Each January my husband and I plan a trip up to the Finger Lakes – typically Seneca and/or Cayuga Lakes – to do some wine tasting and shopping. The trip originally started out as an Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Day event, since it was a holiday for both of us. This year, however, it was not a holiday for me, so we decided to go on Sunday.
It was Bargain Bash Week and Pasta & Wine Weekend along the Seneca Lake Wine Trail, but it was still a relatively quiet day in most of the tasting rooms. We started out at Silver Springs Winery, then headed on to J.R. Dill Winery, Atwater Vineyards, Red Newt Cellars, Kings Garden Vineyards, Wagner Vineyards, and Damiani Wine Cellars. Our main mission for the day was to take advantage of the quiet tasting rooms and Bargain Bash specials, but I was also set on having lunch at the Red Newt Bistro and trying their Wine Salon, which I had heard so much about.
We did a quick tasting at Red Newt with a very pleasant and knowledgeable staff member (whom we kept staring at because he could’ve been my nephew’s twin; they even have the same name!) before heading in to the Bistro.
We ordered the Wine Salon menu option and our server, Emma, walked us through the choices of food for the Tasting Plate and wine selections. It was a simple process: choose 3 entrees from a list on the blackboard, then choose three wines from a list of 20 Red Newt reds and whites. The meal also came with a signature salon salad, crostini and concord chèvre. If you’re not sure what to pair with what, don’t worry. We relied on Emma for some suggestions and she did a great job.
For my three food items, I chose the Maple Smoked Trout, Flat Bread Pizza (with roasted garlic spread, artichokes, spinach and “Dilly Girl” Cheddar) and the Fresh Pasta (crab, chèvre, and carmelized shallot ravioli with roasted garlic cream sauce). My wines were 2008 Pinot Gris – Curry Creek Vineyard, Red Eft, and 2010 Pinot Noir.
Kip, who loves to fish but isn’t a big fan of trout as a food, chose the Manchego, Flat Bread Pizza, and Fresh Pasta. His wines were the 2007 Gewürztraminer – Curry Creek Vineyards, Red Eft and the 2010 Pinot Noir.
Combined with the Signature Salon Salad (hydroponic greens, onions, garlic, celery, carrots, white beans, and balsamic vinaigrette), the crostini and concord chèvre, it was a very filling meal in a very relaxed atmosphere. And keeping with Red Newt’s focus on local, many of the items in our meal were sourced from local growers and producers:
- Kenton’s Brie from Kenton’s Cheese Co., in Trumansburg, NY.
- Chèvre from Lively Run Goat Dairy in Interlaken, NY.
- “Dilly Girl” Cheddar from Muranda Cheese Company in Waterloo, NY.
- Shallots from Panda Farms in Goshen, NY.
- Greens from Finger Lakes Fresh in Ithaca, NY.
- Housemade pizza dough and breads for the crostini
- Housemade Balsamic Vinaigrette
We talked, shared food and wine samples, and enjoyed the fantastic view of Seneca Lake. It was the perfect meal for a great day on the lake. I highly recommend stopping in and giving the Wine Salon at Red Newt Bistro a try. Or, if you’d like a full meal, try their Winternet Cafe or dinner at the Bistro (serving again for the season beginning February 9th).