Lakeland Winery's winemaking parties bridge the gap between independent home brewers and off-the-shelf wine buyers with engaging and informative viticultural classes. Experts trained in conversational French oversee groups of up to 15 at the winery, where they can choose to sample the store’s award-winning wines for a small fee before deciding which variety to make. After the wine has fermented, groups can cork each bottle and design a label, choosing from designs that include elegant fonts or scenes depicting the messy breakup of the California Raisins.
For three generations, Westvale Fish Cove has cast a tasty take-out menu of fried-fish favorites and netted a raw menu of freshly caught delicacies for take-home filleting, frying, and flambéing. Westvale's chefs churn out a homemade clam chowder ($2.99–$4.99) Wednesday–Saturday, prepping gill-less palettes for a fried-fish sandwich ($4.99) or a heartier fried-fish dinner that comes with a choice of two sides such as macaroni salad or baked beans ($9.25). Take home lobster tail that guards tender meat made succulent from the crustacean's time spent swinging from one underwater tree limb to the next. Raw sea scallops ($14.99/lb.) and jumbo colossal shrimp ($11.99/lb.) treat tummies to bite-size, oxymoronic morsels of sea-faring heaven.
Vitreous chocolate reservoirs and scratch-made desserts melt on tongues in Bittersweet Wine Bar & Desserts' romantic, subdued environs. Dining duos that opt for the Noah's Ark fondue shepherd morsels of cake, fruit, and brownies into pools of milk, white, or dark chocolate. Three or more friends gather around the Fun-Due's bountiful sugary basin and share dipped morsels along with tips for delivering leftover liquid chocolate into baggie-lined pockets. For un-dipped desserts, the peanut butter dream ($5.75) slathers a chocolate cookie crust in pillowy peanut ribbons, and the death by chocolate ($7.15) hints at penalties for Candy Land treason, as it enrobes spongy chocolate cake and mousse in a creamy chocolate ganache. Diners can take chewing breaks to admire hanging frosted lights that illuminate a marble bar as a pink paint ribbon bisects chocolate and cream walls.
When she opened Elbridge Wellness Etc., Melinda Chilson hoped to treat existing wellness conditions and educate the community on nutritional and naturopathic methods aimed at improving quality of life. Today, she and her crew of experts see this vision through with karate, Zumba, and yoga classes alongside personal wellness counseling and reiki services. To help their clients bring healthful practices home with them, the staff stocks supplements and administers holistic pet-care services.
The Cayuga Wine Trail connects 16 member wineries around the rolling lakeside hills, promoting the local vino market and hosting four trail-based events every year. “Say Cheese” beckons scores of intrepid guests to travel along the lakefront farms and valley vistas of the wine trail, braving occasional bigfoot sommeliers to taste locally made cheeses paired with vine juice at each of the wineries. Upon arriving at one of two starting points, attendees receive a wine glass and wine glass lanyard. From there, the two-hour burgundy brick road leads wine worshippers to taste cheeses, such as Muranda's Red Buddy or Lively Run Goat Dairy's Cayuga blue, within establishments ranging from the time-resistant Lucas Vineyards and 2010 Governor's Cup-winning Swedish Hill Winery to the restored 1820s barn at Americana Vineyards. At the end of the odyssey, vinophiles can submit their best photos of wine, cheese, and scenery through Facebook or Twitter to win a specialty gift basket from the local artisans.