The last few years have seen the rapid expansion of the craft beer market, and a similar trend has begun with hard ciders. Supermarkets like Wegmans and smaller businesses such as Nathaniel Corner Store now carry a wide selection of ciders — and most bars and restaurants have at least one cider available. Patrick Jaouen and Sam Conjerti noticed this trend and opened Mullers Cider House (1344 University Avenue), the only cider bar in upstate New York.
Jaouen and Conjerti met through music: Jaouen is a producer and singer-songwriter that has also worked in the food industry for years, and Conjerti writes and produces music and does licensing for television shows. The two bonded over a mutual appreciation for cider. Before long, they started doing some research on who was selling it and where. "Cider in France is on par with wine, so I've always had an appreciation for it," says Jaouen, whose family is from Quimper, France.
Mullers Cider House has 11 to 12 ciders on tap at any given time and nearly 100 varities in bottles. Every cider on draft is from New York State, including local selections from Blue Toad Cider. Half of the bottles are a mix of mostly New York and domestic ciders, while the other half are imported from European countries like France, Ireland, and Scotland. The cider house serves a selection of panini, soups, salads, and charcuterie, and the bread is sourced locally from Baker Street Bakery. "Initially we weren't able to source everything locally," Jaouen says, "but our goal is to switch to all local or Upstate New York products."
On the appetizer menu is The Piggery: Pate ($8), a blend of pork liver and pork fat with black pepper and spices, and served with Baker Street crusty bread. Gluten-free bread is also available upon request. Seasonal Kettle Corn ($5) is also on the menu; the business has a custom-made kettle corn machine that can be used indoors, and the menu has been featuring flavors like apple cinnamon, and debuting in February, strawberries and cream.
Four, 5-ounce flights are available for tasting from any of the draft ciders. If you're new to the cider game, the bartenders are more than willing to help find a cider that matches with your taste. "Cider is a happy medium between beer and wine," Conjerti says. "There's something for everyone."
Mullers Cider House is located at 1344 University Avenue, Suite 180, and is open Monday through Thursday, 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.; Friday, 5 p.m. to 12 a.m.; Saturday, 12 p.m. to 12 a.m.; and Sunday, 1 p.m. to 9 p.m. 287-5875. For more information visit mullersciderhouse.com.
A Dogfish Head food and beer pairing dinner will take place at Johnny's Pub & Grill (1382 Culver Road) on Thursday, January 28, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Each course will be paired with a selection from Dogfish Head's roster of beers. Reservations are $35 and can be made by calling 224-0990.
Have you ever had a beer cocktail? They are refreshing and delicious. Learn how to make them on Tuesday, February 2, 6 p.m., at The Daily Refresher (293 Alexander Street). Don Cotter from Naked Dove Brewing Company will make six different beer cocktails with a selection of Naked Dove beers. Appetizers and an informative lecture on cocktail history round out the evening. Tickets are $43 and can be purchased by searching for the event name at eventbrite.com.
The winter schedule at Wegmans Menu Cooking School (3195 Monroe Avenue) includes classes ranging from chef's favorite desserts to treats from south of the border. Coming up on February 3, there is Taste of Asia: Hot Pot Happening from 6 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. Learn how to make Chinese Hot Pot, as well as Asian-Spiced Chuck Roast and Pork Pot Stickers among others. Tickets are $65 per person and can be purchased at wegmans.com.
Apparently Rochestarians love their homemade vegan cheese because the class at the Rochester Brainery that teaches you how to make it consistently sells out. Get ahead of the game and enroll for the March 10 class, which takes place 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Sign up for the $25 class at rochesterbrainery.com. Down with dairy!
Following up from the previous Chow Hound, The Playhouse/Swillburger has obtained its liquor license — so prepare for classic arcade game battle with a beer in your hand.
Starry Nites Café has opened a second location in the Bausch and Lomb Public Library Building (115 South Avenue).
Big Jay's Pizza (340 Thurston Road) has opened in Thurston Village.
The Blossom Road Pub (198 North Winton Road) has opened in the space formerly occupied by Winton Bar & Grill.
Dhaba (159 West Main Street, Webster) has closed.
The Brighton location of Yolickity (2600 Elmwood Avenue) has closed.
Dragon Sweetie (389 Gregory Street) is now closed.
Chow Hound is a food and restaurant news column. Do you have a tip? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.