Who Made the List? Absolutely Delicious Restaurant Selections.
What to Order Where in Rochester.
Our monthly Best Dish List highlights area chefs and the most recommended dishes in town.
Located inside the Culver Road Armory, TRATA has been feeding the people of Rochester for almost two years this August. Executive Chef Aaron Bolten has created an eclectic menu, with such a wide range of options, it’s sure to satisfy everyone, from the perpetual salad eater, to the most carnivorous of diners. One of their most popular dishes on the menu is the seared scallops. Seared to perfection, crisp and golden on the outside, while the inside remains sweet and tender. Accompanying the scallops is a mixture of oven roasted tomatoes, sautéed crimini mushrooms, and lemon sage gnocchi, all bathed in a roasted red pepper cream sauce. The tomatoes add a burst of sweetness, while the pepper cream sauce creates an element of richness to this lighter dish. An added bonus is TRATA’s conscientiousness of their customers’ dietary needs. The gnocchi are made with rice flour instead of all purpose, making this dish completely gluten free. For the modest price of $24.95, I left TRATA feeling full and eager to return for more.
-Jessica Gilgurd, A-List Contributor
Eat Me Ice Cream
Thursdays 4-7 p.m. South Wedge Farmer’s Market, Saturdays 11-2 Rochester Public Market,
Sundays 9-1 Brighton Farmer’s Market
Ice cream is the latest comfort food to be given the royal treatment, and it’s about time. And proprietors and procurers of Eat Me Ice Cream, Amber Odhner and Catelyn Augustine are merging not one, but two movements to create something very special here in Rochester. Organic, locally sourced, farm fresh ingredients are being combined in altogether new ways to give Rochester both a luxurious and slightly exotic foodie perspective on our favorite summertime treat, as well as something we didn’t have in any capacity before now – ice cream that is actually mixed, measured and made from start to finish right here in the Flower City. I stopped by the Brighton Farmer’s Market to sample one of their most popular items – mint ice cream rolled in wasabi peas and white chocolate ganache and sandwiched between two freshly baked sugar cookies. The treat, which is also available in a (heavenly) vegan option made with coconut milk (with dark chocolate in place of white)(yes, I tried both; I take my work very seriously), is sufficient evidence that this really is about food culture and not just sensation.
-Allison Zimmer, A-List Contributor
Bad Apples Bistro, 42 Nichols Street, Spencerport, NY (585) 352-2231
So long, meatballs. We’re trading you in for a couple of Bad Apples. With the invention of Bad Apples Bistro in Spencerport, Rochester’s West Side finally has a true emerging food culture, proving to the rest of the world that we are not just pizza and Chicken French anymore. Pioneering food culture west of the river with his creative and unexpected reinventions of familiar flavor profiles, owner and Chef Christopher Kisiel is making waves out west where his restaurant, opened in 2011, is a spirited shout rather than so much dining white noise. Everything here is house made and the menu changes seasonally to maximize each seasons’ unique flavors and bounty. In today’s Best Dish list Chef Kisiel is combining fresh, juicy red and yellow tomatoes with cucumber, bell peppers and a touch of poblano pepper and piling them on top of perfectly seared, incredibly tender, beautifully browned scallops served medium rare in the center, the way they should be. At first glance it would have been easy to dismiss the colorful array of vegetables and their beautiful juice as yet another salsa topping or an ambitious garnish. That would have been a mistake. This is a true gazpacho flavor, immediately recognizable and beautifully executed, and the perfect fresh, sweet, crunchy and ever-so-spicy accompaniment to the briny scallops. Familiar flavors, perfectly balanced and presented in an unexpected way. And I loved it. And like the rest of the Bad Apples menu, the risotto is not in any way an afterthought, but a carefully crafted dish meant to complement and underscore the scallops. Creamy, light and full of an herbaceous springtime brightness, I could have been served the risotto alone and left satisfied. Thank goodness I didn’t. Don’t miss out on the changing menu at Bad Apples, a hidden gem on the west side that, we fear, won’t stay hidden for long.
-Allison Zimmer, A-List Contributor
Lento Restaurant, 274 N. Goodman Street, Rochester (585) 271 – 3470
Quickly becoming famous for its Oyster Bar, Lento features a half dozen oyster varieties on the menu nightly Monday-Saturday. Like all fresh oysters, these should be eaten raw with just a squeeze of lemon. Purists think putting any cocktail sauce on is offensive to the farmers. It’s just covering up their hard work. On Tuesday evenings it’s Dollar Oyster Night – all raw oysters on the half-shell are a dollar a piece. Belly up to the Oyster Bar at Lento for fresh varieties flown in daily. Reservations are suggested and appreciated.
-Amy Riposo, A-List Editor