hometown glory: syracuse, part 1 [4]

My roots lie deep in the soil of Syracuse. The shores of Onondaga Lake Park, wandering around Carousel Center, the Wegmans on 57. I haven’t lived in Syracuse since 2011, but coming around that curve on 81 North with the city out in front of me has always been one of my favorite views.Max and I have come through Syracuse a handful of times but never really had a lot of time to explore. So I had a pretty hefty list of things I wanted to do…and things I know I’ll miss once we get west.

We rolled in on Sunday and naturally after a long day of driving, I needed some pizza in my face. We went to Twin Trees, which might be the first time I’ve actually eaten at the new-ish Liverpool location (like I said…it’s been a while since I lived there). I am always looking for pizza that replicates the dough-sauce-cheese-toppings ratio and flavor of Twin Trees and the more places I’ve lived, the more convinced I am that Twin Trees is the only one.

Monday, Max and I decided to hit up some of the Cayuga Lake wineries. I have spent many a weekend in assorted wineries around New York – but never the Finger Lakes when I was of drinking age. Having lived in Northern Virginia wine country after growing up near the Finger Lakes and Niagara wine trails…I have a bit of an eclectic taste in wines, which guided our choices.

First up we went to Goose Watch, primarily because they’re the only winery in the area that does a viognier, a style I fell in love with in Virginia. Aside from the viognier, their Traminette, their Snow Goose (semi-sweet), and the Cabernet Franc Rose were our favorites. They were surprisingly busy for early afternoon on a Monday, but we were still able to enjoy some peace and quiet out on the porch overlooking the lake.

The tasting room was very rustic-cute.


And this wasn’t even the best view of the day!
After Goose Watch, we headed a couple miles south to Toro Run, which I chose since they advertised themselves as “Barcelona-style wine and tapas” and I am a SUCKER for manchego cheese and anything Barcelona. Most people feel about Paris the way I do about Barcelona – it is the number one place on my travel bucket list. And I thought the view at Goose Watch was great…and then we rolled up on this:
This is apparently the “widest and deepest” point of Cayuga Lake and it is STUNNING. Give me good wine and cheese and this view any day of the week. All of their wines were delicious – I loved their sparkling brut – but their claim to fame is a Pinot Meunier which you don’t see in the US very often. It was SO GOOD and I hope we can find some of it in California. Like I said, I have an eclectic taste when it comes to wine, and I always end up falling in love with hard to find styles.


From there we took a break and drove into Ithaca. My brother-in-law went to Ithaca College, so we went up to their campus and took some pictures to brag…err, let him know that we stopped by. ;). We finished our wine tour at Six Mile Creek Winery, just outside of Ithaca proper, which is also a distillery. We didn’t try any of the liquor, but all the wines were delicious! Their back porch providerd a beautiful view of a pond and the hills behind the property. It got a little cloudy but was still a beautiful day.
After we finished up at Six Mile Creek, we headed back into Syracuse to wind down a little before going to dinner at Pastabilities. If you are ever in Syracuse, Pasta’s is definitely on the must-eat list. I joke that “home is where the spicy tomato oil is”…but it’s true. I had the basil walnut pesto pasta, arguably my favorite item on their menu, and Max got chicken riggies – a Syracuse (Utica, really) classic. We ended up taking a whole baguette home with us. If we had more room in the car, I probably would have purchased a crate of the tomato oil…next time.
[to be continued…]

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