A recent blog over at Al Dente about the highly under appreciated culinary scene of Syracuse, NY got me thinking about the great meals we have enjoyed at the Brewster Inn in Cazenovia. Enjoy this retro post from a couple of summers ago.
A few weeks ago we enjoyed a fantastic dinner on the lawn at the Brewster Inn in Cazenovia. The best part was our bill left some money on a gift certificate we had received, enabling a return trip in the very near future. We chose last night to take advantage of that and have our second visit to the Brewster in less than four weeks.
We picked a Tuesday night because the Brewster allows you to bring your own bottle of wine to enjoy with dinner. Now, don’t get me wrong, the Brewster has one of the best, if not the best wine lists and wine staffs in all of Upstate New York, but the opportunity to pull a bottle out of our cellar and enjoy it with fine dining was too good to pass up. For this meal my wife and I chose a bottle of locally produced Owera Vineyards 2011 Riesling.
The meal began with a prosciutto wrapped shrimp as an amuse-bouche which was a nice start to the meal. Very well flavored with fresh field greens dressed with a vinaigrette garnishing the plate. We were also presented with a basket of fresh baked bread and a plate of olive oil and pesto which was very tasty.
To begin our order we picked the Thai Calamari ($12) which we had enjoyed in the past and were looking forward too. It did not disappoint and we cleared the entire plate without any trouble. It was sweeter than we both remembered, but that did not change the fact that it was delicious.
Looking over the menus we decided to order from the Tavern menu for our dinners, but a special of seafood chowder ($8) caught both of our attention so we decided to add that in before enjoying our entrees. The seafood chowder had a wonderful cream base and good size chunks of seafood. It being a rainy night outside, it was nice to enjoy my first bowl of chowder since the spring.
Moving on to the entrees my wife and I went in different directions. I was really debating between the Prime Soft Shell Crab ($17.50) and the Mushroom and Chèvre Ravioli ($14.50). At the very last minute I decided to go with the ravioli and boy was I glad that I did. The goat cheese, mushrooms and slightly spicy Neapolitan pomodoro sauce blended so very well together. Taken alone the cheese was a bit strong, but when all of the ingredients on the plate were paired in the same bite, it was mouth watering good.
My wife chose to go a with a steak salad ($14) featuring wild greens, Maytag bleu cheese, spiced walnuts and crispy onions. Having enjoyed a salad in one of their Asiago cheese bowls previously, she asked if the steak salad could come in one of those. The chefs did not disappoint, creating a custom bowl for her salad which was not only tasty, but one of those step above services that can really make the dining experience special. The salad had copious amounts of tender steak on it, and was big enough that she will be enjoying it for lunch today too.
We finished our meal with a palate cleansing trio of sorbets flavored with mango, green tea and cucumber cantaloupe.
The total for dinner before tip was $66 for the two of us. That was a very reasonable price for two entrees, two bowls of soup and an appetizer. Of course we were helped by the fact that we brought our own bottle of wine, but a meal of that high quality for that reasonable price point is a great deal. I think many people expect that if you go to the Brewster it has to be a special occasion because of the cost, but by ordering off the tavern menu we kept the cost reasonable and the portion sizes were more than adequate.