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Top 10 CNY Restaurants (2014 Edition)

Photo May 02, 6 22 55 PMAbout 18 months ago, I wrote a list of my top 10 CNY restaurants. These were not necessarily the restaurants that I thought were the best, but the one’s that I would go to if I had to build a permanent rotation of places to dine.

Since I posted that list, much has changed in the CNY food scene. One of the restaurants, Circa, has closed. Last week Gentile’s, loved my many in this area, shut its doors. A new version of The Krebs is open in Skaneateles at the end of August.

As we approach fall and begin our CNY hibernation (coming out only for food and SU basketball), I thought I would update the list. These are not necessarily the best restaurants in town or really even my 10 favorites. This list represents the permanent rotation of the area’s 10 best restaurants that I would go to exclusively (in no particular order):

  • Moro’s Table, Auburn [website]. The alpha and the omega. If money were no object…
  • Asti Caffe, Syracuse [website]. The best red sauce restaurant* in Syracuse.
  • Pastabilities, Syracuse [website]. Great for lunch. Good for dinner. The second best red sauce in town*.
  • Dinosaur Barbque, Syracuse [website]. Their bad days are a lot better than my good days. Remember, it’s not the 10 best, but the 10 that I would go to exclusively if forced to pick.
  • The Mission, Syracuse [website]
  • Otro Cinco, Syracuse [website]
  • Zabroso, Oneida [website]. The past three restaurants are distinctly different takes on Latin-American/Spanish food. The Mission is Mexican/Pan-American; Otro is a Spanish/Mexican hybrid; and Zabroso is Spanish. All three are wonderful.
  • Laci’s Tapas Bar, Syracuse [website]. Eclectic and fun. One of the area’s best dining experiences.
  • Ironwood, Manlius [website]. Good pizza. Good beer. Really, I’m easy to please.
  • The Restaurant at Elderberry Pond, Auburn [website]. An impossible car ride to get there, but farm-to-table begins and ends there.

*Angotti’s is not the best restaurant in town, nor is it the best red sauce restaurant in Syracuse. But it has long been a gathering spot for my family. It’s like my kitchen away from home. It doesn’t make this list because it transcends this list. And because I can almost always get a table.

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Moro’s Table, Auburn, N.Y. (II)

IMG_3008Our first trip to Moro’s Table was more than two years ago, which means that plenty of time has passed between visits to write about it. The Kid is a pretty big barrier to getting back to a place like this, as is a total lack of planning. Every time we have tried to get a reservation here, a lack of advance planning — defined as more than three days — has precluded us from getting a table.

The changes to Moro’s Table have been slight and primarily to the menu. It’s narrower than before. Previously, 10 or so main courses highlighted a menu of a dozen sushi rolls and as many appetizers. Our visit on a recent Saturday night presented a seasonally-adjusted menu of six entrees (all but one available as a small or large plate), four sushi rolls and five appetizers, plus salads and four different preparations of mussels.

The completely full dining room was dimly lit and full of chatter. Our waitress was outgoing and understanding of my desire to not have any attention drawn to my birthday. A moderately-priced but impressive wine list was skipped in lieu of a pomegranate martini for The Wife, an Ommegang Rare Vos for me, and a Coors Light for The Aunt.

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