The Finger Lakes Region is steeped in a persistent culinary revolution. Chefs have come from around the country to the Finger Lakes to open up quaint bistros and restaurants missioned to source local and organic ingredients. We invite you to discover and enjoy the wide range of restaurants in the region from winery bistros to waterfront restaurants. With the rich, agricultural lands of the Finger Lakes and some of the world’s top producers of wine, many wineries first asked themselves "Why not use the many other agricultural resources represented by our fellow, neighboring farmers, to create amazing, first class, enjoyable dishes with fresh, local ingredients?" And then answered that rhetorical question by opening fresh, innovative restaurants right next to their tasting rooms.
James Molesworth, world famous wine writer, back in 2012 summarized our nascent culinary scene in Wine Spectator as follows: "In addition to a burgeoning number of quality-oriented wineries, the Finger Lakes is also home to a bustling food scene, much of it of the farm-to-table variety. Prices are often low (compared to what urbanites are used to), the settings are always casual and a few places are attached to or next door to wineries, making weekends of wine tasting and eating ideal." And as recently as 2019 two popular wine/restaurant combo businesses were acknowledged the prestigious publication Food & Wine: The Bistro at Red Newt Cellars, and Veraisons Restaurant at Glenora Wine Cellars. The Ginny Lee Restaurant at Wagner Vineyards, led by the founder's grandaughter Ginny, not only prepared amazing dishes that pair beautifully with the tasting room's estate wines and quality beers brewed on-site, but also has an amazing wrap-around deck offering diners an exceptional view of their vineyards, Seneca Lake, and absolutely stunning sunsets. FLX Wienery, and its sibling restaurant FLX Table at the northern end of Seneca Lake, are not physically attached to a winery, but are led by the world’s first Executive Chef to achieve the exalted rank of Master Sommelier in 2013, Christopher Bates, MS, and his beloved wife Isabel, as they juggle several innovative restaurants in our region, and their facility Element Winery, in the western part of the Finger Lakes.
Of course many of these restaurants promote their winery's beverages most prominently, but all of them also proudly stock a variety of wines sourced from throughout the Finger Lakes Region, and some even dapple in a smaller variety of wines from other regions of the country and world.