Thursday, December 2, 2010

Checking in...

Hello local eaters! Can you believe it's December already? Time flies when you're... doing things other than blogging.

Just wanted to check in and let you know we're still here, still eating out way through Ithaca, but we've slowed down just a bit while we make adjustments to a new workload that came when Dave getting a full time job earlier this year. Great to have extra funds for eating out, but it leaves less time for blogging and podcasting.

But we hope to be back real soon with a special look at the sudden amount of activity on the local dining scene, bringing a few closings but even more new openings. Anyone who has been down our local "Restaurant Row" on Aurora St. in downtown Ithaca will already see two new openings that weren't there this summer, and there have been at least half-a-dozen others we're excited about as well.

Yeah, we've lost a few restaurants recently. The Coal House Cafe closed its doors (and it's still for sale if you're interested) and now this week comes word that Benchwarmer's on the The Commons has shut its doors.

*UPDATE* We hear now that Benchwarmer's is only shutting down temporarily for renovations during the holiday break and plans to reopen in early 2011. (Thanks for the clarification, Bruce!)

But there is so much new stuff in town to make up for these losses. Here's a brief list of some of the newest restaurants in Ithaca that we'll be taking a look at in 2011:
  • Anna's - a Vietnamese restaurant in the space that was previously Mustard on S. Cayuga St.
  • Ciao! - a Tuscan-style Italian restaurant from the people behind Boatyard Grill has transformed the space last known as Watercress, located near the Shops at Ithaca Mall.
  • Delilah's on Cayuga - formerly known as Wildfire Cafe, they've changed their name and menu as of this month to focus on what they describe as "Savannah-Fusion cuisine."
  • Mercato Bar & Kitchen - the space on Aurora St. that was Ragmann's for decades has been opened up into an casual Italian bistro
  • Mira Mediterranean Bistro - opened quietly at the end of the summer by a former ZaZa's chef, it is making good use of the space formerly occupied by Dijon in Ithaca's Northside.
  • The Piggery Deli - at long last, our favorite pig farmers from Trumansburg completed their transformation of the former Buzz Coffee on Franklin St. and opened a full-service deli, offering fresh sandwiches and coffee, plus a full variety of the same fantastic pork that makes their Ithaca Farmers Market stall so busy every Saturday.
  • Sahara - a Greek & Mediterranean restaurant from Maan Alzitoon (of longtime Center Ithaca favorite King David’s), which just opened this week in the former Micawber’s on Aurora St.
Plus there's a new Subway sandwich shop up open at East Hill Plaza, and a couple new bars on on State St. and The Commons, and we're still eagerly awaiting the new pan-Asian restaurant from Lex Chutintaranond coming to The Commons as well.

It's an exciting season for local dining and we can't wait to try 'em all. But don't wait for us -- get out there and give 'em a try yourself and let us know what you think. We'll be back soon enough to share our thoughts, but you know what to do until then:

Keep Eating Ithaca!

Dave & Andrea

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