I had a work-related late lunch with my friend Dee at Brian’s Landing last Friday. I’ve been wanting to go for a while now. I follow them on Facebook and give a love to just about everything they post.
Presentation: The haddock is Panko breaded and comes with a cute bun, french fries, slaw and a pickle with tartar sauce and a lemon on the side. Everything on one large plate. My friend ordered a burger. My fish dinner looked so good that she decided to order one to go for later. It was $18.00.
Taste: There was not an option to have the fish broiled, unfortunately. It wasn’t my favorite – kinda dry and the breading was like what you put on fried chicken. I did not like the coleslaw. French fries were very salty but super tasty. I didn’t love it.
Restaurant Experience: I do love this restaurant. They have live music in the evenings in the bar area. We ate in the dining room. They also have a new porch/deck area. The waitress was friendly and super quick. It was quiet in there at 3:00 PM. No wait, no need for reservations.
Location: Brian’s Landing is located at 6523 E.Seneca Turnpike, Jamesville, New York.
Parking: There is a parking lot in the back – some of the spaces are on a slope. From the back, you must climb a flight of stairs. There is a front door too (no stairs) but it faces the street so no parking there.
After viewing the Norman Rockwell exhibit at Munson-Williams-Proctor Art Institute yesterday, Penny Santy and I had lunch down the street at Swifty’s Restaurant & Pub.
Since it was Friday, I decided to try their fish fry.
Presentation: Pub style beer-battered fish fry is always welcome! It arrived in a basket with homemade hot potato chips, coleslaw and a big helping of tartar sauce.
Taste: In the ’90s I used to love the beer-battered haddock at the Empire Brewing Company in Armory Square in Syracuse. This fish tasted exactly like it – OMG, it was so familiar and wonderful. I didn’t have many of the chips because I wasn’t that hungry and I loved that it was such a small portion of coleslaw. Everything was delish!
Restaurant Experience: We picked the restaurant because it was close to the museum and it was open. There wasn’t anyone sitting in the outdoor seating section and no one was dining in the restaurant. A handful of regulars were seated in the bar area. So – this is not often a good sign, lol, that the food would be good. But, it was around 3:30 PM, which is that in between time, between lunch and dinner. We sat inside near the front windows. It was very clean and comfortable. The waitress was extremely welcoming and friendly. It was such a positive place!
The food came rather quickly. It was an excellent restaurant experience.
Location: Swifty’s Restaurant & Pub is located at 257 Genesee Street, Utica, NY 13501. Call (315) 733-6611 for reservations and hours of operation or visit their web-site. They offer catered parties, take-out orders, live music and a children’s menu. They also have locations in Delmar, NY and Albany, New York!
Parking: We parked on the street in front of the building. It was one of those easy parking manifestations, the way it always seems to happen in movies, so that was nice. There is no parking lot.
Three of us had lunch at Golden Spike Pub in the village of East Syracuse last Friday. It is a family-owned and operated restaurant. It used to be called Marko’s Golden Spike after Marko Klapan, a dear friend of my father’s. Dad even worked there, briefly. Now it is run by Marko’s daughter Mary Celletti and her husband Jim, and their children.
Presentation: Jim designed and made all of the tables in the dining room! The room has a rustic feel to it, very welcoming. There is an entrance to the dining room but you can also access it through the large bar area (think Cheers!). We all ordered the fish and different sides. As you can see from the pictures, the presentation is inconsistent – plates used depending on the order. So Mom’s fried fish had the french fries on the plate and my broiled fish had the sweet potato fries in a separate basket.
Kathy had ordered onion rings as an appetizer as well as clam chowder soup for herself. The rest of the food came at the same time. The waitress had to make two trips. We were there around 1:00 PM and it wasn’t crowded. There were three other groups dining at that time.
Taste: This is hands down THE BEST broiled fish in town. It is mouth wateringly good. Buttery, hot, fresh. Mary removes the skin from every piece of haddock in the morning then the fish is cooked to order. They never have leftovers. They order a certain amount, have the fish delivered for Friday-only lunches and dinners, so it is not an every day thing. I came here once with my friend Joey, but we’d arrived after 7:00 PM on a Friday night and they were out of the haddock. That is why Joey thought The Retreat was his favorite fish dinner – because he’d never tasted this!
Everything else was fabulous as well. The sweet potato fries are served with maple syrup on the side and they are delish! I also had the coleslaw. I didn’t try to poach Kathy’s cucumber salad or the macaroni and cheese but I should have! It looks so good, doesn’t it?
Restaurant Experience: It was pretty quiet in the dining room. The waitress was lovely. She came to get our orders right away. I just felt so happy there!
Location: Golden Spike Pub is located at 411 West Manlius Street, East Syracuse, NY 13057. They also do parties and catering. You can contact them by phone (315) 565-5691 or by email GoldenSpikePub315@gmail.com.
They are not open on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday in the summer. Call them for updated hours of operation.
You can also find them on Facebook. That’s where they post the daily specials menu. I love everything! They do a superb roast beef sub with homemade chips. In fact, everything is homemade! They have the best food – and you know what a picky eater I am! <3
Parking: There is a parking lot adjacent to the building. I parked at the post office across the street because I was approaching via East Road and the parking lot appeared full. But when I crossed the street I saw plenty of room behind the apartment building next door. Oh well, next time I will know better.
Taste: The bread was soft and fresh. The Groton’s fish was good but definitely dry as compared to every restaurant experience I have ever had. I did not like the coleslaw – it was very mayo heavy. I did not have a second side dish. I drank Starbucks dark roast iced coffee in my Bubba, which is my drink of choice and something restaurants don’t serve.
Restaurant Experience: I love the kitchen in my turn of the century bungalow! I bought new Samsung appliances last year. I usually have almost nothing in the refrigerator and I use the oven once a month if that, so it is pretty clean. I had to wash the dishes – I don’t have a dishwasher.
The whole meal cost about $20, but that included four pieces of fish, four buns, at least four servings of coleslaw and a large container of tartar sauce. Everything came from Wegman’s.
Location: I live in central New York.
Parking: I have a garage. I pay a plowing service a lump sum for the season to keep the driveway clear of snow in the winter.
I attended Winter Fest kick-off on Friday night – cover band Hard Promises performed in the Persian Terrace of the Syracuse Marriott (formerly the Hotel Syracuse). Two hours of dancing to music from the ’70s and ’80s was soooo fun!
At 7:30 pm, we headed to Shaughnessy’s for fish and chips.
Presentation: So beautiful! It was a huge piece of haddock with a beer battered crust, a small cup of coleslaw, two helpings of tartar sauce and fries. I selected tater tots instead and they arrived in a separate basket.
Taste: I love haddock. I had to disrobe it from the fried batter, which was too salty for me. The fish was so fresh and delicate, and moist. I brought the tater tots home and turned them into breakfast hash browns.
Restaurant Experience: I love Shaughnessy’s. There is a huge bar space – and plenty of booths to accommodate large groups. They had live music as well. The hostess and waitresses were lovely – upbeat and positive. We were seated immediately and it did not take long to order and receive our dinners. All four of us ordered the same thing so it was easy-peasy.
Location: Shaughnessy’s is located on the ground floor of the Syracuse Marriott – 550 South Warren Street, Syracuse, NY 13202 Contact them at (315) 554- 3542.
Parking: There is a parking garage next door for a fee. On street parking is available if you are lucky. We parked across the street for free.
Scenic Root is my new favorite restaurant. I loved everything about it. The ambiance, the food, the people and of course, the people I dined with, as I had invited them to join me for my annual Friendsgiving dinner party.
Presentation – I ordered the special, which was broiled haddock, asparagus and wild rice. I was able to substitute the rice for french fries. I was drinking champagne and I never drink alcohol (well, obviously, VERY rarely to never). The fries helped as “sogging” to use Graham Norton’s Irish friend’s phrase about food consumption as it relates to spirits.
They brought ketchup for the fries, and salt and pepper to the table in case I needed it – I didn’t ask for them so I delighted in that anticipatory set. It all looked amazing. My friends had calamari, the eggplant, a salad, shrimp tacos and I can’t remember the rest. Scenic Root has a great menu.
Taste – I ate everything and when the singularity of vision dissipated, I noticed that everyone else in my dinner party had eaten only half their meals and packed them up for a second portion for later. In my defense, it was soooo delicious. Fish was fresh – watery, buttery, lemony goodness. The fries were not at all greasy.
Restaurant Experience – This was my first time at Scenic Root. My work colleague suggested it as a place to hold my Friendsgiving event this year. Friendsgiving is always the Friday before Thanksgiving. I have been doing this for several years. Last year, Friendsgiving was a party of two because only one person wasn’t afraid to go out to dinner with me during what was the 8th month of the pandemic. Previous years’ Friendsgivings had gotten really out of control with friends of friends showing up. Searching for a venue that can offer space for that many people without taking a deposit is the stuff of nightmares, especially for a person (me) who doesn’t even eat that much/is lazy when it comes to planning anything or doing anything that requires responsibility. I decided to downsize this year – twenty became twelve and finally, there were eight of us and it was totally blissful.
The bar area is tight and so, we did not linger there as I had planned. We arrived a half hour before the table was reserved and luckily, within fifteen minutes it was ready. The staff at Scenic Root is amazing – so helpful, kind and enthusiastic about our event. All of the food came out at the same time even though everyone ordered something different. There were no complaints. Just gratitude and thanks in abundance. I love my friends.
Location – Scenic Root is next to the swan pond in Manlius, NY. It is located at 301 Fayette Street, Manlius, NY 13104. They are open Tuesday through Saturday from 4:00 pm – 9:00 pm. Call (315) 682-3000 for reservations.
Parking – The parking lot is rather small because it is shared with other businesses in a small plaza. However, there is more parking across the street and also next door because there is a huge parking lot on Arkie Albanese by the other plaza, the library and the ice cream stand. Manlius rocks!
Oh, and P.S., I can always manifest a parking space. It’s all about timing and expectation. There was exactly one space available when I pulled in to park (yes!!!).
Thank you, thank you, thank you to the universe for supporting me and guiding me on the journey to everything I desire in this life. I am grateful for this wonderful restaurant and for my amazing friendships. Thank you, Katy, Meghan, Penny, Jimmy, Bob, Marie and Kim. <3
Kathy and I went downtown on Saturday night to hang at the Italian Festival, which happens every year around this time (except last year because of the Covid situation). There was Italian food and music, and cover band dance music under tents and on two different stages around City Hall in Syracuse, New York.
Although I have a lot of Italian friends and recently found a lot of Italian in my own DNA, I don’t particularly like Italian food, Luckily, Kathy treated me to dinner at The Fish Friar, which is located right across from City Hall in downtown Syracuse.
Presentation: As you can see from the pictures, the presentation is divine. These fish sandwiches were $15 and came with two sides. Kathy selected house salad and macaroni salad and I had the roasted carrots and coleslaw.
Taste: Although I ate everything on my plate, I thought it was too salty (don’t hate me The Fish Friar fans). It was saltier than I remembered it from eating it the last time I was there.
Restaurant Experience: The restaurant is adorable! Small but comfortable. We ate outside at one of about five tables. The bathroom is very clean as well. :). The service was spectacular. It was such a beautiful night. We enjoyed the sound of the local cover band, Hard Promises, playing on the large stage set up for Italian Fest and later got all front and center to dance and sing along. We also spotted our cousins who strolled by and stopped to chat. Overall, it is an amazing place for a dinner date.
Location: The Fish Friar is located at the corner of Washington and Montgomery Streets in Syracuse, NY. They are open Tuesday-Saturday from 11:00 am – 9:00 pm and Saturdays from 4:00 pm – 9:00 pm. They offer an on-line service on their website. Call (315) 468-FISH for the deets.
Parking: There is no parking lot for The Fish Friar. Street parking only. Because there is currently so much construction on the roads in the city and many streets were blocked off for this immense Italian block party, we parked in a pay lot by the Civic Center and walked over. <3
The search for the best fish fry in town may be over – OMG – last night at The Retreat!
Presentation: I ordered the fried haddock with sweet potato fries and coleslaw and my friend ordered the same but with regular french fries. Love!
Taste: The coleslaw had celery in it. It is probably the best mayo-style slaw I have ever had! The sweet potato fries came with maple butter, which was insanely good. And the fish was soooo fresh!
The only negative is that it was so good that I ate everything. As you know from my last blog entry, I don’t eat like this every day – and so, later I couldn’t sleep because it was all so salty – not for other people, I am sure, but for me. I was ridiculously thirsty and I ended up with a headache this morning, lol, like waking up from a food coma. Why does it have to taste so good??? I ended up getting a late start to my day this morning because of it. I’m going to admit here that it was worth it. <3
Restaurant Experience: We didn’t have a reservation so they put us on a list – said it would be a half hour wait for inside and an hour wait for outside (it was 6:30pm when we arrived). We went to the outdoor bar for a drink and within five minutes the call came through that our table was ready.
The waiter promptly took our order and within about ten or fifteen minutes we were eating! The waiter was a wonderfully cheerful person and, truly, I felt like I was in a scene from a movie.
Our conversation turned to manifesting dreams and I thought that was incredibly apropos, as I felt I had manifested the entire experience in a dream.
Location: The Retreat is located at 302 Vine Street, Liverpool, NY 13088
Parking: There is a huge paved parking lot marked specifically for guests of The Retreat. There is also street parking around the building.
Kiki’s Authentic Greek Cuisine is located in the heart of Camillus, New York. They offer a daily fish fry (no coleslaw, but they do have spanikopita, which is amazing). It is a beautiful little restaurant with outdoor seating.
I was there last Friday. I am in search of the best fish fry in the area. The criteria will be as follows:
I am no foodie/food critic, lol. Everyone who knows me knows that I don’t cook, preferring microwaved oatmeal with blueberries and a banana for breakfast, peanut butter out of a jar and a yogurt for lunch, and a handful of deli turkey for dinner – so , naturally, I will not be scoring these categories.
Presentation: I love their use of the color blue throughout the restaurant, as a nod to the Greek flag. They use a blue checked waxed paper on the plates – very cute!
Taste: The fish was fresh – very good. I didn’t eat the bread and all the fries and I wished they had coleslaw. They did have tartar sauce and lemon, which was nice.
Restaurant Experience: An overall fun restaurant experience!
Location: 64 West Genesee Street, Camillus, NY 13031 – It was a great day for lunching outside at one of their umbrella-ed tables.
Parking: They have ample street parking, as well as a small parking lot. It doesn’t seem to be a heavily trafficked place – only a couple storefronts were open when we were there around 3pm – some, like the antique store across the street, are only open on weekends. We got a space right in front of the place. <3