Gourmet localvore cuisine of the Finger Lakes: Stonecat Cafe’

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Sitting in the screened-in back porch of Stonecat Cafe’ in New York’s Finger Lakes, you can see the whole valley below. Drinking a beverage while watching the sunset, it feels like being in Italy. It’s apropos that the restaurant itself was a former farm market, because they use the bounty of their regional ingredients for their menu. I was happy to be hosted to experience it!

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Yes, yes, yes, I know that part of the world is renowned for their wines. But Stonecat Cafe’ has such an extensive, fascinating non-alcoholic drink menu, I found myself drawn to them. There’s local grape juice (of course!), local ginger beers, local Harney & Sons tea, house-made kombucha and a bunch of house-made soda creations. I was tempted by the vanilla cream soda, made rich with fresh local cream and vanilla beans.

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Fresh salads — vegan and not — are made with local and organic veggies, lightly dressed with house-made dressings. They proudly list the various farms your dinner comes from.

The entree selection is tightly edited, to use the best of local, seasonal offerings. You’ll see a vegetarian offering, things like pasture-raised chicken, NY strip steaks, duck. I had a daily special: a juicy pork chop with caramelized glaze, with slow-braised kale and cheesy potatoes. Simple, but satisfying.

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