Peanut butter and jelly; fish and chips; beer and pizza; wine and cheese. Wine and food, period. Wine tastes better when it’s partnered with good food. That’s the driving force behind the new small plates menu at Owera Vineyards in Cazenovia.
Owera, which opened in 2013, has a stunning tasting room with a long, rustic wood bar, windows overlooking the wine-making facility and a corner cafe area with a wood-fired pizza oven. Until earlier this month, the food offerings were limited to mostly brick oven artisan pizza. Customers were asking for more, says marketing manager Katie Meehan.
In April, Robert Potter joined Owera as executive chef. He comes to Owera from the TS Steakhouse at Verona’s Turning Stone Resort and Casino. One of Potter’s first tasks was to develop a new small plates menu that spotlights Owera’s own grass-fed beef, as well as produce and herbs grown on site.
The menu is small, with a few items designed for sharing. There’s an artisan cheese board, for example, and a Mediterranean board with hummus, tzatziki, olives and house-roasted marinated red peppers, served with warm pita bread. Small plates include beet chips (crispy, deep-fried beet rounds, topped with honey goat cheese) and steak crostini topped with garlic-herb cheese spread, arugula and Owera’s own steak.
Foundation for the crostini is bread from Rise, a Cazenovia bakery that bakes its boules, ciabatta and other specialty breads at Owera. The beef also shows up in a braised beef selection, served with polenta. It also will be used in seasonal offerings and specials.
Later this summer, the gazpacho (a chilled, tomato soup) will feature tomatoes from Owera’s garden. Enjoy it on its own, with a garden salad or with a plate of Rise bread, served with olive oil for dipping. The menu also features five pizzas, including a classic Margherita pizza (olive oil, tomatoes and fresh mozzarella, topped with basil and balsamic glaze) and a spicy meatball pizza with meatballs made with Owera’s beef.
Owera’s tasting room staff can suggest wine pairings. There’s also a selection of craft beers and hard cider on tap.
Owera Vineyards is at 5276 E. Lake Road, Cazenovia.
Tasting room and cafe hours are Wednesday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
For details: 815-4311 or visit oweravineyards.com
Keep on Food Truckin’
The New York Wine and Culinary Center in Canandaigua has added a food truck that can be found at events across the region and state this summer. The menu reflects the fare available at the center’s Upstairs Bistro, which spotlights seasonal and local foods.
Menu highlights include house-smoked barbecue pulled pork piled on a brioche roll; a PBLT panini (pork belly, lettuce and tomato); a Cuban sandwich made with roasted turkey and smoked pork belly, garnished with housemade pickles; and a marinated vegetable sandwich served on grilled pita.
The Upstairs Bistro Food Truck has been showing up at concerts and other events, as well as at wineries and breweries in the Finger Lakes. For a schedule of events and appearances, visit nywcc.com or keep track of the food truck on Facebook. The food truck is also available for private events.
Bakehouse Relocates to Drumlins
The Bakehouse takes the storefront spot in the center of the Drumlins building, a short walk from the restaurant. The menu features coffee, breads, scones, cupcakes, cookies and other baked goods, including the ever-popular bete noir (flourless chocolate) cake. The only thing missing from the former Fayetteville location is a cafe lunch menu.
Drumlins is at 800 Nottingham Road, DeWitt. Pascale Bakehouse is open daily, 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
For details: 446-8511, Ext. 365, or visit pascalebakehouse.com