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Restaurant 2 Vine tops recommendations

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Rochester Business Journal
August 2, 2013

This weekend, thousands of out-of-towners will be arriving to attend the 95th PGA Championship at Oak Hill Country Club. In addition to shopping, visiting and watching golf, they’ll be dining out.

RBJ Daily Report readers named Restaurant 2 Vine as the favorite among fine-dining restaurants to recommend for out-of-town visitors to the Rochester/Finger Lakes region.
In second place is Richardson’s Canal House, and rounding out the top four are Black & Blue Steak and Crab and Rooney’s Restaurant.

Readers were given a list of 25 restaurants drawn from the RBJ’s latest Fine-Dining Restaurants list, which ranks them by average dinner entree price. The list included restaurants in Monroe, Genesee, Livingston, Ontario, Orleans and Wayne counties. Readers also had the option to write in restaurants not on the list.

In a similar poll in May 2012, RBJ Daily Report readers named Rooney’s Restaurant and Black & Blue Steak and Crab as their favorites; they received exactly the same number of votes. Restaurant 2 Vine followed the top two, with just four fewer votes.

Nearly 900 readers participated in this week’s poll, conducted July 29 and 30.

If you could choose only one, which local fine-dining restaurant would you recommend to an out-of-town visitor?
Restaurant 2 Vine: 11%
Richardson’s Canal House: 9%
Black & Blue Steak and Crab: 8%
Rooney’s Restaurant: 8%
Tournedos: 6%
Max of Eastman Place: 6%
Ristorante Lucano: 4%
Grinnell’s Restaurant: 4%
Pier 45: 4%
Hedges Nine Mile Point Restaurant: 3%
Mario’s Italian Restaurant and Catering: 3%
Max Chophouse: 3%
Red Osier Landmark Restaurant: 2%
Horizons Restaurant at the Lodge at Woodcliff: 2%
Warfield’s High Point: 2%
Good Luck: 1%
Tavern 58: 1%
Lento: 1%
Remington’s Restaurant: 1%
The Rabbit Room: 1%
The Erie Grill at the Renaissance Del Monte Lodge Hotel & Spa: 1%
Edibles Restaurant LLC: 1%
Tapas 177 Lounge: 1%
The Inn on the Lake: 1%
Rocco: 1%
Other: 15%

* Roughly 80 restaurants received at least one vote. For more complete results and additional comments, go to

It’s hard to pick just one restaurant in Rochester, particularly when you’re married to an Italian woman. You only have one Italian restaurant listed, Mario’s. My favorite Italian restaurant is Agatina’s. I chose Richardson’s because of its quiet, intimate setting, and I love the canal. I heard that the last time the PGA was in Rochester, the only place Tiger Woods and his caddy were seen was at a Starbucks in Penfield. Anyway, the first place I take our visitors to Rochester is Wegmans. For the PGA golfers who don’t make the cut, Wegmans has some pretty good $6 meals.
—Clifford Jacobson M.D.

Richardson’s has great food, fascinating history, a great setting (especially appreciated during the summer) and a friendly atmosphere. The region’s best place if you are interested in making a great impression on visiting friends or business associates.
—Bob Sarbane

(Remington’s Restaurant has) a terrific environment and fantastic employees!
—Jeffrey Galvin

You rank “fine” dining by cost. I rank fine dining by taste. The Green Front (in Canandaigua) has great taste, great variety, particularly for specials, great service and is reasonably priced.
—Ed Jackson, retired

Max of Eastman Place is absolutely excellent every time.
—Dan Karley

Lento is local! Focuses on local, seasonal, fresh and sustainable ingredients that are carefully transformed into delicious dishes. The menu changes daily! Lento showcases the best of the Rochester area. Fabulous restaurant.
—Melodye Campbell, Keuka College librarian

So much more goes into making choices like this than simply pointing in one direction versus another. Cuisine, atmosphere, view, etc., play a role when reviewing the possible options, to say nothing of taking into account new additions to this scene like, for example, Avvino or wonderful classics like Grinnell’s Restaurant.
—Bob Miglioratti
Avvino is a new restaurant that within a year will be the fine dining establishment in Rochester. I ate there during their soft opening last week, and it was exquisite. I now live in Chicago, and it is as good as any place I have eaten in Chicago.
—John Hart

Not only is (Richardson’s) fine dining; it can be outside and on the historic Erie Canal.
—Rick Rivers, The Rivers Organization

Bernard’s Grove, off Long Pond Road in Greece, has an excellent dinner menu; casual fine dining at its best.
—Carolyn Phinney Rankin, president and creative director, Phinney Rankin Inc.

Grinnell’s Restaurant is Rochester tradition. Over 50 years in business, three generations, hands down best food in Rochester.
—Matthew Fox

I wanted to check more than one! The Rochester area has many great restaurants. And “high end” dining here is far more affordable compared with other cities. Restaurants here—at all price levels—deliver great quality and value. Having grown up in New York City, I believe Rochester offers more good dining per capita than downstate.
—Michael Caceci, Pittsford

Rocco serves fresh, high-quality cuisine in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. Dining at the bar is a great way to socialize, with service from a top-notch mixologist.
—Garry Geer, Geer Photography

Richardson’s has wonderful food, a sense of local history and the Erie Canal. (It’s) my family’s favorite place to celebrate special occasions.
—Jim Stefano, Synergy

(Hose 22 Firehouse Grill is in a) unique historical building with awesome food down by the lake, fire pit and outdoor seating. Great memorabilia and photos. Upscale and casual at the same time.
—Marianne Warfle, Partners and Napier

Avvino is a great new restaurant in Brighton. Wonderful food and amazing atmosphere. Small and very inviting for either a quick drink/appetizer or for a full course dinner.
—Monique Flanary

(Richardson’s Canal House offers) exceptional dining with excellent wine list on the Erie Canal in Bushnell’s Basin. Indoor or outdoor seating.
—Ralph Harper, retired

Richardson’s—without question. Where else can you get superb food and service, a dose of local history and ambiance with its canalside location, and the option of outdoor patio seating for eating on a warm summer night? Richardson’s has it all!
—Kevin S. Cooman, McConville, Considine, Cooman & Morin P.C.

(Horizons Restaurant at the Lodge at Woodcliff has the) best combination of fine dining and exceptional view to promote Rochester.
—Craig E. Densmore, director of packaging, Innovation Supply Chain Optimizers

Your list has many delectable choices. I would like to add a few (in alphabetical order). Bad Apple Bistro in Spencerport has a great menu with outstanding flavors. Lento in the Village Gate serves locally raised foods that are works of wonder from Chef Rogers. The Johnson House in Churchville has some of the absolute best dishes from fish to lamb!
—Lou Romano

(Lento has) great food, good prices, warm environment. Excellent customer experience.
—Michael Van der Gaag, UX Strategist

We’ve had consistently excellent food and service at Lucano’s. We’ve eaten at many of the others on the list, with variable results.
—Al Schnucker, Schnucker Packaging Inc.

What happened to Bamba Bistro, Lentos, Olive Garden? Seems that City restaurants are under-represented. Was that intentional?
—Alma Balonon-Rosen

Lento not on this list? Better than them all!
—Jay Birnbaum

Visit Romano's Macaroni Grill request Tiffani as your waitress and you will have an enjoyable dining experience.
—Ken Grimm, Hawkeye Hackers Golf League

Black and Blue is always consistent with service and product and is close to Oak Hill. A second floor seating would be nice for pros to not get bothered by people impolite enough to ask for an autograph while they're trying to relax. Mario had a private dining room in the basement for the Europeans during the Ryder Cup. Charlie has never let me down.
—Daniel Mossien, architect

Ristorante Lucano is by far one of the most amazing restaurants in Rochester. As a patron, I sometimes shy away from telling people about the BEST thing in town (because then it will be even harder to get a reservation). But then I get over it, and tell people that this is a “must do” restaurant, run by an awesome family.
—L. Duffy, DAC Group

(Ristorante Lucano has) wonderful food! Great service! Cozy atmosphere! Just love going there.
—Joyce Ronzo

8/2/13 (c) 2013 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or email

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