March 5, 2012 § 1 Comment
Recently, some friends and I visited Americana Vineyards along the edge Cayuga Lake for a wine tasting and dinner. While I don’t know much more about wine than the basics, I’ll never turn down the opportunity to try some local vintages, especially at a place as charming as Americana. We got to choose eight of the many wines they sell, ranging from sweeter Rieslings and a killer semi-dry white called Apparition that had hints of grapefruit and honey, to the drier reds like their Cabernet Franc. Though I won’t get into too much detail, I will say that one of my favorites was a wine called Sweet Rosie, described as “strawberry-like dessert wine” that melded beautifully with their homemade chocolate fudge.
Right across the patio from the Tasting Room is a homey bistro-like restaurant called Crystal Lake Cafe, and even though it didn’t look like much from the outside, the food was truly impeccable. We started with their spinach and artichoke dip served with grilled foccacia, and it was possibly one of the lightest and tastiest versions I’ve had, with almost a whipped texture. Serving it with foccacia, a doughier bread than the usual choice of ciabatta or baguette, was a nice albeit very filling touch.
For our main courses, I ordered one of their many specials, the ropa vieja, a generous bowlful of juicy and well-spiced shredded flank steak served with a picante salsa and warm flour tortillas. Other dishes were another special, the Cornish game hen served with rice and mushrooms, their famous lamb burger, and their Cuban panini with ham, mustard, pickle, and Swiss cheese. All of this was paired with our hands-down favorite of the tasting, Apparition, and the wine’s acidity served as a perfect match for our food.
But we couldn’t end our amazing meal without a little something sweet. Our desserts were the warm spiced apple cake, very moist and dolloped with freshly whipped cream, and an out-of-this-world, totally luscious salted caramel custard, covered with a layer of gooey caramel and paired with some crumbly pecan sandies. It was a really lovely time away from campus – good wine, excellent food, and great company. Needless to say, after we got back, I didn’t get much work done aside from dozing off in between readings due to major food coma and wine-induced warm fuzziness. And, after looking after their brunch menu, I’m definitely going to have to go back very soon.
Americana Vineyards & Crystal Lake Cafe
4367 East Covert Road
Interlaken, NY 14847