In the winter of 1995, a few New Yorkers on a skiing trip to Vail were so inspired by the area's bounty of craft breweries that they decided to return home and start their own, Ellicottville Brewing Company. Nearly two decades later, the brewery's two locations in Ellicottville and Fredonia have built up a diverse repertoire of 25 beers produced by master craft brewers via an authentic Hungarian brewing system. These range from crisp lagers and dark ales brewed year-round to experimental, hop-heavy, and small-batch varieties produced according to the season or the whims of the local czar.
EBC even lifts the veil on its brewing operations with regular tours that demonstrate the standard brewing process and include tastings.
EBC also pairs its brews with a menu of East Coast American and English pub grub. Chesapeake Bay crab cakes and chili-steamed mussels pave the way for heartier entrees, such as Texas-style dry-rubbed beef brisket, ale-braised lamb, and wild-mushroom risotto.
Among rock gardens, stone pathways, and the old-growth forests of the Allegheny Mountains, Hilltop Lodge's redwood cabins proffer comfortable rooms near breathtaking nature. Sitting 2,217 feet above sea level, the cabins house two full-size beds and private bathrooms, while providing overnighters with access to private campfire areas. Inside the redwood lodge, built in 1928, chefs whip up Italian specialties, seafood, and hearty cuts of meat to refuel stomachs after days of golfing at nearby greens, exploring the outdoors, or duct-taping broken branches back onto trees.
During visits, travelers can enjoy Allegany County attractions—including fishing, hunting, and horseback riding—read books on the stone patio, or meander through the rock garden bordering Hilltop's pond, reciting poetry or reading the contents of cereal boxes aloud. Before departing, travelers can stop by the gnome-themed gift shop, which allows customers to take a bit of forest magic back home.
Prime cuts of beef sizzle at The Silver Fox Steakhouse, where chef Jack Atkinson curates a menu packed with steak, seafood, and elegant American eats. Take a break from bench-pressing enormous bottles of wine to dine on the Cab Calloway fillet ($37)—8 ounces of seasoned meat topped with three shrimp—which arrives smothered in bordelaise sauce, much like the microphones that Calloway ate after each performance. The champagne mussels arrive cooked in garlic, onion, thyme, and cream sauce ($12), while fresh fruits de mer can be plucked from tiers of barramundi, ocean perch, scallops, and shrimp ($32).
Diners at Dina's mull over a unique menu of healthful eats crafted from fresh, local ingredients. Succulent starters include the bacon-wrapped dates, stuffed with Stilton blue cheese and almonds under a sprinkle of balsamic syrup ($9.95), and the baked brie, buoyed by an orchard of apples, grapes, and pears ($9.95). Share a slice of the boss gourmet pizza, plastered with mushrooms, sausage, green peppers, kalamata olives, and mozzarella ($17.95 for a large), or monopolistically hoard entrees such as the chicken parmesan ($18.95) or Cowgirl ribs. During a.m. hours, diners can nosh on massive pancakes ($7.75) or eggy burrito bombs ($8.75) in the open air of Dina's sidewalk seating, or lounge amongst brick-bedecked walls of the upstairs loft while cooing sweet nothings to the eatery’s sandwiches.