The Rochester Review

View Larger Map

My favorite restaurants in Rochester are Lento and Rooney's. But I LOVE Dogtown Hots just as much! Click on the blue balloons in the map above for more!

Alladin's: Best Value for Money on a Hot, Summer Day
Visions of crisp, leafy greens dance enticingly... Perhaps a little creamy dressing on the side... And so, I find myself sitting under a canopy at Alladin's often. I've tried their falafel, baba ganouj and hummus pitas and have come away staggering at the ginormous portions. They serve bean sprouts with their greens (yum!) The tzatziki is always tangy. All in all, fresh, flavorful food thats excellent value for money. Voice of experience: The food is just as good at their Monroe Ave location as at the Schoen Place location.

John's Tex Mex: Best Tofu Quesadillas!
Stumbled upon John's Tex Mex Eatery on South Ave. To my great delight, this bright little place was just thing I was looking for on both fronts, flavor and budget. In addition, the interior is a bright orangey-red, undeniably cheerful. The service is quick and friendly. The food is not terribly authentic (like I would know!) but is quite delicious all the same. Their guacamole is quite unusual - I can't quite put my finger on the spice mix in it.

Aside from the food, John's is in the Southwedge and I'm all for revitalizing the Southwedge. John's, owned and run by an outrageously young entrepreneur, is part of the 'Southwedge renaissance'. Show your support!

And the award for Chick Appeal goes to: Simply Crepes
I've taken many of my guests to Simply Crepes at Pittsford landing, which (I think) is cute even when the weather is terrible. I've stepped out of the drizzle / slush /heat and into this bustling little restaurant. Simply Crepes has personality, lots of it. Classy and casual, it has this bright, friendly feel to it. Sure, some people will find it pretentious / yuppie. Pshaw, I say! Its the kind of place that will make anything special - you can go there with co-workers/ family/ friends/ a date and the ambience will be just right.

Anyhoo, the food is routinely fabulous. Tried the Oatmeal Creme Brulee one time. It was perfection... warm comforting oatmeal topped by luxurious cream and a wafer-thin layer of caramelized sugar. Loved the Goat Cheese Arugula crepe, Ditto for the Fresh Fruit Crepe with buckwheat flour and of course, the Chocolate Mousse Crepe. Lusty sigh.

Strictly Mediocre but Good Date Places:
'Twas dusk on a Fall evening, mercury floated in the 60s. I stepped into the warm interior of Café Cibon, and the last traces of my frantic day disappeared. Café Cibon is a charming little place, and lives up to its reputation as a "European style bistro". The pace is anything but rushed.

I'm willing to wager that the food here is consistently above-average. (clears throat apologetically) Not outstanding. I know I'm being excessively picky but I'm just sayin'. Its a slightly pricey place that features reasonably good food. To be fair, Café Cibon would be a good choice for a first or second date. Conversation will flow easily. Sit back and enjoy how the candlelight flickers on her beautiful skin / makes his eyes sparkle. The world will be tinged with a mellow glow. If you discover that s/he is a discerning foodie, grin self-deprecatingly. You've been busted!

Not to be a snob, but I would add the following in this category. Lola Bistro, , Edibles and 2 Vine fall into this category.

Best Place to get a Beer:
The Old Toad, The Tap and Mallet


Anonymous said...

yay...its my muhalla!
One for the Rocwiki!

Shruti said...

Hi Smita,
I have been following your blog for about a month now. Your posts are really good and fun to read. Keep up the good work! I stay in Rochester too. Thanks for posting the reviews, we love eating out and will try these out soon!

ServesYouRight said...

Anon / ?mo - Go forth and enjoy :-)

Shruti - Thanks SO MUCH! Would love to hear waht you think :-)


S for Kitchen Confit said...

I haven't lived in Rochester for a number of years, but I get up there once a year or so for visits. There are a number of new places you've blogged about I'll have to try. Alladin's on Monroe and in Pittsford were always great for al fresco dining on a nice summer day. Cibon was always a great place to sit and have some food and people watch on Park Ave., but I never loved the food (it was perfectly fine, but I agree with your assessment). I've always enjoyed Edibles, and I think it was one of the more underrated restaurants in town. Sienna is great, which I didn't see on your list. I hope it is still there!

Tracy said...

I agree with you about Aladdins and Simply Crepes. I'll have to try John's Tex Mex Eatery -- nice to have a recommendation! I haven't been to Cibon ... maybe I'll keep it that way!