THE BIRTHDAY week of my daughter Patricia brought us to Upstate New York, as far as the border of Ontario, Canada.
After marveling at the spectacular Niagara Falls, we moved on to the Finger Lakes Region, which is the central part of Iroquois homeland in New York.
Named after the 11 glacial finger-like lakes, the region is blessed with sun-kissed vineyards, rolling farmlands, breathtaking waterfalls and culturally rich towns.
The vineyards produce some of the world’s greatest Rieslings.
This time Patricia chose to explore Canandaiqua at the north end of Canandaiqua Lake. Canandaiqua is an Iroquois term that means “the chosen one,” a fitting term for its natural beauty steeped in history.
We stayed at The Inn on the Lake with elegant lake-view rooms and suites and easy access to lakes, waterfalls and wine trails.
My grandkids were excited to do the hike to the falls and swim as much as they liked. There were several wineries to visit so Patricia planned our itinerary.
The New York Wine & Culinary Center (NYWCC) is just a block away from The Inn on the Lake.
This lakefront center is a non-profit organization, dedicated to New York sourced ingredients offering upscale American cuisine.
The center is designed to educate, engage and excite people in celebration of New York’s incredible beverage, agriculture and culinary industries. The center has a culinary school, Upstairs Bistro, Tasting Room, Boutique, and venues for private gatherings.
I was so looking forward to dine in the bistro, which we did after our trek to the waterfalls. On the way up, we checked out the culinary school with its state-of-the art kitchens.
The Beverage & Culinary Demos were all so tempting—Wine & BBQ Pairing, Wine & Pasta, Brats & Brews, Seasonal Food & Wine Pairings and so many more with minimal fees. We started with Bites & Flights–Cheese & Charcuterie and Special Burrata.
The beverage menu offers Flight of Wine, a selection of 3 to 8 wines presented for purpose of sampling and comparison.
A horizontal flight is one which compares the same wine produced by different wineries while a vertical is a selection of wines made by same winery made over a number of years.
Patricia who is very knowledgeable about wines and beverage, chose 3 wine-by-glass selections: Lamoreaux Landing Wine cellar Block 137 Merlot, Silver Thread Vineyard Riesling and Wagner Vineyards semi-dry Gewürtztraminer, an aromatic wine grape variety used in white wines.
The Finger Lakes Salad showcased the local produce of lettuce leaves, ripe sweet strawberries and blueberries, Lively Run goat cheese, crispy shallots with NY Riesling vinaigrette.
We shared the mains—Stuffed Zucchini with fresh mozzarella topped with oven-roasted tomato sauce and crispy eggplant; Wild Salmon Fillet with German potato salad, tomato jam and green beans; Crispy Crab Cakes with ginger-pickled cucumber and Asian greens.
My grandkids Silvian and Sabrina enjoyed the Bostrom Farms Pork Chop with MacKenzie Rye & whiskey glaze served with Flour City Mac & Cheese.
The Restaurant Manager, Matt Lawrence, was very engaging sharing his excitement of recently moving to Canandaigua after working for restaurants in New York City. A quiet town, restaurants here close by 10 at night. I did not miss dessert–Blueberry Pie with Blood Orange Ice Cream.
Dinner was simply scrumptious!
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