Happy place

June 23, 2013 § Leave a comment

From a recent visit to Ithaca Farmers’ Market (Macro Mamas always a must) at Steamboat landing + Taughannock Falls. Sometimes a retreat to nature is the perfect cure for stress.



Return to Maxie’s

March 23, 2012 § 2 Comments

Finally catching up on this month’s posts. Here are some shots from an amazing meal at Maxie’s Supper Club with Youjin, Esther, and Matt, when we decided to just go all out for happy hour and dinner. Two realizations from this outing: 1. I’m pretty much bound to like any cocktail that includes gin, St. Germain elderflower liqueur, and cucumber (and sometimes a hit of citrus) like the Sabbatical and 2. Maxie’s shrimp and grits may be the best version I’ve had so far (and that’s taking into account Riverpark). Their fried chicken, on the other hand, was disappointingly lackluster, with dry breast meat and a not-so-crispy crust that slipped right off.

And a quick stop at Purity Ice Cream (reported birthplace of the ice cream sundae)

Maxie’s Supper Club
635 W. State Street
Ithaca, NY

Purity Ice Cream
Rt. 13 (Meadow Street) and corner of Cascadilla St.
Ithaca, NY

A Taste of Americana

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

Ithaca Farmer’s Market

November 18, 2011 § Leave a comment

Shots from Ithaca Farmer’s Market. So happy to have my Macro Mama’s again. I may have gotten two extra cartons of peanut lime noodles.

Ithaca Applefest 2011

October 2, 2011 § Leave a comment

Originally the weather for this weekend’s Applefest was supposed to be dismal and I wasn’t in the mood to deal with rain and cold to go down to the Commons. Luckily, this afternoon, it cleared up and the sun came out, so I figured I could spare a couple of hours and finally get away from campus and Collegetown. Highlights: delicious gyro, hot apple cobbler, apple wine tastings, and a pair of the cutest Goldendoodles that I’ve ever seen. I also bought some maple cream and need to figure out what to do with it, so there will probably be a recipe post on that later.


Delicious gyro

Apples by the peck


More apples

Apple wine and champagne

A pair of Goldendoodles


This is

May 20, 2011 § Leave a comment

via Cathy

Study Break: 48 hours left

May 15, 2011 § Leave a comment

Three Little Pigs: pulled pork sandwich, pig dog, and carnitas taco

The Piggery Deli
423 Franklin Street
Ithaca, NY

Moosewood for Matt’s Birthday

February 3, 2011 § Leave a comment

Last Friday, a bunch of us finally got to try Ithaca’s famous Moosewood Restaurant for Matt’s 25th birthday. Normally vegetarian/vegan restaurants don’t really appeal to me but given the restaurant’s excellent reputation and the huge number of cookbooks it’s published over the years, I thought it’d be a shame not to go.

Moosewood is pretty unique in that it changes all of its dishes, both lunch and dinner, daily. Usually I like to scope out a restaurant’s menu items and decide what I’m going to eat beforehand, but in this case, I had to be a little more patient.

For drinks I ordered a refreshing grapefruit basil martini that wasn’t bitter at all, despite the fact that the waitress said it definitely wasn’t on the sweet side. The pomerita (essentially a pomegranate margarita) that Lilian ordered was a bit too sweet for me, and I still like tequila least of all the hard liquors, but Esther’s Apple Jack cocktail was delicious, spicy, and tummy-warming.

That night three of us ordered the hearty and cheesy grilled fennel and portobello lasagna. The portion was huge, but somehow I managed to shove it all down my throat. Youjin’s Morrocan dish was a beautiful array of winter vegetables over couscous, and Matt’s salmon en papillote, though somewhat lacking in color and excitement that usually comes with this kind of a dish (where you tear open the package to let out all the wine-and-herb-infused steam), was nevertheless well-seasoned and cooked perfectly.

We ended the dinner with a chocolate vegan birthday cake, which I had a hard time liking. The top layer, which I think was a sad attempt at frosting made without butter, tasted more like that chocolate freeze-dried ice cream that astronauts typically eat. The rest of the cake was extremely dry and crumbly. I only took a couple forkfuls before completely giving up.

So while I don’t think I’d ever get dessert at Moosewood ever again, they actually do a great job of cooking up satisfying and delicious vegetarian dishes without ┬ácoming across as overly-hippie-ish. Plus they seem to have a lot of deals and promotions during the week which would make a visit even more worth it.

Moosewood Restaurant
215 N. Cayuga Street, Dewitt Building
Ithaca, NY 14850

A visit to Ithaca

June 16, 2010 § Leave a comment

Highlights: beautiful campus with pretty gorges, the Ithaca Farmers’ Market near Cayuga Lake, Macro Mamas’ lime peanut noodles, fresh, organic strawberries, flatbread pizza from a portable brick oven, New Orleans food at Maxie’s Supper Club, including the giant “piggy platter” that almost made my stomach explode, addictive Cajun fries with spicy remoulade, and an insane amount of walking uphill and downhill.

Thanks so much to Cathy for letting me stay at her apartment and showing me around town. Looking forward to the fall!

Ithaca Farmers’ Market
Steamboat Landing
Ithaca, New York
Saturdays and Sundays, 10-3 PM

Maxie’s Supper Club
635 W. State Street
Ithaca, New York


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