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The Tip Jar

Upcoming Rochester dining events


Once springtime hits, the Chow Hound tip jar overfloweth, so it's time to make some room in there for the rest of the season. Whether you're looking for somewhere to take mom for Mother's Day or just want to fill up the weekend calendar, we've got you covered.

New York Wine and Culinary Center's Upstairs Bistro is open for the season, and has new hours. The bistro will be open Tuesday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Friday and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; and for brunch on Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Just in time for the Lilac Festival, Black Button Distilling will release its Lilac Gin on Friday, May 12. This is a limited release, with just 4,000 bottles produced, and will be available for purchase starting at 11 a.m. at the Black Button Distilling Tasting Room (85 Railroad Street). If you've ever wanted to try making your own gin (bathtub not needed), Black Button will host a Craft Your Own Gin class on Saturday, May 13, at the distillery. Two sessions: 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Tickets are $50 and can be purchased at (search for "Master Gin Crafting Class").

The Cider Creek Brew Fest will take place on Saturday, May 13, at the cidery in Canisteo, New York (6459 Cunningham Creek Road). VIP hours start at 4 p.m. and general admission entry is at 5 p.m. More than 40 craft breweries and cideries will be represented, and there will be food trucks, live music, and a fireworks show to cap it all off. VIP tickets are sold out, but you can still get general admission tickets for $40. Designated driver tickets are also available for $10. More information at

Genesee Brewing Company is floating fermentation tanks down the Erie Canal from Albany. If you want to watch them float in, they're coming into Rochester May 18. - ILLUSTRATION BY RYAN WILLIAMSON
  • Genesee Brewing Company is floating fermentation tanks down the Erie Canal from Albany. If you want to watch them float in, they're coming into Rochester May 18.

Low bridge, everybody down! Genesee Brewing will be transporting 12 giant fermentation tanks along the good old Erie Canal starting in Albany on May 12. Genesee hopes that people will come out to watch the tanks pass by, raise a Genny, and post a pic on social media with the hashtag #TOASTTHETANKS. The tanks will pass through Utica on May 15, Syracuse on May 16, and end up in Rochester on May 18. More information can be found on the brewery's Facebook page,

Joe Bean Coffee Roasters (1344 University Avenue) starts its new monthly event, Saturday Night Family Meal, on May 13 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. The theme for May will be Foraged Fest, hosted by Emily Hessney, the founder of I Heart Roc. Menu highlights include wilted dandelion greens in anchovy and black pepper, and braised rabbit with fiddlehead fern, onion, and prunes. Tickets are $35 per person and $8 for table wine. Reservations are required and can be made by emailing

Mother's Day and brunch go hand in hand, so here are a few local places that will assist in making sure there is a mimosa in mom's hand.

Lento (274 North Goodman Street) will be doing a Mother's Day brunch from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday, May 14. Menu highlights include the Lento fish plate with house-smoked wild Alaskan salmon and spice-crusted tuna, served with dark rye bread, house-cultured cream cheese, and garnishes ($18), and the Croque "Mama," a griddled house-smoked ham and Swiss cheese sandwich with Mornay sauce and a fried egg ($14). Call 271-3470 or visit to make a reservation.

Amaya Indian Cuisine (1900 South Clinton Avenue) will hold a Mother's Day buffet brunch from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Moms will receive a gift certificate to use at Amaya on future visits. Adults pay $19.95 and children under 12 eat for half price. Call 241-3223 or visit to make a reservation.

Barry's Old School Irish Pub (2 West Main Street, Webster) will also have a Mother's Day buffet from 8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. The buffet will feature homemade scones, corned beef hash, and pancakes with Guinness syrup. The price is $15 for adults and $7 for kids.

If dessert and wine is more of mom's thing, Hedonist Artisan Chocolates (674 South Avenue) is hosting a free Mother's Day Chocolate Pairing from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and it's sampling a new Wildflower chocolate collection. Casa Larga (2287 Turk Hill Road) is holding a Mother's Day Wine and Wine-Infused Cookie Pairing from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The winery has teamed up with Finger Lakes Cookie Company and will feature three wine-infused cookies and wine flight pairings. Tickets are $10 per person and $7 for mom.

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