Spring has finally arrived in Rochester and people are already complaining that it's too damn hot. Durand Eastman Beach isn't even open yet, but people are already flocking there to submerge at least half their body in the still frigid Lake Ontario and soak up that crucial Vitamin D that we don't get enough of for most of the year. The temperature is always cooler by the water and luckily Rochester and the surrounding areas have plenty of water-adjacent restaurants where you can grab a seat on the patio and complain that it's too cold. CITY has rounded up just a few of these waterside restaurants. Name your favorite spot in the comments!
If you're heading to Webster, there are two places on Lake Road that will satisfy your waterfront dining needs -- but remember that you can't get there from the Irondequoit Bay outlet bridge as it's closed for the season.
Having grown up in Webster, I've been going to The Bayside Pub (279 Lake Road) since I was a teenager, but now I can afford more than French fries and a soda. The pub has an extensive patio and is a favorite haunt for boaters to dock and grab a bite to eat. On Sundays and Mondays you can order the Clam Shack Platter ($15.99) that gets you a pound of clams, a quarter pound of Andouille sausage, shrimp, corn on the cob, and salt potatoes. The outdoor grill is fired up on Wednesdays for barbeque specials like a half rack of ribs and chicken -- other options for grilled fare are available all summer long. Wash it all down with a cold Three Heads Too Kind IPA or another of the available draft or bottle selections. The Bayside Pub is open Monday through Thursday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 9 p.m. The bar is open until midnight with the exception of Friday and Saturday when it is open until 2 a.m. baysidepubwebster.com.
Just a bit down Lake Road you'll find Castaways on the Lake (244 Lake Road). Not only does Castaways have tons of outdoor tables, there's also an inviting row of Adirondack chairs right near the water so you can grab a drink from the bar and chill the eff out. The menu is extensive but the restaurant is well known for its Blackened Prime Rib ($32-$71, depending on the size of the cut) and its seafood. Steamed littleneck clams, steamed Cajun crawfish, and seafood bisque are all on the menu. Paired with a dirty martini (the filthier the better, make it taste like the ocean!), it sounds like an ideal afternoon on the water to me. Castaways is open Monday through Thursday from 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 10 p.m. castawaysonthelake.com.
Aladdin's (8 Schoen Place) has been a staple for Mediterranean food in Rochester since 1980, and the Pittsford location has the added bonus of being situated right on the Erie Canal. The upstairs patio is a favorite spot of mine to dive into the vegetarian combo platter ($10.25 for choice of three, $12.25 for four). I typically go with the hummus, falafel, dolmades, and spanakopita and pair it with a glass of white wine. Aladdin's at Schoen Place is open Monday and Tuesday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Wednesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 9 p.m. myaladdins.com.
If you're sticking around the city, there are a couple of places I would recommend to catch great views of the mighty Genesee River. The outdoor terrace of the Genesee Brew House (25 Cataract Street) offers views of High Falls and the Genesee River Gorge -- a great place to tuck into one of the giant Bavarian pretzels ($10) served with either beer mustard, beer cheese sauce, or maple bacon peanut butter sauce. The Genesee Ruby Red Kolsch is, in my opinion, the official the drink of the spring/summer, and the brewery is currently preparing another giant batch since the first sold out in record time. The Brew House hours are Sunday through Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Thursday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. geneseebeer.com/brewhouse.
The patio at Pane Vino on the River (175 North Water Street) also offers views of the Genesee while you enjoy lunch or dinner. In addition to seafood and steak specials the menu features Italian classics like Escarole and Beans and Spaghetti Carbonara. The Spicy Sicilian Calamari ($15) combines flash fried calamari with roasted red peppers, Kalamata olives, pepperoncini, scallions, basil, and Asiago cheese. On the cocktail menu you'll find the Sunday Sauce made with basil vodka (infused in-house), organic tomato juice, fresh herbs and spices, and garnished with a mini meatball. If you want something on the lighter side, I recommend the 175 Martini, made with Hendricks Gin, St. Germain, lemon juice, and topped with Champagne. Pane Vino on the River is open for lunch Monday through Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dinner hours are Monday through Wednesday from 5 to 9 p.m., Thursday through Saturday from 5 to 10 p.m., and Sunday from 4 to 9 p.m. panevinoontheriver175.com.
If you're planning to take dad out on the town for Father's Day, you've got options:
Genesee Brew House (25 Cataract Street) will host a Father's Day BBQ in the Beer Garden on Sunday, June 17, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Dad gets a complimentary pint of beer and $30 will get you all-you-can-eat BBQ classics including smoked chicken wings, brisket, pulled pork, and corn on the cob. $15 for kids 12 and under. The first seating is from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and the second is from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Purchase tickets here.
Unter Biergarten (120 East Avenue) will also host an all-you-can-eat Father's Day BBQ from noon to 5 p.m. Tickets are $25 for adults and $15 for kids 12 and under. unterbiergarten.com.
Head over to Casa Larga (2287 Turk Hill Road) on Father's Day for Donuts with Dads from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. The winery will offer a donut and wine pairing with $5 tickets for dads and $7 each for other family members. Purchase tickets at casalarga.com.
Hearth and Cellar will host a Thanks, Dad dinner at Lento (274 North Goodman Street) on Father's Day from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Dads pay only half price on the $50 admission, with the caveat that they bring a photo of their offspring. The four-course dinner will include some of Chef Gabriel's dad's favorite dishes. Beer and wine will be available for purchase or bring your own bottle of wine for a $15 corkage fee. Purchase tickets here.
Jetty at the Port (1000 North River Street) is now open for lunch and dinner.
Chow Hound is a food and restaurant news column. Do you have a tip? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.