Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Stonecat Cafe

Several friends/co-workers, when they found out we were going to visit the Finger Lakes area, suggested Stonecat Cafe for dinner. The reviews on Yelp and Urbanspoon were pretty darn favorable, so we took the advice to make reservations. Ours were for Friday evening. We were staying in Ithaca that night and it was about a 40 minute drive to Hector, NY. So it's a bit out of the way. It seemed pretty darn far as we were driving because of the twisty, rural roads with no traffic.

We eventually arrived. There's a fantastic view of the lake, but sadly, aside form not being seated near the window, it's the time of year when the sun sets earlier and earlier so it was dark by the time we were dining. Stonecat Cafe is wheelchair accessible, but once inside, there is a pretty steep ramp to get up to the dining area.

We didn't order wine or cocktails, just iced teas. We started with a salad:
Organic Field Greens Salad with caramelized walnuts, dried sour cherries, and instead of roasted garlic vinaigrette, they brought balsamic and olive oil. We also added the chevre to the salad. I don't know what's happening to me lately, but in Portland the salads were amazing, the salads we had in the Finger Lakes area were amazing, and some of the salads we've had recently here in Pittsburgh have been amazing. I don't know if my tastes are changing or if restaurants are really stepping up their salad game, but this was another delicious salad. Just a few ingredients but so well executed.
SP really wanted the Pub Plate, so we ordered it. Grilled maple-juniper sausage, cheese, pickled onions, a marmalade (the menu online says strawberry-onion, but I'm not sure that's what we had). and bread:
To my surprise, I really liked the sausage. And the cheese, of course. Pickled onions are one of SP's new obsessions so he really enjoyed these.
I order the Scallops special of the day. I think it was a fig sauce, barley (and spelt?) with apple and walnuts, and green beans. The green beans were terrific - a nice crunch but not raw. The scallops were cooked nicely. The barley salad was good, but it's not really my thing, so I ate just a bit of it. SP loved it so he ate a lot of it off my plate!
His entree was Duck. I can't remember if it was the duck on the menu or a special duck of the day. It came with roasted fingerlings and green beans. He said his duck was cooked perfectly, he loved the green beans, and he liked his potatoes, but he much prefers barley to potato so he had a few bites of potato and then focused on my barley salad.
We shared an Upside Down Pear Cake for dessert. It was very tasty, although I could have done without the almonds (personal reference, I don't like nuts in my desserts) but SP likes nuts a lot.

Stonecat Cafe is a casual, relaxed place for a meal. The food is quite good and I like that they use a lot of local ingredients and change the menu frequently. Our server was friendly and happy to answer questions but at times we felt service was a wee bit slow. SP's iced tea refills were quite slow so it's a good thing there was a carafe of water on the table. It was crowded, so definitely make a reservation.

Stonecat Cafe on Urbanspoon

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