257 Genesee Street
Utica, NY 13501
I like to do bad reviews as much as I like to pay $100 for an inedible meal. Unfortunately that is exactly what I did last night so…I have to put my fork down on this one. Let’s begin.
The Good: The Wine
We walked into the newly opened Stone Cellar Wine Bar and Restaurant in Utica, NY. It was the happy hour and the crowd at the bar was young and professional. Jovial clusters of conversation exchanged in a warmly lit space. So far so good. We were there to eat so we opted to be seated in the bistro area just off the bar. We got a wine list and a couple of menus. Our options were a “bistro bites” menu or a dinner menu.
We started with the wine list. I opted to try the Cooralook Australian Pinot Gris ($7.50 a glass) which was delicious. Dry, bright, melon. Later, I tried the Caliterra Savignon Blanc ($6.00 a glass). According to the Caliterra website, the 2009 won a Silver Medal at the International Wine Challenge-UK in 2010. It was super- fruity -grapefruit right up front, which I love.
The Bad: The Food
Salt. Pepper. Heat. Three basic components to cooking, none of which were sucessfully applied to the preparation of our food.
The Lamb Lollipops with Mint Jelly, ($11.99). The is a “bistro bites” item, we ordered it medium rare. I love old school throwbacks like atomic green jarred mint jelly, so I was not put off that it was served with the lamb. However the Lollipops were raw and cold. Seared on the top and bottom but not cooked at all on the sides. Inedible, tasteless, baaad, lamb sushi.
The Butter, (free), comes with rolls. The butter is getting it’s own little shout out because it was a compound butter of garlic and brown sugar. Am I missing something here or did this taste as bad as you think it did?
The House Salad with Mango Yogurt House Dressing, (comes with meal). Iceburg lettuce (yawn) and mixed greens drenched in: Chiobani yogurt, heavy cream and mango preserves. It was at this time that I was noticing a pattern of bad choices. I wish I could say that I only blame myself.
Our main courses were the Poached Salmon with a Red Pepper Cream Sauce ($17.99) and the Beef au Poivre ($18.99). We ordered the risotto as a side. The Poached Salmon could have been a lovley dish, it was a decent piece of fish. But it was cold, unseasoned, and covered with a cold, tastless, sauce. The Beef au Poivre was a repeat of the fish, unseasoned and covered with a cold, tasteless, beige gravy, which entombed an overly generous handful of whole peppercorns.
The Risotto? Gummy and so undercooked that it was crunchy.
Why So Bad?
Here’s the deal… Our server who along with the wine was the only other positive in our experience said they opened 4 weeks ago, had some drawbacks with the kitchen and are going to be redoing the menu for Jan 2012.
I hope they make big changes with the food, right now the only thing I can reccomend is the wine and I can get that at home.