Who Made the List? Absolutely Delicious Restaurant Selections.
What to Order Where in Rochester. December is a month of celebrations, and this Best Dish List features dishes to share with family and friends.
Our monthly Best Dish List highlights area chefs and the most recommended dishes in town.
Dish: Himalayan Pink Salt Hibachi
City Grill, 384 East Ave., Rochester NY (585) 222-2489
This season A-List is featuring Dishes to Share, and this one is pretty special. It’s the perfect choice when gathering with friends and family to make some memories this holiday season. City Grill has a number of delectable dishes to share which, along with its mouthwatering menu of steaks, chops, chicken and wood fired pizzas, has made it a popular meeting spot.
We sampled the Himalayan Hibachi, a trio of beautifully marbled NY Strip steak bites, fresh salmon and gorgeous, ruby red, sushi grade ahi tuna attractively presented with an arrangement of fresh vegetables and served with a piping hot brick of Himalayan pink salt. The brick is heated in City Grill’s pizza oven to an eye popping 600 degrees. Guests use chopsticks to cook their meal right on the brick at the table, making for not only a memorable experience, but a delicious dining experience. The meat and fish are both of the highest quality, and the Himalayan salt does exactly what proper seasoning is meant to do – it enhances the natural flavors of both the meat and the fish, rather than masking or overpowering them. The heat sears the outside beautifully for a flavorful, caramelized exterior – and perhaps the best part is that everyone at the table can decide their own degree of doneness. As trendy as this dish may sound, it is by no means a gimmick. From the presentation to the quality of the menu items to the flavors and colors produced by the cooking style, to the overall experience, everything about this dish was best in class, and without question, one of our most memorable Best Dishes.
– Allison Zimmer, A-list Contributor
Ox and Stone, 282 Alexander Street, Rochester, NY (585) 287-6933
Latin American cooking is making its mark on Alexander Street by way of a new restaurant called Ox and Stone. You may remember this former location as Bamba Bistro, yet the décor, menu, and ambiance have been completely transformed.
The paella dish is one of Ox and Stone’s house specialties and is a vision from start to finish. The excitement begins when you see the hot paella pan placed in the middle of your table. All your senses are heightened with the beautiful array of colors, the fresh ingredients, and the fragrant smells swirling from the pan. You take your first bite and you are reminded of why you ordered this dish in the first place.
I would be remiss if I didn’t walk you through the ingredients of this dish. I’ll start with the bomba rice which has been simmered in broth with saffron imported from Spain, smoked paprika, along with garlic, tomatoes, and onions. Next, is the chorizo that is made in-house and packs a ton of flavor. The mussels and shrimp bring in the fresh and tender seafood component. The fire-roasted poblano peppers add more flair and spice to the dish. The best surprise ingredient is the culantro. Not ‘cilantro’, but ‘culantro’. Culantro is a heartier version of cilantro with a stronger flavor. Ox and Stone sources their culantro locally from a hydroponic farm in Hilton,NY called Bolton Farms. The ingredients as mentioned above are carefully chosen and prepared to make their expression of a tasty paella.
Be prepared to bring your appetite and a friend or two when eating this dish, as it’s a very large portion as Paella should be. If you are looking for a dish that is wonderfully comforting and flavorful, then here is your winning dish.
–Linh Phillips, A-List Contributor
Dish: Butternut Squash Confit Crostini
Orbs Restaurant, 758 South Ave., Rochester, NY (585) 471-8569
The South Wedge has welcomed a new addition in their neighborhood by the name of Orbs Restaurant. As you walk in, you will notice the Orb Chandelier hanging that has been repurposed from wine barrel rings. Up the stairs, you will notice the series of meat grinders displayed as wall art next to the bar. Then you sit down and notice the appetizers all have the words ‘balls’ in them. The inspiration behind the name Orbs has now made sense and you realize that Owner Bob Caranddo is a genius.
Most notably known for their stake in the Italian meatball scene, this restaurant offers a multitude of savory offerings that will appeal to all types of meatball lovers. While the meatballs are definitely a must-try, the Daily Features Menu is really what sets this restaurant apart.
Each day, Chef Steven Lara takes an innovative approach to his food by creating a rotating menu that features specials based on local and seasonal ingredients. The Crostini of the Day is the perfect introduction to your first meal at Orbs. This dish is made to share and follows the Orbs philosophy of gathering around the table with family and friends over good food. The day that I ventured in, Chef Steven prepared house made crostini toasts to dip into a creamy and flavorful butternut squash confit with hints of sage, bits of Berkshire bacon, and topped with fresh pea tendrils with a poached egg nestled on top. Sounds divine, doesn’t it? It is. The combination of these ingredients works in harmony and is reminiscent of the fall season. Every time you come in you will find a new and exciting take on the Crostini dish. One thing remains constant though, your taste buds will always be delighted.
– Linh Phillips, A-List Contributor
Read the Sir Rocha Says article about Orbs Restaurant, click here