Sunday, September 19, 2010

Binghamton Restaurant Week Preview

Just a reminder to all...Binghamton Restaurant Week (v. 2.0) is just around the corner. As the extremely unofficial voice of all things Binghamton-food-related I figured we'd take some time to discuss each of the restaurants participating in the festivities, taking place from September 21 through September 30! Here we go...alphabetically:

Crepe Heaven: Believe it or not, I've never been to Crepe Heaven, located on Binghamton's West Side near the Price Chopper, in the same small plaza as Nirchi's Pizza. I remind Megan of this fact every single time we drive past it (quite often). She has been there before, but not since around the time it opened, and I'm pretty sure she liked it. The small cafe offers an array of sweet and savory crepes and many coffee beverages. It's a place I am excited to try out!

Downtown Cabana: This is the new restaurant located inside Boscov's, owned by the same folks who operate Nassy's Cabana in Endicott. Having just opened over the summer, we haven't made it there yet, but my understanding is that they offer a mix of Greek and American favorites. Should we go there, I'll be sure to give a full report.

The Flan Club: What more needs to be said about The Flan Club? This is one of my favorite places to eat in Binghamton. Check the archives for my full review of The Flan Club, Binghamton's premier Latino-Caribbean restaurant. Don't go expecting quick service but do expect mouth-watering food served by friendly folks.

Grande's Bella Cucina: I haven't been to this location of Grande's (Megan has, and she enjoyed it) but the big thing to try out at Grande's is their pizza. We often get take-out from their location on Upper Front St. and it is consistently the best New York-style pizza in Binghamton. Highly recommended.

Holiday Inn: Admittedly, I have nothing to offer up regarding the Holiday Inn's food. Has anyone been? What's it like? Any good? Not a whole lot of information on these interwebs regarding the restaurant there!

Little Venice: Binghamton's oldest Italian eatery is a beautiful restaurant that doubles as a sort of art gallery, with authentic paintings lining just about every inch of wall space! Their pasta is phenomenal and that red sauce is simply legendary. Great desserts, too. If you've never been, you owe it to yourself to try out Little Venice. If you have, now would be a fine time for another visit!

Lost Dog Cafe: "The Dog" has evolved from humble coffeehouse beginnings to become one of Binghamton's premier dining destinations. It's a place with great atmosphere and would not be out of place in a big city. The Vodka Rigatoni is the best I've had, anywhere, and I highly recommend the desserts, particularly the Geisha (fried cheesecake bites with various dipping sauces). It's a fun place that also has strong appeal to vegetarians and vegans. Certainly it's one of the best restaurants in Binghamton!

Mad Moose Saloon: I have not had much luck at the Mad Moose, food-wise. I did not care for their Pork BBQ, and their much-ballyhooed wood-fired pizza was tragically average when I tried it out. Still, its atmosphere is one of the best in the area, a huge space and a fun place to hang out if State St. isn't your thing.

Nezuntoz: I think Nezuntoz is one of the best lunch spots in Binghamton, reminiscent of the sorts of places you'd find 50 miles to the northwest in the hippie haven known as Ithaca. Offering a wide selection of sandwiches, wraps, bagels (fresh every day courtesy of Ithaca Bakery), and gourmet coffee beverages, Nezuntoz is one of the best places I've found since I started Tasting Binghamton!

Number 5: Number 5, ahhh. This is a place we've been to a number of times, but have not reviewed yet. It's a pricey place that we usually reserve for special occasions. The Stuffed Greek Tenderloin is quite possibly the best steak dinner you're going to find in Binghamton. This is truly a fine dining experience the likes of which you won't find at too many places in the area.

Sake-Tumi: Offering very good sushi in a swanky environment at pretty reasonable prices, sake-tumi is a great addition to Downtown Binghamton. Expect slow service, but impeccably-crafted, good-quality sushi rolls. I haven't tried any of their Asian-fusion entrees, but some of them look very interesting. Perhaps I'll need to make another visit soon...

Tranquil Bar & Bistro: Another place we've been to but haven't yet reviewed, I absolutely loved Tranquil on my first visit there. Lo and behold, it's a real French restaurant in Binghamton, with perfectly prepared entrees with truly memorable presentation. The bone-in pork chop was excellent, but the English Toffee Pudding I had for dessert was probably the single best thing I've had to eat in Binghamton. Absolutely delicious. This might be Binghamton's best restaurant.

Whole In The Wall: Appealing to herbivores and health-minded carnivores alike, Whole In The Wall offers an array of Middle Eastern and Mediterranean fare. Honestly, I didn't care for it on my only visit there. It was just OK. But the Garlic Ball appetizer was positively awesome, and their pesto dishes are definitely worth trying out (even if they don't deserve the "best in the world" distinction). It's certainly a place I'd like to try again, but admittedly it's not tremendously high on my priority list.

And so there we have it: your 2010 Binghamton Restaurant Week participants! $8 for 3-course lunch, $20 for 3-course dinner. Tough to beat those prices at some of these places! Happy eating and I'm sure we'll make it to at least one of these destinations that week ourselves!

Website: Binghamton Restaurant Week

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  1. Dan, Wow.....sorry to hear about your experience at Whole in the Wall Restaurant. I've been a partner there since 1990 and just love the food. Perhaps you were there on an off-night.....?? As for the pesto, we just returned from the largest garlic festival on the east coast in Saugerties, NY where we sold close to 2000 units of pesto in two days.....many people claiming it really is the "best pesto in the universe" ;)
    I'd be happy to send you a gift certificate for the restaurant and send you home with a couple packs of pesto if you'd like to give us another try.
    Again, sorry to hear about your experience at Whole in the Wall Restaurant.....hope you will consider the offer.
    All the best,
    Stacey Gould, Jr. Partner
    Whole in the Wall Restaurant
    43 South Wasington Street
    Binghamton, NY 13903

  2. Stacey, sorry it took so long to get back to you. We really appreciate your generous offer, but we're not interested in receiving any free stuff or special treatment from any restaurant. But...we decided to try out Whole in the Wall again for dinner last night, and it was a much better experience. Expect a full review to appear on the blog either today or tomorrow! Thanks again!



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