CurAte Logo

Upcoming EventsPrior Events
CurAte logo variant for French Quarter Cafe

July 21, 2021

CurAted for Rochester by Food About Town

French Quarter Cafe

+

The CurAte dinner party this week was brought to you by French Quarter Cafe located on Spring St just off of 490. French Quarter features the cuisine of New Orleans and some other regional comfort food classics. This has been a staple of the community for quite a long time and the go to spot when you’re craving that spice and savory punch.

This meal was selected by the head chef and featured dishes that define the term comfort food. Customers dove into catfish strips and hot style chicken along with a classic version of jambalaya. Sides of coleslaw, collards, and sweet potato casserole rounded things out and we know you were satisfied with that impactful group!

With this selection there may have been a need to give the catfish and the hot chicken an extra blast of heat. We recommended that customes have an oven preheated to 350 °F and a wire rack ready to spread the food out on.

Make sure to check out French Quarter Cafe at 130 Spring Street for dinner in their stunning dining room or grab some takeout if you want to try these dishes again or explore more of one of America’s great regional cuisines.

For those that joined us for pickup we thank our friends at The Historic German House and hope you took advantage of our pairing purchase option on site!

  • Wine: I would recommend stopping by a quality wine shop and asking for a lighter bodied Rioja from Spain or a lightly oaked or stainless Cabernet franc if you’re staying local in the FLX. Both offer some notable balanced fruity flavors and should work well with the punchy flavor you’ll be jumping into tonight. You can find one from places like Parkway, Pinnacle or Baytowne or your favorite well stocked store.
  • Beer: Alongside a house beer option, we will be highlighting a fascinating beer from Strangebird located in the old Abundance Market on Marshall St. The Strangeman is a black lager with lime made in collaboration with Thin Man out of Buffalo that works exceptionally with food. We are re-running the Strangeman this event since we think the dark flavors and citrus will work well with the savory and lightly spicy meal.
  • Cocktail: If you’d like a cocktail, I’d recommend go for a cocktail lightly influenced by absinthe like a vieux carré or a Sazerac. Both can be made with different spirit bases but if you have absinthe this is the time to break it out and rinse your day away!
CurAte logo variant for Levantine's Cafe & Bakery

July 7, 2021

CurAted for Rochester by Food About Town

Levantine's Cafe & Bakery

+

The CurAte dinner party this week was provided by Levantine's Cafe & Bakery located on Elmgrove Rd just off Rt 531 in Gates. Levantine's Cafe is a family owned Syrian restaurant that has been open since 2019 and serves a beautiful range of house-made food including shrak bread for sandwich style wraps, many side dishes, kebabs, and much more!

This meal was balanced toward sharing and combining flavors together, which is perfect for this cuisine. The base of the meal is two quarter chickens with a seasonsed yogurt sauced rice that was quite filling on its own, but was also accented with a bunch of sides. Customers played with fried kibbeh (bulgur and meat), chickpea mudammas (stewed chickpeas), hummus, and muhammara (spicy pepper dish) to round out their dinner. They finished with a sweet bite of basboussa, a soaked semolina cake that is dense and delightful.

For re-heating the chicken and rice, the microwave does fine; The kibbeh is better suited for a spin in the toaster oven.

Make sure to check out Levantine's Cafe at 750 Elmgrove Rd in Gates for lunch or dinner in or takeout if you want to try these dishes again or explore more Syrian food.

For those that joined us for pickup, we thank our friends at The Historic German House and hope you took advantage of our pairing purchase options on site!

A brief note before our typical pairing recommendations. Due to the changing COVID restrictions in New York for takeout alcohol sales, we are no longer allowed to sell to-go wine or cocktail pairings at The German House. Although the changes are disappointing, we are working on a more diverse beer program as well as a focus on NYS ciders that has us excited for the opportunity to share some amazing products. Sometimes restrictions force even more creativity!

  • Wine: I would recommend stopping by a quality wine shop and asking for an Assyrtiko wine from Greece. Assyrtiko is typically light, crisp and balanced which should work very well with the wide range of flavors for this meal. You can find one from places like Parkway, Pinnacle, Baytowne, or your favorite well stocked store.
  • Beer: As we mentioned above, we are going to be offering more beer options starting this week at The German House. Alongside a house beer option, we will be highlighting a fascinating beer from Strangebird located in the old Abundance Market on Marshall St. The Strangeman is a black lager with lime made in collaboration with Thin Man out of Buffalo that works exceptionally with food.
  • Cocktail: If you’d like a cocktail, I’d go for a rye based Boulevardier which is a bigger cocktail made with sweet vermouth and a bitter; typically Campari. The recipe I use is below, but you may want to temper the spirit back a little bit if you prefer a sweeter profile.
    • 1.5 oz of a quality mixing Rye like Rittenhouse or Old Overholt Bottled in Bond
    • 1 oz of sweet vermouth (I prefer Antica Formula)
    • 1 oz of Campari (other bitter spirits like Aperol, Cynar or your favorite amaro would also work)
    • Add all to a large cocktail mixing glass with plenty of ice, stir until well chilled, strain and serve up in a coupe or martini style glass
CurAte logo variant for Kamara's West African

June 23, 2021

CurAted for Rochester by Food About Town

Kamara's West African

+

This CurAte dinner party was brought to you by Kamara’s West African Restaurant located on S Plymouth in the Plymouth-Exchange neighborhood of Rochester. As is evident in their name, Kamara’s focuses on the cuisine of West Africa in a wide range of classic dishes of the region.

When the CurAte team went for lunch at Kamara’s, the standout dish we sampled was the peanut butter soup and we immediately knew we had to feature it for this dinner party. A rich, savory broth includes stewed chicken as well as white rice to balance out the powerful flavors. If you feel like embracing the heat, add a little of the pepper mash from our other main dish, a chicken leg attieke. Attieke is a lightly fermented cassava that is turned into a couscoussized starch albeit with a bit more texture. The attieke comes with braised chicken legs in a pepper and tomato sauce as well as plantains.

Make sure to check out Kamara’s West African at 777 S Plymouth Ave for lunch or dinner takeout if you want to try these dishes again or explore more of the cuisine of West Africa.

For those joining us for pickup we thank our friends at The Historic German House and hope you took advantage of our pairing purchase option on site!

  • Wine: We think this meal is a great opportunity to highlight a Gewurztraminer from the Finger Lakes that we think will pair beautifully. You can find one from a quality, independent store like Parkway, Pinnacle or Baytowne or you’ll be able to purchase a prime example from Hermann J Wiemer at The German House if you’re picking up your meal.
  • Beer: We’re leaning toward a simple, easy going beer like a Highland Lager (available at The German House) or, if you’d like to be more adventurous, I’d edge toward a floral beer like the Lilac Wheat from Stoneyard. If you can’t find that, I’d head to your favorite beer store and ask for a beer that has a notable floral profile.
  • Cocktail: if you’d like a cocktail, I’d go for a ginger forward beverage inspired by a ginger brew we tried on site. Most quality spirits fit well with ginger in the vein of a Moscow mule so whether you’re feeling rum, bourbon, gin or even tequila go with the following ratios and you’ll be successful. 2 oz of a quality, bold spirit 3 oz of a strong ginger beer (Fentiman’s or Reed’s would be nice) ½ oz of a fresh squeezed citrus (lemon or lime should both work well) Add all to a chilled glass, stir and add plenty of ice
CurAte logo variant for El Divino

June 9, 2021

CurAted for Rochester by Food About Town

El Divino

+

This CurAte dinner party was brought to you by El Divino on Lyell Ave in the Lyell-Otis neighborhood of Rochester. El Divino is the only Cuban restaurant in the ROC and offers both Cuban classics as well as Puerto Rican favorites.

Customers dove into both stewed pepper steak and baked chicken along with sides of seasoned yellow rice, Cuban rice, beans, and sweet plantains. So many cuisines balance their meals with different versions of rice; Trying these two versions side by side gave a good chance to directly compare them. A habenero-based hot sauce (either fruity or vinegar-based) worked exceptionally well for heat seekers.

Make sure to check out El Divino on Lyell Ave for lunch or dinner takeout or a quick meal in the restaurant.

For those that joined us for pickup, we thank our friends at The Historic German House and hope you took advantage of the pairing purchase options on site!

Here are some strategies that worked well when preparing a pairing for this meal. Some options that met these strategies were available for purchase at The German House

  • Wine: A higher acid wine worked very well with this meal. For example, a Vinho Verde style wine from Spain. For advice on a specific producer, consult a quality wine store like Parkway, Pinnacle, or Baytowne.
  • Beer: Head to your favorite beer store and ask for a lighter body beer with a malt backbone. A West Coast IPA, an amber ale, or anything along that spectrum worked well depending on your preference for bitterness. More specific guidance can be found in a quality shop like AJs or One Stop or by swinging by your favorite local brewery.
  • Cocktail: A Hemingway Daquiri was offered at The German House for pick-up customers and a sour style cocktail was the way to go. Rum and lime is the perfect combination!
CurAte logo variant for Pita Restaurant

May 26, 2021

CurAted for Rochester by Food About Town

Pita Restaurant

+

This CurAte dinner party came from Pita Restaurant, located in the heart of College Town near the U of R. Pita makes a wide selection of Lebanese favorites for all that are looking to learn about the range of cuisines from West Asia.

Customers worked through a selection of vegetarian specialties that showed you don't necessarily have to miss out when you're not eating meat. The Vegetarian platter came with falafel, hummus, baba ganoush, and pickles. A rice plate highlighted the simplicity of great rice, tzatziki and salad while the moussaka was a stewed, earthy, and spiced comfort food served with fresh pita. There's nothing quite like fresh pita - if you want to refresh it, please throw it in your toaster oven on warm for a couple minutes!

Make sure to check out Pita on Mt Hope! Enjoy the beautiful weather on their patio, dine indoors to relax with a Lebanese coffee, or get your food to go.

For those that joined us for pickup - We thank our friends at The Historic German House and hope you took advantage of the pairing options available for puchase on site!

There were a wide range of options that could work with this meal, so we went a bit freestyle. Several of these were available at the German House.

  • Wine: I couldn't more highly recommend a 2020 Rosé from the Finger Lakes. Go with a producer you love, but make it happen. Any reputable wine shop (Pinnacle, Parkway, etc.) will have a variety available at this point in the season.
  • Beer: I'd head to your favorite beer store and ask for a fruited sour. Grab something local if you can!
  • Cocktail: A honey based cocktail like the Bee's Knees would be perfect! A great option would be the canned Bee's Knees from Rochester's own Black Button.
CurAte logo variant for Neno's Gourmet Mexican Street Food

May 12, 2021

CurAted for Rochester by Food About Town

Neno's Gourmet Mexican Street Food

+

This CurAte meal came from Neno's Gourmet Mexican Street Food, one of the go-to spots for Mexican food with a twist in the ROC. Starting as a food cart, moved into a food truck, and now into a brick-and-mortar on Monroe Ave, the Rita family has been turning out tacos, tortas, and burritos that make people swoon

Our customers dove into two very different dishes - a Suizomole burrito and a Cubano torta. The Suizamole was a chicken burrito with a focus on the mole sauce that came from the Rita's Oaxacan roots. The Cubano was straight comfort food with a fried pork cutlet on a focaccia that crossed Cuban toppings of mustard and mayo with Oaxacan cheese and refried beans. Fusion food done right!

Make sure to check out the Neno's food truck on the streets of Rochester now that the weather has turned. Or head over to Monroe Ave to dine-in or takeout.

For those that joined us for pickup - We thank our friends at The Historic German House and hope you took advantage of the pairing options available for puchase on site!

There are a wide range of options that work with what Neno's served up, so we opted for what feels right as we finally hit Spring weather. Some of these options were available for purchase at The German House.

  • Wine: A fruity, natural red meant to be drank cold like Glou Glou or a crushable option from your local wine shop. (Something in this style was available at The German House.)
  • Beer: A West Coast IPA was a great fit. You can't go wrong with The Kind from Three Heads (available at The German House) to accomplish that. Another fun option would have been a gose with citrus, like an Anderson Valley Blood Orange.
  • Cocktail: A Margarita (available at The German House) went well. Make sure to use a reputable brand like Teremana (if you smell what The Rock is cooking), fresh squeezed lime, and just enough sweetness to balance everything out.
CurAte logo variant for Swan Market

April 28, 2021

CurAted for Rochester by Food About Town

Swan Market

+

This CurAted event came from Swan Market which has been making some of the most traditional German fare in Rochester for over 80 years! If you loved this meal, make sure to swing by for a weekend lunch along with a hefty stein of beer on Parsells Ave.

Swan Market lined up a sausage platter and goulash main with a variety of classic sides including their fantastic German potato salad. This was a good, hearty meal for a rainy evening. If you stop by the market, you can also buy a wide variety of sausages, bacon, and other prepared meats that are a real delight. Swan Market was on Esquire's Best Bars in America list in 2016 and we can't disagree!

For those that joined us for pickup, we thank our friends at The Historic German House and hope you took advantage of our pairing purchase options on site!

If you want to learn more about Swan Market, head to swanmarket.com or to their brick and mortar location at 231 Parsells Ave in the City of Rochester near Culver Ave.

Stromie's recommeded pairings for this meal aimed to introduce some bitterness and/or lightness to the party.

  • Wine: A dry Riesling; either German or a quality FLX producer like Weis or Osmote (available at the German House)
  • Beer: Rohrbach Highland Lager for a classic or a Space Kitty for a more bitter, hops-driven beer (both available at the German House)
  • Cocktail: Go for something with apple notes like a Jack Rose with Apple Jack. Apple Country Spirits makes a great version to use in that classic cocktail.
CurAte logo variant for Naan-Tastic

April 14, 2021

CurAted for Rochester by Food About Town

Naan-Tastic

+

This meal came from the team at Naan-Tastic, a relative newcomer but a new staple of fast casual style Indian food with locations in Henrietta, Victor, and Amherst. If you loved the food, check out other members of their group with Thali of India, Sweet Mist, and Rebel Pi!

Customers dove into bowls of chana and paneer, makhani and masala sauces, along with sides of naan and a sweet finish with galub jamun.

Naan-Tastic exemplifies how fast casual can be done right with home style, robustly flavored food in a comfortable setting and with endless customization.

Check out the latest with Naan-Tastic at their website.

Recommended pairings for this meal tried to bring some brightness to work with all of the spices.

  • Wine: A fresh 2020 FLX Rosé. It is a spectacular vintage and should bring fresh, crisp, fruity notes.
  • Beer: A West Coast IPA is the way to go here. The bitterness and citrus provide a nice counterpart to the rich sauces. You wouldn't go wrong with The Kind from Three Heads here.
  • Cocktail: Amp up the spices with a Gin-based Moscow Mule. Even better if made with a strong ginger syrup and soda water instead of canned ginger beer. If going pre-made, we recommended College Club's FIZ Jamaican Stone Ginger Beer from right here in the ROC!
CurAte logo variant for Sodam

March 31, 2021

CurAted for Rochester by Food About Town

Sodam

+

This meal was curated by our own Stromie (aka Food About Town) and came from Sodam, a mainstay of the Korean restaurant scene in Henrietta! Located in the Genesee Valley Regional Market, Sodam has been has been bringing Korean favorites to your table for over 10 years.

Customers dove into bibimbap and a combination of both pork and chicken bulgogi with sides getting you a range of what Korean meats have to offer. The meal was more than plenty for two. Stromie recommended taking any leftovers and hard searing them in pan and scrambling some eggs right into it. Amazing crunch and add extra flavor with a splash of sesame oil!

Stromie's recommended pairings for the evening aimed to bring a bit of softer, floral notes to the party.

  • Wine: An off dry FLX Gewurztraminer from a quality producer like Ravines or Weis. If you can find one with skin contact, even better!
  • Beer: A modern hoppy ale from somewhere like Fifth Frame or Strangebird but preferably not extra fruited so it balances the food without dominating.
  • Cocktail: Go for your favorite light citrusy spring cocktail featuring an elderflower liquor like St Germain. Something along the lines of a Frenh 75 with a bit of St Germain would be perfect!
CurAte logo variant for El Latino

March 17, 2021

CurAted for Rochester by Food About Town

El Latino

+

This meal was curated by our own Stromie (aka Food About Town) and came from El Latino, a hyper popular Dominican restaurant located on Chili Ave in Rochester! They are a go to spot for weeknight dinners or a celebration with family with food that pleases just about everyone.

Customers dove into a hearty meal of roast pork with yellow rice and beans, cabbage, a good serving of mofongo and a pair of empanadas. Stromie encouraged diners to use their favorite vinegar based hot sauce like Frank's to balance the richness of the meal.

Stromie's recommended pairings for the evening were aimed to work best with the rich flavors:

  • Wine: A higher acidity un-oaked FLX Cab Franc.
  • Beer: It's time to go for a Genny Red Eye or Genny Light. No messing around.
  • Cocktail: A mango-forward margarita with a decent blanco tequila like Terramana.
CurAte logo variant for Peppa Pot

March 3, 2021

CurAted for Rochester by Food About Town

Peppa Pot

+

The meal for this evening was provided by Peppa Pot - a Jamaican restaurant on Main Street downtown.

Peppa Pot has been turning out Jamaican classics for around 10 years including the jerk and curry chicken that made up this meal.
The chicken was accompanied with rice and peas, sweet plantains, and mixed cabbage and veggies to balance out the intense seasoning on the bird. Heat seekers were encouraged to throw on some extra habanero hot sauce to make it pop even more.

You can learn more about Peppa Pot on their website!

Our recommended pairings for the evening were:

  • Wine: A dry or off-dry FLX riesling from a quality producer like Ravines or Hermann Wiemer.
  • Beer: Scotch Ale from anywhere in Rochester. 3 Heads or Rohrbach might be a good fit.
  • Cocktail: Strong ginger and pot still aged rum dark and stormy. None of that Gosling's nonsense here!
CurAte logo variant for Zemeta

February 10, 2021

CurAted for Rochester by Food About Town

Zemeta

+

The meal for this evening was a vegan selection from Zemeta - an Ethiopian restaurant in Swillburg!

Zemeta combined some of their vegan selections into a combination that works well individually or mixed together. A variety of veggies including cabbage, carrots, green beans and spinach worked to balance the berbere spiced lentils and more mild split peas. What tied everything together was a generous serving of injera, a sour whole grain flat bread that is traditionally used in lieu of silverware. It can be used as a utensil or torn and mixed in to bring some tang to the party.

You can check out what's new with Zemeta on their website!

For a pairing, we recommended:

  • Wine: An old world style chenin blanc or a light body Finger Lakes cab franc
  • Mead: A mead from somewhere like 810 Meadworks in Medina
  • Cocktail: Something that echoes the spices in our dish like a boulevardier or other rye-based cocktail.

January 20, 2021

CurAted for Rochester by Food About Town

Marty's Meats

+

The meal for this evening was a selection from one of our favorite Park Ave spots: Marty’s Meats!

Marty picked some of his current favorites starting with a bone in fried chicken accompanied with sides of collard greens, mashed cauliflower, cornbread, and a fresh salad.

You can check out the rest of Marty’s offerings on his website martysmeats.com when you're hunting for your next BBQ-style meal.

We recommended:

  • Wine: An affordable crémant-style sparkling wine or a close to dry prosecco.
  • Beer: A crisp lager or pilsner from your favorite ROC brewery.
  • Cocktail: Go for a freshly made bourbon-based whiskey sour.