Can’t wait to see Keith Urban at the Constellation Brands – Marvin Sands Performing Arts Center tomorrow night. Always a pleasure to see performances in this outdoor amphitheater, rain or shine. Kenny Chesney coming later this month. Check out other artists this season.
Get set to get wet! Roseland Waterpark offers fun for the whole family. Check out the giant wave pool, Splash Factory, extreme tube slides, dunk tank or hit the beach for volleyball. Stay cool and have fun. Roseland Waterpark, 250 Eastern Blvd., Routes 5 & 20, Canandaigua. 585-396-2000.
Don’t miss the Phelps Sauerkraut Weekend. A festival dedicated to all things sauerkraut! Who would have thought? This annual event features several Family activities, as well as food products that revolve around sauerkraut! Aug. 1 – Aug. 5. Fireman’s Field, Ontario St., Phelps. 315-548-5702.
You can just bet you’ll enjoy an afternoon of live thoroughbred racing at Finger Lakes Gaming & Race Track in Farmington. Excitement galore, great food and fun. Also enjoy over 1,000 video lottery terminals, open daily from 8am-4am. 5857 Route 96, Farmington. 585-924-3232.
Golf the Finger Lakes! With the PGA Championship in town be sure to get out on the links this month! Ontario County boasts over nine golf courses, each unique and challenging! For more golf in Ontario County visit us online at visitfingerlakes.com/golf-the-finger-lakesfingerlakesgaming.com or call us at 585-394-3915.
Looking for farm fresh, local juice? Swing by Red Jacket Orchards’ newly renovated farm store providing a unique culinary experience! Located in Geneva, come see what 50 years of mastering the art and science of growing quality fresh fruit and juice production tastes like! 957 New York 5, Geneva 315-781-2749.
Looking to blow off some steam? The 53rd annual Pageant of Steam is a massive display of antique farm equipment dating back to the early 1900’s. Enjoy parades, tractor pulls, craft vendors and food. August 7-10, 9am-9pm. Admission required. Pageant of Steam, Gehan Road off Rts. 5 & 20, Canandaigua. 315-331-4022.
Area wineries, breweries, restaurants, artists and musicians join together for a weekend long celebration of everything that makes this region amazing at the Finger Lakes Riesling Festival. Aug. 10 and 11, 10 am – 5 pm. Kershaw Park, Lakeshore Drive, Canandaigua. 585-383-0380.
Festivals abound in Lake Country! From arts to music to Native American culture – there’s something for everyone! Fat Tire Mountain Bike Festival July 21, Native American Dance & Music Festival, July 27-28; Waterfront Arts Festival, July 27-28; Log onto our website, www.VisitFingerLakes.com, and click Events, or call the FLVC office for details. 585-394-3915.
Bristol Valley Theatre summer schedule is in full swing! Head down to Naples, NY and catch a show! For more on all of the great shows offered visit . If you are after that perfect Finger Lakes gift, slip into Artizanns right on Main St. just before the theatre! Artizanns and Bristol Valley Theatre are located in Naples, NY.
Looking to get out on the water and escape the heat? Head over to Canandaigua Sailboarding and rent your personal watercraft of choice! If you are the adventurous type be sure to try stand-up paddleboarding and take the waves head on! Canandaigua Sailboarding, 11 Lakeshore Dr., Canandaigua, NY 14424 585- 394-8150.
The summer feeling is in the air! That means it’s the perfect time to throw on those hiking boots and get out on the trails. Visit the Finger Lakes Visitors Connection for your free hiking and biking kit. Be sure to check out the waterfalls at Grimes Glen located in Naples, NY – Warning: you will get wet! To pick up a kit, visit our office at 25 Gorham St in Canandaigua NY or call 585-394-3915.
Come experience what the locals are buzzing about at Canandaigua’s newest addition to its restaurant lineup – the Beehive Brew Pub! Featuring over 32 different micro beers and serving up the finest pub fare! So whether it’s lunch or dinner, buzz over and check it out! Open daily. 20 Pleasant Street, Canandaigua 585-919-2471.
On July 26 Geneva’s Cruisin’ Night and Block Party is an event you won’t want to miss if you like “travel- ing down Memory Lane”. The day features classic cars, trucks and motorcycles. Adding to the excitement of the day is live music, food and activities for children. Downtown, Geneva NY.
If you are visiting the north shores of Seneca Lake swing by Geneva’s newest restaurant, the Seneca Brew and Smokehouse. Serving up a diverse menu ranging from wood fired pizzas, specialty sandwiches and full-on entrees! If you’re thirsty, be sure to catch a Finger Lakes made speciality! Open 7 days a week, 5-9pm 4516 West Lake Road, Geneva, NY.
Get to the Ontario County Fairgrounds between July 23-27 for some fun. There’s plenty to do at the Ontario County Fair. Visit the animal barns, attend one of the 4-H competitions, and see the 4-H project exhibits. Tractor pulls, demolition derby and shows on the stage. If you like amusement rides, spend some time on the midway. It’s old-fashioned family fun. County Road 10, Canandaigua, NY.
Celebrate Independence Day in the Finger Lakes! Fireworks will be on display throughout the region. For more information on dates and times, go to visitfingerlakes.com/july-4-fireworks or call
Finger Lakes Visitors Connection at 585-394-3915.
Enjoy the spectacular views and a great meal aboard the Canandaigua Lady. Take a cruise on this 18th century replica paddleboat — a must do while you are here. Lunch and dinner cruises, afternoon excursions. Relax and enjoy a beautiful ride. Steamboat Landing, 205 Lakeshore Dr., Canandaigua. 585-394-5365.
Take the family for a day of water and fun at Roseland Waterpark! 58 acre waterpark with a giant wave pool, raft ride, Adventure River, two body flumes and tube slides. Roseland Waterpark, 250 Eastern Blvd., Canandaigua. 585-396-2000.
Head down to Inspire Moore Winery on July 6th for an all day event featuring BBQ vendors, live music and Blaufrankisch tastings. Enjoy the food vendors, craft vendors, food and wine pairing demonstrations and special barrel tastings. Inspire Moore Winery 197 N Main St, Naples 585-374-5970.
Sonnenberg Gardens Moonlight Stroll series is here! The gardens of Sonnenberg are always a sight to see, but especially under the moonlight. July 5, 12, 19, 26 and Aug. 2 from 8pm to 10pm, the Moonlight Stroll Music Series features live music, wine by the glass and refreshments. Gates open at 7:30pm. Admission is required. 151 Charlotte Street, Canandaigua 585-394-4922.
Come visit Geneva’s newest addition, the Lake Street Filling Station Winery. Once a 1950’s Texaco filling station, it has been brought back to life and is now pouring Finger Lakes wines and much more! Lake Street Filling Station, 82 Seneca St, Geneva, 315-781-5483.
Be sure to check out the Hill Cumorah Pageant. Watch this beautiful religious story on an outdoor 10 level stage, twelve-tower lighting, state-of-the-art sound system, Hollywood special effects and cast of over 650. July 12, 13 and 16-20, 9pm. Hill Cumorah Visitors Center, 603 State Route 21, Palmyra. 315-597-5851.
10th Annual Musselman & Mini-Mussel Triathlon. A multi-sport event for athletes 13 & older on Seneca Lake. Swimming, biking and running events. July 12-14. Seneca Lake State Park, Routes 5 & 20, Geneva. 315-636-4268.
Don’t miss the Stuart Horse Trials, an Olympic-style equine event featuring dressage, natural obstacle course and show jumping. July 11-14. For a complete schedule, visit www.stuarthorsetrials.org.
Stuart Horse Trials, Murray Rd., off County Rd. 41, Victor. 585-657-6980.
Putting a finger on the Finger Lakes
Summer is in full swing, which is a good excuse to get out of the city. Head south on Route 64, down toward Canandaigua Lake, through Bloomfield, past Bristol Mountain Ski Resort (marvel at the green summer slopes), and stop before you reach Monica’s Pies and downtown Naples. Near the “Y” where Route 64 meets Route 21, sits the Brown Hound Bistro. If you haven’t yet dined there, you’re in for a treat. Simply put, it is one of the best restaurants in the region.
Availing itself of locally grown produce and meats, Brown Hound takes its cues from the season and consistently turns out delicious food. In some restaurants, that might lead to an air of superiority or pretentiousness — not here. The staff is friendly, knowledgeable, and there to make you happy and comfortable. The interior of the space is warm: Tuscan yellow walls, natural woods, braided rugs, paintings from local artists on the wall. The restroom, tucked under the stairs leading up to the kitchen, is an homage to the restaurant’s namesake, owner Trish Asher’s departed hound, Henry.
Don’t let the occasional pompous patron scare you off. (Guy who groused that his favorite out-of-state microbrew wasn’t on the menu: understand where you are and order the local beer.) If you do, you’ll remove the possibility of having a meal with tastes, scents, and colors so memorable that dishes might bubble into your thoughts at unexpected times. For instance, driving on 490 last week, I found myself longing for a slice or floral-scented apple, deep rose in color, light rose in flavor, gently sweet and slightly firm to the teeth that I’d enjoyed at Brown Hound two weeks earlier.
The rose petal-apple conserve in question is paired with a customer favorite: pan-seared yellowfin tuna with a scoop of risotto and a scattering of micro greens ($30). Like the majority of dishes on the menu, it’s both familiar and unexpected. Each meal’s star attraction is a well-prepared and satisfying rendition of a classic dish. But it’s in the sides where you’ll find the surprises: lovely shocks of color, texture, and flavor that, together, make eating at the Brown Hound both reliable and delightful.
Take the spring house salad ($7). It’s not a plate where you’d expect novelty. In some restaurants, it’s thoughtless: iceberg lettuce, shaved carrots, limp tomatoes, and maybe some corrugated cardboard posing as croutons. Here, however, the house salad plays with sweet (apple, maple) and sharp notes (red onion, shallots, vinegar), making you eager for the next bite. The lively and fresh greens are sourced just miles down the road from Ambrosia Acres Family Farm. And then there’s the scattering of diced and candied bacon. Food writing is oversaturated with declarations of love for bacon, but when it’s good, it’s very, very good. And when its smokiness is enhanced with a touch of sweetness and a bite of pepper, it’s wonderful.
Similarly, the artisan cheese plate ($11) features a mild chevre, muscular blue, and sharp cheddar cheeses — solidly appetizing choices for a Finger Lakes restaurant. Baguette crostinis, crunchy and flavored with olive oil, are eager to be piled with the cheese and — more importantly — the house-made onion marmalade. The marmalade has the texture of chutney: onion slices stand firm against the jam-like background. Cooked for a long time to develop a deep caramelization, the onions are sweetened with brown sugar and perked with ginger and (apple cider?) vinegar. Brown Hound is looking into to bottling the marmalade for sale; home cooks — myself included — will be lucky if it happens.
A few words about chicken. The menu’s chicken breast ($24), locally sourced from Sweet Grass Farm, is plump and juicy, but it’s still a chicken breast. What interests is its pairing: carrot sambal. Unlike South African or Asian carrot sambals, this is pureed smooth but retains a sambal’s spicy, warm heat. It’s the star of the entree, elevating the entire dish in the way a bold necklace can enliven a simple black shift dress.
A few more words about chicken: the chicken Moroccan ($38) is a shared plate, with two robust thighs and drums, a heap of couscous studded with dried fruits, and romesco sauce. The chicken’s skin is a deep tawny and crisp, almost as if fried, and the meat is succulent. Here, again, the sides shine: fat, sweet dates recall the dish’s namesake, while the romesco sauce reflects the piquancy of red peppers.
Lest I’ve made you think that there’s only poultry on the menu, pay attention to the Incredible Wellington ($32), a fillet of beef topped with Lively Run Cayuga bleu cheese and wrapped in puff pastry, served with bordelaise sauce, mashed potatoes, and mushroom duxelles; and the spring risotto ($21), showcasing seasonal vegetables and parmesan cheese.
If you go for brunch, make an effort to sit out on the wrap-around porch, shaded by a brick-red-and-white-striped awning. (Don’t worry if it’s chilly; the bistro has fleece blankets on hand to keep you warm.) Among my favorites are the French onion soup ($5), a hearty crock that gets the balance of salty and savory with crunchy and cheesy just right; the Sweet Grass lamb burrito ($11), featuring grass-fed lamb topped with tomato, red onion, and Lively Run feta; or the French Hill Toast ($7), made with homemade cinnamon-swirl bread and served with local Sugarbush Hollow maple syrup. (Go early if you want to order that last dish; I’ve often found that the restaurant runs out of cinnamon bread if I get there after 11:30 a.m.)
And last, but not least, if pastry chef Emmy Wilk’s toffee blondie sundae ($6) is available, order it. A blondie is a soft and chewy bar cookie flavored with vanilla and brown sugar. The blondie here is studded with toffee and the sundae is drizzled with salted caramel sauce for a sweet, salty, buttery, chewy treat. Even if you have to eat dessert after breakfast — even if you ate the Omega pancakes ($5 for a short stack) made with buttermilk, Birkett Mills’ buckwheat, ground flaxseed, and blueberries — who cares? It’s worth it
www.canandaiguaarts.com/pleinAirFest.html During the month of June check out all the exciting events happening in Geneva. Kicking off the month is Geneva Night Out on June 8th from 5-8pm starting at the Smith Opera House. Admission is free! Geneva Night Out features art and exhibits hosted by local businesses and galleries. For more exciting events, check out www.thesmith.org. Smith Opera House, 82 Seneca Street, Geneva, NY 14456.
Sonnenberg’s Roses and Rosés elegant wine and food pairing event on June 10 showcases over 25 wineries and restaurants of the Finger Lakes Region and kicks off Rose Week at Sonnenberg June 10-17. For more information or tickets to the event, visit sonnenberg.org. Sonnenberg Gardens & Mansion State Historic Park, 151 Charlotte St, Canandaigua. 585-394-4922.
For the first time ever, on June 13-14, New York Wine and Culinary Center will host three prominent Master Sommeliers, all exceptional wine educators.The two-day boot-camp will help sommelier hopefuls with preparation and techniques. For more details visit www.nywcc.com. New York Wine and Cunlinary Center, 770 South Main. Canandaigua NY. 585-394-7800.
Shakespeare in the Park! Set in a 20th-century militaristic society, this accessible adaptation of Macbeth will appeal to audiences new to the play and those already acquainted with this renowned tragedy. Enjoy this 60 minute outdoor adaptation of Shakespeare’s classic thriller! Six performers play all the roles, blending inventive physicality, evocative design and original text to create this mesmerizing and chilling tale of greed and ambition on June 15 at 2pm. West Lawn Spa Apartments 11 East Main St. Rain Location: Chapel in Spa Apts. Clifton Springs.Connect with nature and hike the more than 50 miles of foot trails in the town of Victor. You’ll see a variety of terrain including open fields, wooded wetlands, hills and valleys with breathtaking views and a chance to explore the diverse wildlife of the Finger Lakes. For more information and trails visit www.victorhikingtrails.org.
It’s Strawberry Jam time! June 28 is your chance to come tap your toes! Live music will fill the air as you partake in everything strawberry: strawberry shortcake, strawberry pie, jam, jelly, strawberries by the quart, and more. If you get hungry, enjoy a local chicken BBQ. It’s finger lickin’ good! Discover the delicious “Honeoye” Strawberry. Olde Village Market, Town Hall Lawn, Main Street, Honeoye NY
I attended two literature exchanges this month and spent the morning organizing my brochure rack in the Welcoming Room. It’s chalk full of not only information on things to do in the Finger Lakes, but stunning brochures with stunning photography.
Such a great resource for guests when they arrive. Some come with their trip already planned and have a great idea of what they want to do. Others come just ready to relax and take it as it comes. Regardless of how you plan your vacation, there is lots of great information online and in the Welcoming Room at the 1795 Acorn Inn.
Well, the robins have all left the nest. The first brave chick, barely seen here in the lower right, hopped around the grounds for hours until I could no longer see or hear it. The other two stayed in the nest for over 24 hours before finally making that leap. I haven’t seen any since, but this morning I heard the most wonderful chirping in the gardens and can only imagine who was singing…
Sometimes it truly is the little things that make me happy…
For the nearly nine years that I have been the Innkeeper at the 1795 Acorn Inn, guests have gotten two keys upon arrival; one for the front door and the Dining Room door and one for their respective rooms. Since the Inn is locked at all times, these keys made it possible for guests to come and go as they please. Always in the back of my mind though was the thought that although these keys say do not duplicate, they (name not to be mentioned) duplicate them for me as needed. So, why couldn’t guests get them duplicated and come back at any time? I’m not thinking of the kind, respectful, wonderful guests that I usually have the pleasure of meeting…
So, years ago I decided to make the investment and purchase Schlage locks with keypads. This year, when my fabulous brother Roger was visiting, he installed them for me. And, now that I have gotten adept at programming and deprogramming, my vision is complete.
Upon arrival, guests are asked to provide a four-digit code that would be easy for them to remember. Their code is programmed into the locks and voila… they can come and go as they please. Upon their departure, their code is removed from the system. Simple.
For those guests that cannot make our regular check in hours of 3:00 to 5:00 pm and have made arrangements in advance of their stay for a late check in, we can input their code of choice on the day of their arrival. Once inside the Inn, they are able to follow our simple self-check process and use their personal code for their entire stay..
So far, so good. And, I am happy to say, another improvement completed.