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Rooney’s, Black & Blue top readers’ pick for dining

RBJ Daily Report readers named Rooney’s Restaurant and Black & Blue Steak and Crab as their favorites among fine-dining restaurants in the Rochester/Finger Lakes region. The top two received exactly the same number of votes.

Poll participants were given a selection of roughly 50 restaurants drawn from RBJ’s latest Fine-Dining Restaurants list and the 2012 edition of Explore Greater Rochester, to be published May 11 as a supplement to the newspaper. They also had the option of naming a restaurant not on the list.

Restaurant 2 Vine followed the top two, with just four fewer votes. It was followed by Max of Eastman Place and Richardson’s Canal House.

Roughly 915 readers participated in this week’s poll, which was conducted April 30 and May 1.

What is your favorite fine-dining restaurant in the Rochester area?

1. Rooney’s Restaurant
1. Black & Blue Steak and Crab
2. Restaurant 2 Vine
3. Max of Eastman Place
4. Richardson’s Canal House
5. Good Luck
6. Hedges Nine Mile Point Restaurant
7. Grinnell’s Restaurant
7. Max Chophouse
8. Red Osier Landmark Restaurant
9. Tournedos
10. Joey B’s
11. Mario’s Italian Restaurant and Catering
12. Lento
13. Ristorante Lucano
13. Bistro 135
14. Next Door Bar & Grill
15. Park Avenue Pub
15. Phillips European Restaurant
15. Eros Restaurant and Bar
16. Zeppa Bistro
17. Remington’s Restaurant
17. Edgar’s at Belhurst
17. Bernard’s Grove
18. Pier 45
18. Tavern 58
19. Tapas 177 Lounge
19. Warfield’s
20. Erie Grill at the Del Monte Lodge
21. Bamba Bistro
21. Bristol Harbour Resort
21. Horizons Restaurant at the Lodge at Woodcliff
21. One
21. Rabbit Room
22. Jojo
22. North Shore Grill
23. Naughton’s Johnson House Restaurant
23. Prime Steakhouse
24. Edibles Restaurant
25. Grill at Strathallan

*Nearly 100 restaurants received at least one vote. For more complete results and additional comments, go to rbjdaily.com.


(Restaurant 2 Vine has) excellent food, excellent atmosphere.
—Keith Laird

Tony Gullace (of Max at Eastman Place) is probably the best chef outside of New York City.
—Scott Osborn, Fox Run Vineyards

It was very difficult to choose from the list as there are many great restaurants in town. I chose Bistro 135 because they not only serve great food in a warm and cozy atmosphere, they also have live jazz music. It’s the perfect combination.
—J.K. Weber

Lento: Best food in town!
—Jay Birnbaum

Atmosphere (at Phillips European Restaurant) is quiet and lovely—food is consistently excellent and the wait staff is consistently professional.
—Lynne Kirst, Warner School

Always an excellent meal with top-notch service (at Tournedos). Very classy and romantic atmosphere.
—Chris Adams, Durst Image Technology

Great tastings events at Tavern 58.
—John Osowski

The ambiance and menu at One (have) always contributed to our decision to celebrate our wedding anniversary there each year. I love the look on my husband’s face when we walk in the door.
—Sarah Murray, East House

(Max of Eastman Place has) outstanding food, specials, service, atmosphere and view with an urban park-like setting. Very impressive to guests whether clients, family or friends. First-class, yet down to earth, not pretentious.
—Dan Karley, M&L Trucking and International Freight Forwarding

No pretense, Lento is about the food, food with great service. Not only is the owner a servant about all things food, so is his staff. Go to Lento and enjoy!
—Joe Wierzbowski, Plymouth Photo Studio.

You have listed many very good restaurants, and I am pleased to eat at them. You missed, however, what seems the best overall restaurant in the Rochester area. It is Ember Wood Fire Grill in Livonia. They rebuilt the local train station to present a wonderful mix of modern environment and local history. Most importantly, they have a diverse menu, with most dishes presenting several wonderful flavors. They have incredible control over the flavors! Also the service is excellent! To top it all off, the prices are reasonable! They have a big following, and reservations are often hard to get.
—Don Adair, Adair Law Firm PLLC

Bamba Bistro offers fine dining at its best. A wonderful place for lunch or dinner!
—Stuart Small, Pittsford Insurance Agency LLC

(Aladdin’s Natural Eatery has) healthy food and is very affordable. Best Mediterranean food in our area! We are excited that a new location will be opening soon at Park Point.
—Barbie Nesser

I’ve been going to Grinnell’s for many years and even have had parties there, and the food is always consistently good and the staff always professional!
—Carolyn Zook

(Hedges Nine Mile Point Restaurant is the) best fine-dining in Rochester! Hands down!
—Maggie Kaptein

Grinnell’s Restaurant always delivers on every single meal. From the delicious bread they start you out with, the delectable soups and appetizers, to the mouthwatering main courses. There is so much food provided I can never make it to dessert!
—Danielle Monroe, Rochester

Lucano’s is cramped, and I could hear the radio playing in the kitchen. 2 Vine smells like a fish market. Next Door is way too noisy and overpriced. Tavern 58 has gone downhill recently. Strathallan was very good but remains to be seen after renovation. Edibles is excellent but has uncomfortable chairs. Phillips has no atmosphere. Tapas 177 is excellent but a little too crowded.
—Ken Maher, retired

(Grinnell’s Restaurant) has excellent food and superb friendly service which is present every time you go.
P. Guilmette

Steaks (at Grinnell’s Restaurant) are the best in town. Lamb chops, pork chops always nice! And they pour a great cocktail!
—Ross Mitchell

(Otto Tomattos in Victor is the) best Italian restaurant in the Rochester Area. Great service, generous portions and reasonable pricing.
—Karin Allen

(Scotch n’ sirloin & Valicia’s Ristorante) New to Batavia; miss our Rochester. We go there every opportunity!
—Shannon Murray-MacDonell, Batavia

Scott (at Park Avenue Pub) is very knowledgeable on wine and is the consummate host.
—James Warner, IFS

Hedges Nine Mile Point Restaurant: Best food and view in Rochester.
—Julia Fella, student

The Grinnell sauce is fantastic!
—Kyle Lew

5/4/12 (c) 2012 Rochester Business Journal. To obtain permission to reprint this article, call 585-546-8303 or email rbj@rbj.net.


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