At The Tavern 19, the kitchen takes pizza, like the rest of their scratch-made casual fine dining cuisine, seriously. Each night chefs slather 16-inch dough with fresh ingredients and bake it within the newly-installed Italian-made wood-fired brick oven. Patrons' appetites can also settle on items from the behemoth three-pound Killer Burger to more modest half- or 1-pound patties topped with fried onions and the tavern's special hot sauce. The chefs also busy themselves crafting house-made soups and tarter sauce, which accompanies beer-battered, fried fish and Brazilian lobster tails. These and other dishes are crafted by the owners, two brothers whose family has served Rochester for over 40 years at the Charlotte Tavern. After meals, The Tavern 19 welcomes guests to hang out in the game room, filled with classic bar games, including darts, shuffleboard, and pool.
When it comes to wine, David and Tasia Verno follow the same philosophy as Goldilocks: Why settle for one when you could try three? Trios of wines from across the world are thus a mainstay of their menu at Flight Wine Bar. These samplers come with themed names—Instant Zen and California Retreat, for example—and incorporate wines from Italy, Chile, France, and Germany in addition to the United States. There's the Bubbly Flight for sparkling wine enthusiasts, the alluring scents of Aroma Therapy, and Sweet Emotion, which matches a Red Newt riesling with a Bigi Orvieto Classico and an Elmo Pio moscato.
Of course, Flight Wine Bar also has wines available by the glass or bottle. In addition, the staff furnishes tables with artisanal snacks. Guests can order imported cheeses, such as the sycamore-leaf-wrapped Spanish valdeón. The dessert chocolates are all handcrafted, and the truffles are all handpicked from the secret truffle tree that you should absolutely not tell anyone about.
Papaya Restaurant?s Asian dishes play with a range flavors to appease all taste buds. The freshly caught fish of the day is simmered in a spicy curry coconut sauce and drizzled with roasted red-pepper relish. A spicy-sweet basil sauce coats udon noodles, while pork chops are paired with spicy green beans and umeboshi plum sauce.
Just as the menu combines different styles of Asian cookery, the restaurant?s aesthetic plays with textures and materials. Exposed ductwork in industrial gray meets soft taupe walls. Wooden boards woven through metal bars serve as a modern partition between diners, and cable-threaded railings line the front of the dining area. Lime-green lighting illuminates the bar, where dangling starburst lights emit a red glow over plates of sushi rolls stuffed with sun-dried tomatoes, tempura shrimp, or seared steak or that day's elegant sashimi presentation.
A cozy, chic space, Veritas Wine Bar feels less like walking into a bar and more like walking into a fashionable friend's apartment—albeit, a friend with a nice wine collection. Even the Rochester City Newspaper took notice, saying of proprietor Paul Powers and his wife, Amy: "they've parlayed their passion for the grape into a charming spot for both hardcore oenophiles and aspiring aficionados." Having previously worked at wine shops and as distributors, the two have curated a constantly changing selection of vinos from around the world. A quaint menu of a wine-friendly sampler plate pairs with the vintages, making Veritas a charming spot for a date, a casual meeting, or a cutthroat game of Chinese Checkers.
Welcoming those who are “gay, straight or somewhere in between,” 140 Alex Bar & Grill fosters a friendly atmosphere where everyone is invited to “drink, play, dance, sing, laugh, and hang out.” When they’re not too busy crooning at karaoke, applauding a drag show, or scoring points during adult trivia, guests of the brick-walled hangout sip brews and chow down on burgers and wings. The bar-restaurant’s calendar remains packed even during the holiday season, when ugly-sweater contests, Thanksgiving parties, and chess games against snowmen fill chilly Friday nights.