Hearty. Rich. All-American. These words certainly describe the food at Merchants Street Smoke & Steakhouse, but there's one descriptor that applies more than all the rest: smoky. Whether you're digging into a pulled-pork sandwich or a hearty steak, you'll get a taste of that unmistakable smokiness that keeps regulars coming back to this Brockport restaurant for more. Of course, the food isn't the only attraction, thanks to a full-service bar and a patio with scenic views of the Erie Canal. Whatever draws you in, feel free to linger for a while by sharing a pitcher of draft beer or taping yourself to a chair.
You might not think there's much crossover between fine dining and comfort food, but don't tell that to Michael Zambito. The chef's quarterly menus add a dose of gourmet flair to down-home recipes, and many of them draw inspiration from seasonal flavors. For an example, look no further than the lobster pasta, which is served with fresh asparagus and a brandy-laced cream sauce. Zambito is also a master at revamping classics; he's not afraid to add dried cherries to liver and onions, or to make macaroni and cheese with smoked gouda.
The chefs at Toni Pepperoni Express hand-toss three types of crust—regular, sesame seed, and garlic parmesan—before loading each with homemade sauces and unlikely ingredients such as chicken fingers and steak. Fortune favors the bold who order from their menu of specialty pizzas, which include a chicken-finger pizza slathered in spicy buffalo sauce and a hawaiian pie topped with sliced ham, pineapples, and liquid hot magma.
Americana is at the forefront of Chef Michael Zambito?s Mericana. The eatery's menu of upscale comfort food is filled with twists on classic American eats. For example, Zambito tosses roasted jalape?o peppers into mac 'n' cheese and combines steak and eggs with bacon blue cheese home fries and grilled-asparagus hollandaise sauce. In addition, these dishes incorporate fresh, seasonal ingredients procured from local farmers.
Wagner’s two most popular dishes are quite different, but equally delicious. Certified Angus roast beef nestles within the cushy embrace of a salted weck roll, while the Roaster chicken wings are topped with bourbon- or honey-garlic sauce and serve as a filling snack after a long day of learning how to use echolocation in a dark cave. At lunch, diners can nosh on wraps rolled with Cajun turkey or greek chicken, whereas the dinner menu introduces entrees such as baked haddock and fettuccine alfredo with chicken or crab.
Davison Road Inn's culinary architects satisfy rumbling stomachs by stacking a bevy of burgers, sandwiches, and a menu of other pub eats. Patrons perched at a tiled bar savor hand-carved, top-round roast beef folded into a Kimmelwick roll ($6.99) as cushy as a pillow filled with marshmallows, or juggle a Reuben with slow-cooked, thin-sliced corned beef ($7.99) between turns at darts or pool. Blue umbrellas dotting a pine-tree-lined patio shade the delivery of Davison Road Inn’s fresh half-pound burgers. The Emerald Isle-inspired patty, topped with Irish cheddar, arrives on a soft pretzel bun ($6.99), and the Bacon Blue burger's twists of applewood bacon and melted blue cheese ($6.99) choose to arrive traditionally in a palanquin carried by four waiters. The ears of Saturday-night diners feast on live music between 8 p.m. and 11 p.m.