Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Richardson's Canal House, Pittsford, NY

Restaurant Review by Jennifer Kumar.

Richardson's Canal House is located on the Erie Canal in Bushnell's Basin near to Pittsford, New York. The bright yellow building is situated cozily between the canal and the one way bridge on Marsh Road while still somewhat visible from the main road, Route 96- Pittsford-Victor Road.

The building itself is quite old, I guess over 200 years old. It was originally used for a hotel for the canal travelers. (Currently, the entire building is used exclusively as a restaurant, overnight guests are not permitted.) Back then the canal boats did not have motors, so mules pulled the boats. Two mules would pull the boat on one side of the canal (the reason there is a canal trail near the side of the canal) and two would be resting on the boat. This canal house could be considered like a modern-day truck stop- a place to rest (or for the mules, refuel their energy) for mules and people alike, eat, and have a place to sleep for the night.

Today people don't sleep overnight in this building, it is used only for short visits to eat tasty meals. They have tried to keep the original layout of the building. We had gone for my birthday and we had reservations. We had a room upstairs all to ourselves. Inside the room was a large table, with two chairs on either end. Along one wall were old style wooden chairs, along the other a 'love seat' and a chair. The room decor also seemed to be of old world style. The walls were ornately painted with colorful and decorative borders.

Though the menu did not have any vegetarian options for appetisers, the chef made us two custom orders- one a stuffed portabello mushroom, the other a stuffed red capsicum (bell pepper). Both were tasty, but I liked the mushroom more. Inside the red pepper was a berry of some type. I don't remember the berry but it was slightly chewy and hard but was not sweet. Both had some cheese and a nice light sauce on them.

The main course was also very good. I had potato gnocchi (which was originally a side dish to a chicken meal, but was specially made for me as a main dish), and hubby had the stuffed homemade ravioli. As I pictured it, gnocchi was piled high with tomato sauce. Though the gnocchi was good, I could not finish the whole thing for two reasons, one I got full, and two it was monotonous, so I boxed the remainder and had it for a full lunch the next day. Hubby's ravioli was also very tasty, but there were only five pieces I believe. Each piece was about four or five inches long and up to 2 inches at it's widest. They were not thick, but the filling was very filling. It had a sauce on it, but I can't remember it.

We were both so stuffed that we forgone the dessert until our next visit. Maybe if we come again, we can come in the summer and sit outside along the Erie Canal!

Being an upscale restaurant, this is no cheap eat. Each appetiser was $10 a piece (actually that was not a bad deal considering each was hand crafted, and each a meal in themselves), and the two main dishes were $19 a piece. This price seems a bit high, but honestly if they were home made, I am not sure the work that goes into making each of these dishes. We had coffee to drink at $5 for two.

**It seems the menu changes on a weekly basis for this location, so maybe on other weeks there are more vegetarian options than others.

To find/contact
Richardson's Canal House
1474 Marsh Rd
Pittsford, NY 14534
(585) 248-5000
Directions to Richardson's Canal House

Tags: "erie canal","canal side","eat by the water""bushnell's basin""restaurant review",“Restaurant Reviews”,” Rochester, New York Restaurant Reviews”,” Rochester, NY Restaurant Reviews”,” Rochester Restaurant Reviews”

Monday, May 5, 2008

The Palace of Dosas, Amherst, NY

Restaurant Review by Jennifer Kumar.

Whenever we go to Buffalo, New York, we have found our mainstay must have tasty treats at Palace of Dosas. You can read about our last two visits on Dec. 15, 2007 and February 17, 2008.

For appetizer we had the mixed vegetable platter with aloo bonda, vada, idli, onion bajji and other various vegetable fritters along with sambar and coconut chutney. I had the sambar vada (or as listed in their menu Vadai with Sambar). I also took up the idli from the mixed plate and had a meal in the appetizers! The vadas are really big- they are at least 2.5 times the size the ones I make at home! I liked the sambar. Seemed they may use the frozen mixed vegetables (hope I am wrong, but the cut and texture is same as the mixed frozen vegetables) and a few authentic south Indian vegetables. One seemed like a potato but I am forgetting the name of it, as it is not a potato. But, to my surprise there were no curry leaves in the sambar. I was curious about that!

** Regarding the appetiser in our last visit we did have the aloo bonda and remembered we did not like it so much. This time, hubby says they have improved on the taste of the bonda and he enjoyed it very much.

For the main course I had a butter masala dosa. I was somewhat pleased with it. The side of dosa that goes on the grill was finely browned, but the other side did not seem to have been put on the griddle, it was white and also not fully cooked in the thicker parts. I also did not get such a butter or ghee taste. Maybe this comes more with the ghee roast, which is a paper thin dosa? The masala potatoes inside I could not begin to eat as I was stuffed. I did have an additional side of mullagai podi (spice and dhal powder with oil) with the dosai in addition to the sambar and chutney that come with the dosa. The mullagai podi was very tasty as it was spicy but not too hot spicy.

My husband got the aloo poori which is potato curry with puffed deep fried breads. He liked the pooris but did not think the potatoes were tasting as they should. He also could not finish the potatoes. We took the potatoes home and will have them in our upcoming meals. We were interested to see, though the potato curry for the dosa and the poori aloo were two different potatoes, so that is good!

Totalling the bill, for the sambar vada, mixed vegetable platter, aloo poori and ghee masala dosa plus tip it was $30.35 ($3.00 tip). We prefer to drink water with our meal.

Don't miss the complementary rasam that is served with the meal. It's a must have!!

I should also not that now that I have learned to make dosa and idli, it's not as fun for me to go out for dosa or idli. I'd like to see other south Indian stuff out there, but anyhow south Indian restaurants being few and far between I shouldn't complain.

As an added benefit- this is a great place for Indian students on SUNY Buffalo campus to try when tired of the Indian fare found on the commons at "Bollywood Bistro" (which we have yet to try) or those pining for South Indian food in Buffalo. It's a must visit!

To find/contact
Palace of Dosas
656 Millersport Hwy
Amherst, NY 14226
(716) 834-1800
Directions to The Palace of Dosas

Photo Credit: Krishna Kumar

tags: "south indian restaurant buffalo new york"."south indian buffalo",buffalo-new-york, indian, restaurant review, south-indian,"vegetarian buffalo"