Welcome back to upstate New York.
The season is off to a beautiful start and we know people will be getting hungry after all the activities available around here. So here are our staff picks of local favorites.
One of my favorite places to eat is Alfresco’s in Oneonta. It’s an Italian restaurant with a homey atmosphere, wonderful staff and delicious food. My family’s favorite order is stromboli with salads and garlic bread. I love the house salads. They’re large, with a few kinds of greens, and come with tomato, ham, onion and garnish. I always get the Russian dressing, but they offer lemon vinaigrette, warm poppy seed, ranch, and creamy Italian. Because I always fill up on the salad, I save the garlic bread for later because it is amazing. The bread is crispy with lots of butter and garlic. Alfresco’s is a great place my family has gone to for years to both eat in and for takeout.
It’s been cold and rainy and we weren’t particularly in the mood to dine out. So, what a nice surprise I had when I was going to the boutique at Sam Smith’s Boatyard/The Blue Mingo and found The Mingo Market, a brand new market that has something for everyone! Doing keto? Check out the one net carb buns in the freezer section. Hard to find those anywhere. I grabbed one of the frozen “to-go” heat and serve entrees there. I chose the lasagna and it was creamy and delicious…and I didn’t have to cook it myself! Picked up a couple of fresh ready-made salads as well. I almost got the lobster pot pie that was next to the meatloaf. I’ll save those for next time. And if you’ve got a hankerin’ for glass-bottle milk, they carry Dygert and the chocolate sells out fast, so hurry. They have so many food items to choose from, and so many great gift ideas in the shop. I can’t wait to go back!
When people think of opening day and Cooperstown, they think of baseball. My family, being food motivated, thinks, “when does Jerry’s open for the season?” Jerry’s Restaurant, on state Routes 28/80 in the town of Otsego, is a seasonal burgers, sandwiches and ice cream place that locals like a lot. I know it becomes part of my family’s weekly rotation once it is open and we never completely fill the void when it closes in the fall. People love to sit outside and enjoy the food, but when you can sit inside and see the classic lunchboxes and play the video games, it is a lovely time, too. Going north (west) out of Cooperstown, Jerry’s is past the hamlet of Fly Creek, just before 80 and 28 split off, on the left side of the road. Most likely, you will notice it because someone else is turning into their lot, and if it is a nice day, by the crowd of people and cars around the property.
The hype about cold cheese pizza from Tino’s on Main Street in Oneonta is real but also not exaggerated. I came there on a Saturday to get food for the UFC fights and ended up going twice since, always for the same thing: two slices of cold cheese and a root beer. There are even outdoor chairs and tables if you feel like eating in the warm summer air, which I could not blame you if you did.
If you’re really looking for a kick, their oven roasted wings are also delicious. To top it off, order buffalo balls with blue cheese and zeppolis for dessert. Both are satisfying in their flavor and sweetness respectively.
Alex’s World Bistro is revamping their menu and working on opening up for inside dining, but for now they still have all your favorites on the menu. I had the Korean BBQ Steak with sweet potato glass noodles, carrot ginger kimchi, roasted shiitakes and endive. Husband had Jamaican 24-hour Slow Roasted Goat Curry with plantains, corn salsa and yucca fries. We shared the little Chocolate Port Thing and it was the perfect end to a delicious dinner. I can’t wait until we can all comfortably sit together in Alex’s quaint little space. In the meantime, this works too!