CANANDAIGUA is a city in Ontario County on the Northern end of Canandaigua Lake, the fourth largest of the eleven wine-rich Finger Lakes Region of New York. The Iroquois (American Indian) called this “The Chosen Spot” for its natural beauty steeped in history.
The verdant fields testify to a long history of agriculture. And the Canandaigua boasts of 41 miles of wine and culinary experiences, with a collection of unique award winning wineries, breweries and restaurants.
The New York Wine & Culinary Center was in fact, a block away from where we stayed, The Inn on the Lake. An elegant lodging and dining, The Inn sprawled on the north shore of Canandaigua Lake.
Unlike the big city that never sleeps, the Finger Lakes cities close businesses early, which we discovered after a long day of exploring, touring and visiting a few wineries.
Most restaurants close at 10 or 11 p.m. so we had to make sure we had dinner at 8 in the evening.
The Inn on the Lake fine dining restaurant, The Shore, offers New American Cuisine in a classic setting with a view of the Canandaigua Lake.
The New America Cuisine also known as Modern American Cuisine refers to a wave of modernized cooking, assimilating flavors from melting pot of American cooking techniques mixed with innovative use of seasonings and sauces based on French, Nouvelle and United States cuisine with molecular gastronomy components.
The Shore menu was very impressive. For appetizers, we feasted on seafood creations.
We amused our palates with Jumbo Lump Crab Cake served with arugula-heirloom tomato salad and finished with remoulade, a French sauce usually mayonnaise based flavored with spices like curry, paprika and herbs.
Tartar sauce comes closest to remoulade, which pairs well with seafood.
My grandkids Silvian and Sabrina enjoyed Fried Calamari with citrus aioli, roasted red peppers and fresh cilantro.
We also picked on Mussels in a Riesling Ramp Butter Sauce served with grilled toast.
This is the first time I come across “Ramp” a sought after en vogue vegetable that looks like young scallions with flat leaves that grow wild with a short spring harvest and are foraged just like black truffles.
The Scallops, pan seared was served with sweet corn succotash and roasted red pepper vinaigrette.
Succotash is an American dish of corn and lima beans cooked together.
The scallops were huge and plump. We shared a simple but creatively presented salad—the Iceberg Wedge topped with apple-smoked bacon, blue cheese, cherry tomatoes and sugar snap peas.
Our entrees started with Wild Mushroom Risotto, creamy Arborio rice with a medley of mushrooms: shitake, cremini, portobello and black truffle with five-cheese blend. Portobello is a large mature edible mushroom native to Europe and North America.
Very meaty, I love this tasty mushroom we grill every time we do barbecues in the park. Cremini is an immature Portobello and is also called baby bella.
We shared the hearty meat courses: the Filet Mignon served over roasted garlic smashed potatoes, grilled peppers and onions and Prime Strip or New York Strip Steak served with fingerling potatoes, heirloom cherry tomatoes with both meats finished with veal demi-glace sauce.
In French cuisine, demi-glace is a rich brown sauce with equal parts of veal and espagnole, a roux (butter and flour) and veal stock reduced with addition of tomato puree. Desserts were classic: American Strawberry Shortcake and French Crème Brulee.