish Italian cuisine and a Mediterranean-themed atmos, Fammia’s ambience is jovial but cosy, boisterous but warm; with jazz (live jazz, at that) is to be heard every Thursday night coolly and soothingly wafting on the air towards your table. In terms of the eats, the Portobello Caprese salad as a starter comes highly recommended, while the wood-fired Neapolitan pizzas (either traditional- or modern-style) are to die for as mains, especially the Carminuccio or Regina Margherita varieties. Top that off with a bottle of Super Tuscan wine (or two glasses for a major saving during happy hour; 5-7pm) and you’re set up for a fine night, all right.
La Casa(93 Alexander Street, Rochester New York 14620)
Come on, be honest, who wouldn’t be intrigued by an upstate New York restaurant that – from the outside – resembles a tattoo parlour? If you like your dining a little bit edgy and lightly exotic and can’t resist embracing Mexican culture and colour, then La Casa’s definitely the venue for your night-out. Plus, should you be scoping out the hotels in Rochester NY in time for spring, then it’s got to be here to head to for the start of May – yes, that’s right, Cinco de Mayo! Just across the street from the also brilliant Boulder Coffee, this stripped back, but Central American-themed venue’s all about cool cantina-style aesthetics. Sip a pair of margaritas and pick at a bowl of guacamole and dream of the warm, never-ending sands of Acapulco as you order the Ensalada Pollo Mexicali or Chorizo/ Chicken tacos. Talk about the right menu – and venue – for a spicy night out!