At Good, the staff members take the restaurant's namesake in several different directions. Chef Steven J. Picker and his crew strive to create a menu of good casual comfort cuisine by sourcing it locally. But the good doesn't stop there. The eatery is also a High Road Restaurant, which means it follows the Restaurant Opportunities Center of New York's guidelines for fair treatment of its employees.
Think Globally, Eat Locally
Picker believes it's important to not only honor the food on the plate, but pay attention to how the food gets there. That's why many of the ingredients on Good's menu, such as the ones below, are locally sourced.
From the Press * "It is possible to eat unusually, eclectically and very well at Good." ? New York Times * "Begin with a Sandia Limonada, with watermelon-infused vodka, triple sec, and fresh lemonade, end with hot orange-scented doughnuts served with three sauces . . . and the name will seem something of an understatement." ? New York magazine * "When the food does come, you may mentally rename the place 'great,' or even 'wonderful.' Evoking the latter are two plump chicken sausages and a side of crispy mushroom polenta cake, while a BBQ pulled-pork entr?e . . . approaches the former." ? TimeOut New York * "Yes, it's true: this charming local fave lives up to its preordained reputation, and has done so since opening . . . The pale, earthy, and appealing dining room has a soothing, intimate, and laid-back air, as if to whisper, 'Stop by anytime.' . . . The menu displays a greatest-hits list of comfort food favorites that are given a globally inspired turn." ? Michelin Guide
Verde on Smith, like a book without a dust cover, presents a whole world beyond what its simple exterior portrays. Past the restaurant's façade—marked solely by a black canopy—a slew of dark-stained wood tables line up against an exposed brick wall. Small wall sconces light intimate tables for four and an adjacent bar. Behind that bar, backlit bottles of top-shelf liquors and wines sit on glass shelves elegantly framed by wood grain that matches the stain hue of the bar. These tones permeate the rest of the restaurant, from the floor and the chairs to the rich wood of the halo-style chandelier.
The decor as a whole, including the pressed-tin ceiling, creates a pictorial elegance worthy of a Victorian painting—it even extends to the back patio, where sprawling black umbrellas present a paradox: you can go outside and still feel like you're inside. That's because cabin-style wood walls circumscribe the brick patio, and they reach all the way up to the edges of the umbrellas.
The restaurant's menu presents a depth of taste equal to the standard set by the decor. Its three pillars are pasta, seafood, and meat. Servings of gnocchi al dente with sausage and broccoli rabe represent the fresh-pasta part of the food roster. The kitchen staff prepares cuts of filet mignon paired with sautéed mushrooms to showcase the menu's carnivorous merits, whereas their lobster feast includes half a lobster, baked clams, shrimp, and corn on the cob, satisfying the state requirement of serving at least one dish with the word "cob" in it.
At Pescatore, chef Kenneth Johnson and his team honor the deceptive simplicity of Italian cuisine's commitment to culinary fundamentals. The restaurant's menus showcase the importance of using a base of simple, vibrant ingredients, then adding flair and complexity. This is evident in dishes such as the eatery's ricotta appetizer, which is accented by chives, hazelnuts, clover honey, and mint, and its roasted red- and yellow-beet salad, dotted with pickled shallots and dressed with champagne-honey vinaigrette.
Competing on a National Stage
Whether he's cooking for a crowd of diners or competing on national television, Johnson uses basic techniques to craft delicious dishes. So, when faced with the daunting task of preparing a dessert using spiral ham, spiced rum, green plantains, and water chestnuts, he created a traditional streusel. Sticking to a straightforward dessert netted Johnson a first-place finish on the Food Network's Chopped?his second victory in as many appearances.
Key Ingredients at Pescatore
Prospero Restaurant chef Frank Provenzo pays homage to his eatery's wizardly namesake by conjuring rustic Italian dishes from local ingredients, fresh veggies, and carefully simmered pasta. Cheeses such as mozzarella and ricotta stuff meaty entrees such as sautéed veal cutlets and bacon-wrapped pork tenderloin. And with the create-your-own pasta option, patrons can choose to douse plates of spaghetti, penne, or other noodles with their choice of sauce.
Flames dance inside the wood-fired oven at The Gate House Cafe, heating its gleaming surfaces to temperatures as high as 700 degrees. The oven's radiant heat is the backbone of the eatery's rustic, comfort-driven menu, yielding dishes that range from gourmet pizzas and chicken wings to wood-fired macaroni and goat cheese.
Gate House Cafe's pizzas are named after Rochester landmarks, but their culinary inspiration comes from southern Italy. Chef Ross Hopkins and his team knead dough made with Tipo 00 Italian flour, topping it off with organic mozzarella and tomatoes from San Marzano valley. They serve creative pies, too, such as the ones below, and often use ingredients from their organic garden.
|The MAG||The Park Avenue|
|Asiago and ricotta cheeses lend an extra layer of creaminess to the MAG pie, and fried eggplant adds toothsome texture.||Hummus is an unexpected pizza-topper, but here, it works well alongside grilled vegetables, goat cheese, roasted garlic, and tomato coulis.|
|The Strasenburgh||Gluten-Free or Vegan|
|With toppings that include blackened sirloin, blue cheese, and asparagus, The Strasenburgh delivers the sumptuousness of a steak-house dinner in pizza form.||Chef Hopkins is happy to accommodate gluten-free and vegan diners.|
In 1909, Frank Pepe immigrated to the United States from his native town of Maiori, Italy. He was poor, illiterate, and just 16 years old?but he had a strong work ethic. After a stint in a New Haven factory and service as an Italian solider in World War I, he settled down for good in New Haven with his wife, Filomena, and started a bakery delivery service. But because he couldn?t read, he had trouble deciphering the orders. So he started having his customers come to him, and in 1925, he and Filomena added a simple item to the menu: Neapolitan-style pizzas.
To this day, the staff still heats up coal-fired ovens to bake the original tomato pies that Frank and Filomena first made famous. They can also add toppings such as bacon, Italian-imported anchovies, and house-roasted red peppers to their pizzas, or create specialty pies such as their signature white clam with olive oil, fresh garlic, and oregano. Diners can pair their pies with Pepe?s salad, tossed in balsamic vinaigrette, or have the server tap draft brews such as Sam Adams Boston Lager and Peroni. They?ve served Foxon Park soda since 1925, so diners can request bottles of cream soda or diet white-birch beer made from only the sveltest birch trees.