This week, I took a brief business trip South of the Border. About once a month or so, I meet up with my business partner, Mike, who lives in Vermont. Turning Stone Resort and Casino in Upper New York State, is approximately halfway between our locations, so it is the place that we most often meet. Often, we stay at the hotel in the casino, when prices are favourable. Lately, we have discovered that there is a hotel called The Inn at Turning Stone, owned and operated by the resort which is located just 1/2 mile down the road. Its rates are currently much more attractive ($58.50 per night with CAA discount), and thus, this time, we opted to stay there. This also meant that we were not enticed to limit our selection of restaurant to those located on site, most of which are merely mediocre.
Several years ago now, we operated a consulting business with Syracuse as its base and thus we are familiar with the area and some of its better and worse dining establishments. One of our perennial favourites had always been Joey’s Italian Restaurant located on Thompson Road in East Syracuse, just off Carrier Circle at exit 35 on the I90 thruway. We decided for old times sake that we would make the 20 minute drive from Turning Stone in Vernon and check it out.
First Impressions: The first thing that I noticed was that the exterior had been given a fresh lick of paint. This was a good omen! On the inside, nothing appeared to have changed much including the fact that the place was packed to the gills – on a Tuesday evening no less. We were told to expect a wait time of 15-20 minutes which seemed quite reasonable, so we took a seat at the bar. One thing out of the ordinary was that the bartender insisted on holding a credit card before allowing us to run a tab?! Within the allotted time, we were ushered to a pleasantly situated table by an amiable server.
What we ordered: Mike invariably orders the Veal Parmigan with spaghetti and meat sauce here and tonight was no exception. He also ordered a tomato-mozzarella salad to start which is another of his favourites. For myself, I ordered Veal and Shrimp Marsala over pasta with a side salad. I should warn you that portions here tend to be on the large side, so bear that in mind when you order. The salad and home-made italian dressing was a great start along with fresh, warm, crusty Italian bread served with whipped, herbed butter. I limited myself to two slices though I could easily have made a meal of just this! My shrimp and veal, sauteed with mushrooms and red peppers was delicious, although the pasta was, somewhat surprisingly, a little overcooked. I selected a glass of Dr. Loosen Riesling to accompany my meal and was very happy with the choice.
I saved a little space, because I recalled that desserts here were out of the ordinary. From the fairly exhaustive list on offer, I selected a White & Dark Chocolate Torte which was melt-in-the-mouth delicious. Somewhat unusually for me, I finished the meal off with a decaf Capuccino which which is often a risky thing to do. Once more, Joey’s did not disappoint.
Our bill, for the two of us was around $90US, which I consider to be really reasonable in light of the quality of the food. If you just happen to be in the area, I would heartily recommend that you pay Joey a visit!
|Where to cruise in Syracuse?|
Syracuse may not be the greatest city
In Upper New York, more’s the pity
But Joey’s will improve your mood
If you’re looking for good food
‘cos his cuisine is more than just pretty…