Joseph Cipolla, owner and executive chef of The Kitchen and now The Lounge, says he and his team "want to create the whole night out."
"I like to create things that relate to my own life," Cipolla says. "My wife and I get all dressed up for a night out, and when dinner is over we want a place we can go for a cocktail after with a friendly relaxed atmosphere." The Lounge — located at 9 South Main Street, right next door to The Kitchen, in the Village of Pittsford — opened in November and aims to fit that after-dinner niche with classic cocktails and tapas.
The menu is influenced by tapas restaurants in Spain, where "you can sit down and try 10 different items, and you don't feel like you can't move after," Cipolla says.
Cipolla orders his seafood from Browne Trading Company — which supplies product to top restaurants such as Le Bernardin in New York City and Blue Hill at Stone Barns — for dishes like the smoked trout rillette ($10), which is served with a dill-mint pesto on pumpernickel bread. The Lounge also serves oysters on the half shell (market price) surrounded by a bubble of hickory smoke.
The menu won't change as often as The Kitchen, but will keep with that restaurant's philosophy of using as many local ingredients as possible. Cipolla taps McCann's Local Meats for some of his products. The charcuterie board ($12) features house cured bacon, speck duck confit, and pork belly "scrapple."
The cocktails ($10) at The Lounge may appear classic by name, but incorporate unique spins. The Scotch & Water, for example, mixes Deanston Scotch, coconut rum, Amaro Meletti, pineapple, nutmeg, citrus, and egg white. The Straight Up combines Bloom Gin, basil, lime, ginger, cucumber, and rosewater.
Renovations are still being made to the restaurant's kitchen; Cipolla is looking to expand the menu after the New Year. The Lounge's interior was designed for a modern look, with artwork and lighting fixtures by local artist Rocky Greco. Plans for a cozy, outdoor patio with a vine-covered pergola are in motion for the spring. Unlike The Kitchen, no reservations are necessary at The Lounge.
The Lounge is located at 9 South Main Street in Pittsford, and is open Tuesday through Saturday, 5 p.m. to 12 a.m. 310-2467; thekitchenpittsford.com.
If you haven't made your New Year's Eve plans yet, there are plenty of options to choose from including events with live music:
The Angry Goat (938 South Clinton Avenue) is holding a New Year's Eve masquerade party. Tickets are $50 and include hors d'oeuvres, a champagne toast at midnight, door prizes, and music from DJ Kid Ridicarus.
The Daily Refresher (293 Alexander Street) is hosting Arrivederci 2016! starting at 6 p.m. A special cocktail menu will be available, as well as live music and champagne toast.
Joe Bean Coffee Roasters (1344 University Avenue) will have live music by Lost Wax and DJ Tim Tones and the kitchen will be open until 1 a.m., featuring new menu items like tacos and flat bread pizzas. Tickets are $15 and include a complimentary midnight toast.
ORBS Restaurant and Bar (758 South Avenue) will celebrate New Year's with dinner and drink specials (glasses of bubbly drop in price every hour), and the kitchen will be open until 11 p.m. Call 471-8569 to make a reservation.
After all that champagne consumption on New Year's Eve, you'll probably need to drag yourself out of bed and head to Char Steak and Lounge (550 East Avenue, in the Strathallan) for the Grand New Year's Day Brunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. $48 per person gets you bottomless mimosas and Bloody Marys, live music from the Laura Dublin Trio, and an all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet. Make a reservation by calling 241-7100.
The 3300 Café & Grille (3300 Monroe Avenue) has opened in the space formerly occupied by Corner Bakery Café.
East End Tavern has opened at 37 Charlotte Street.
Café 35 (400 Jefferson Road) is now open. The menu has a Turkish and European influence, with traditional American dishes as well.
Chow Hound is a food and restaurant news column. Do you have a tip? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.