Monday, November 30, 2009

Ithaca Restaurants Update

Here is a brief update on some of the new openings and changes ahead for the local Ithaca dining scene, much of it happening within two blocks at the intersection of Cayuga Street and West State Street:

  • Wildfire Bistro (106 S. Cauyga St. | 607-277-9143) is now officially open for lunch and dinner and they've posted menus for both on their new website: Looks like an interesting mix of mid-priced options, with nothing over $20 on either menu. We're intrigued by the $9 "Grown-up Mac & Cheese" on the Comfort Zone portion of the menu, which offers an option to add lobster for an additional $6. There is also a nice mix of meats, seafood, and vegetarian options on both menus. Have you tried any of these yet? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

  • We also checked in with Bandwagon Brew Pub (114 North Cayuga Street) this weekend. They're currently brewing their first batches of house beer and training staff. They say they're on track to have their official opening by December 15th. Keep an eye on their website ( or follow them on Twitter ( to stay up to date.

  • Looks like the former Ithaca Diner is soon to reopen as the Prize Diner. The new owner told us she's planning to keep it a breakfast and lunch diner operation like its predecessor, but with shiny new equipment behind the counter and a revamped interior. She aims to open for business within a week or two as well.

  • Also new to Downtown Ithaca is the Green Street Station branch of Gimme! Coffee, their 3rd Ithaca location. It's a cozy space across from the new Cinemapolis, and currently one of the test spots for their new modern pour-over coffee options. Give 'em a try!

  • Changes are afoot up at the Food Court at the Shops at Ithaca Mall on Triphammer Road. When Sicilian Delight pizzeria took over the space vacated by Wendy's, they left a blank store that left many shoppers wondering what would happen to their corner. Now an answer has appeared: Mo's Pit BBQ is moving in. We know little about how good or bad this will be, but their website ( shows they are a regional chain. When you add them to the other recent additions of Hogs Back BBQ and Razorback BBQ, it seems 2009 is the year that barbeque cuisine tries to take Ithaca by storm yet again. We'll have to wait and see if they can make it into the next decade longer than the last wave did (i.e. Ralph's, Billy Bob Jack's, Bistro Q) in this decade. Also at the Mall for a limited time is Doug's Fish Fry To Go. Check out their website for the complete schedule, as they'll only be at this location on weekends through January 1st. Save yourself the trip to Cortland and get some of the best onion rings around while you can!

We're also continuing to watch for the arrival of a Panera Bread, expected to open in 2010 in the new building under construction at K-Mart Plaza, and rumors of other national chain restaurants persist for the Meadow Street shopping district as well. If you've got more info on any of these new restaurant openings, or have heard of another opening we should share, leave us a comment below or drop us a line: feedback [at] eatingithaca [dot] com.

Happy Eating!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Local Foods for A Special Cause on December 2nd

If you love local food and are looking to share the spirit of giving this season, there is a great event happening just one week from today that you should consider. It’s the 3rd Annual “Evening to Remember Gala” wine and food tasting event to benefit Alzheimer’s Research, sponsored by Ithaca Coffee Company and Triphammer Wines & Spirits. All money raised goes towards the Alzheimer’s Association of Central New York. Standard tickets are $55 Pre-sale and $60 @ the door. VIP tickets are $100. VIP include a special VIP room with 50+ Rare/Expensive Wines and Cheese and Chocolate pairings from Ithaca Coffee Company and you get to come in at 5:30pm.

Trevor at Ithaca Coffee Co. gave us the full details:
Event: December 2nd, 2009, 6:00-9:00pm @ the Clarion Hotel behind the Triphammer Mall. We have all of our Wine and Spirits Reps pouring wines from around the world as well as Ithaca Beer, Wagner Beer, Finger Lakes Distilling, Dr. Frank, Glenora, Americana Vineyards, Chateau Lafayette Reneau, Bellwether, Six Mile Creek, and a bunch more. For food we’ve got signature creations from: NorthStar, Blue Stone, The Rose, Rogues' Harbor, Joe’s, Ithaca Coffee Co., Crystal Lake Café and East Shore Café. Plus we’ve got local band Mudbone playing the gala.

Silent Auction:
We have over $13,00 in Donations for our Silent Auction including: 1 Week Timeshare in Florida ($2,000 value), Team Autographed Buffalo Sabres Jersey ($500 value), Autographed Marty Turco Dallas Stars Jersey ($350 value), 4 Crown Royal VIP NASCAR Tickets at The Glen ($2,000 value), a Finger Lakes Air Tour ($300 value), 2 Taste of The Nation VIP Tickets and 2 SOS Dinner Tickets ($400 value), and a lot more.
You can find more information about the event on their Facebook page, or call (607) 257-2626. If want to eat and drink really well to support a great cause, buy your tickets and kick off the holiday season with a reason to be merry all winter long.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Behind the Blog: Eggs on Sunday

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While we're taking a break from our regular podcast, we thought we'd introduce you to some of the other food bloggers who have recently added their unique points of view to the local food community. We'll be talking with three of these bloggers in these special episodes, each featuring a chat with someone we've come to know within the past year.

For this episode, we're talking with Amy Maltzan of the Eggs On Sunday cooking blog. Each of her posts features a great recipe and her personal tips on why you should make it and how, along with some gorgeous photos of the results. She's passionate about cooking with local, seasonal ingredients, and not afraid to share her cooking and baking struggles as well as her triumphs. It was an enlightening conversation that we hope will inspire you to check out her blog and get cooking!

We'll have another episode in this special "Behind the Blog" series in a couple weeks, as well as some other special material here on our website. For continuing updates on everything we're doing, be sure to follow us on Twitter and on Facebook. We'd also love to hear from you directly: write a comment on the blog, leave a message on our voicemail line 607-216-8624 (607-21-MUNCH), or send an email with your thoughts to: feedback [at] eatingithaca [dot] com.

If you really enjoy what we create here at Eating Ithaca, why not make a donation? Your support goes directly to helping us keep this blog and podcast running, and keep making it even better as we go. Just click on the Donate button on the main page and you'll be helping us keep Eating Ithaca!

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