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The Five-Point Weekend Escape Plan

Graze on Artisanal Cheeses in the Finger Lakes


2. Where to Eat

Pumpkin Hill Bistro serves rib-sticking dishes in a cozy farmhouse.  

Tuck into bistro-style dishes like mussels spiked with spicy red curry and ginger ($9.50) or roasted beet salad piled with local goat cheese ($8.50) at Moro’s Table in Auburn. Chef Ed Moro made his name as the head chef at Mirbeau Inn & Spa, but he opened this informal, convivial space two years ago with a globe-spanning menu that also includes shrimp and grits and sushi, along with a wine list featuring a rotating selection from Finger Lakes vineyards.

Book an early table for sunset apertifs on the veranda at Suzanne Fine Regional Cuisine, James Beard–honored chef Suzanne Stack’s homey restaurant dedicated to all things local. Depending on the season, the menu might include asparagus soup with Lively Run goat cheese ($8) or seared New York State free-range duck breast ($27), as well as pours from rising-star wineries like Fox Run, King's Garden, and Shalestone. For a great deal, consider ordering the five-course tasting menu ($49, additional $25 for wine pairing).

Settle into the folksy farmhouse atmosphere — wooden rafters hung with dried herbs, wide plank floors, bouquets in flowerpots — at Pumpkin Hill Bistro & Vineyard (closed Sundays; open through mid-October), set in a classic whitewashed Greek Revival home behind a white picket fence. Feast on hearty comfort foods like chicken potpie and burgers loaded with local cheddar, portobello mushrooms, and caramelized onions (from $8.95), then take a glass of Cayuga Lake Reisling out to the manicured lawn and watch the stars from your Adirondack chair.

Published on Sep 21, 2012 as a web exclusive.

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