If 2020 was the COVID-19 pandemic year of snuggling up and instead longing for a night on the town and rediscovering the joys of home cooking, 2021 was rediscovering a night on the town and being able to forget another home-cooked meal.
That is, until COVID numbers start to rise again in the province of Ontario as the days approach 2022.
What will the new year bring? We hope to mitigate the pandemic and go back to counting and ignoring calories instead of counting COVID positivity rates. A look back at the food and drink stories that readers enjoyed the most during the year and may provide answers to questions of the year to come soon.
Central on Main
Restaurants, the city of Canandigua, business leaders and pioneers hope to build on the success of the popular central outdoor dining concept.
Originally created as a way for downtown establishments to meet pandemic regulations in 2020, this central gathering place in a former parking lot between Simply Crepes and Canandaigua Chamber of Commerce has gathered year-round momentum as a dining destination.
So much so that plans are in the works to make it permanent.
At Central on Main, visitors find a table and ask which city businesses are participating in the program – yes, the impact of the pandemic was still being felt this season, as those who didn’t participate had problems finding workers, which has been a common problem among businesses in All around.
food scene:The perfect way to spend the night forever
Diners may order takeaway or have food delivered to their tables. Adult drinks can be ordered from the beer and wine garden.
The space seats about 100 clients away from the community and on many weekend nights tables were full and the space was on the move.
A driveway, fence, fire pits, landscaping, sealed concrete, and other ideas are in the works to add to the lighting and general outdoor ambiance here. In other words, the new year may add more reasons to meet on the Main.
New in 2021
Who starts a restaurant during a pandemic?
Kimberly Fakner and Alexander “Zan” Bacon, that is. They opened KiX on Main in the renovated space where Gleason’s Food & Drinks operated on Main Street, Canandaigua.
The couple know what they’re doing, after all, because they are veterans of the city’s restaurant scene, from Nolan, where they’ve both worked for years, to Green Front and Eric’s office, to Bacon, the former owner of Lumberyard Grille.
food scene:Alive and ‘KiX’-ing’ on Main Street, Canandigua
The restaurant features stews such as French onion and lobster corn soup, as well as make-your-own salads, ‘samish’ and entrees, including French bean chicken made from the famous locally Bacon family recipe.
Last New Year’s Eve, friends Tammy and Peter Brissett put a bug in their ears about starting a business in the new year so more people could enjoy baked goods and baking.
And Bresettes, with Love on the Inside, made a home at Canandaigua Farmers Market.
Tammy Brissett bakes dozens of loaves of bread a week in her kitchen, plenty of biscuits, scones, cinnamon rolls and some biscotti and sticky buns.
Hmmm, I wonder what they’re going to cook at a New Year’s Eve gathering.
Customers were heartbroken after learning that owners Gary and Gudrun Klemens are planning to close the German restaurant Rheinblick at 224 S. Main St. Canandaigua, 13 years later.
This prompted their sons, Hardt and Mike Clemens and their families to step in. They reopened Rheinblick in September, just in time for Oktoberfest.
Their parents retired in Florida and run a restaurant there, Rhein-Stube German Restaurant.
Popular Macri’s Deli & Café has found a new home in the former Seager Marine Ship to Shore deli, where the pier meets Main Street and smackdab in the heart of the traffic triangle where the New York Kitchen, Seager Marine, and Canandaigua Sailboard border.
Having lost their lease on their site in the former Wegmans Square, Frank and his son Tommy McCree join forces with Seager Marine owners Peter Coons and John Holland to bring deli to the lake.
The name Macri dates back to Canandaigua. Woodley Macri’s Grocery on Pleasant Street served generations from 1924 until it closed in 1983. The upscale grocery store reopened in January 2013.
And the name lives in a new place.
I look ahead
There’s big stuff at the Canandaigua Country Club Store, and not just because 2022 marks its centenary.
The country club and Nolan on Canandaigua Lake, which has operated the club’s restaurant and special events venue since 2014, are partnering on a project aimed at promoting the wedding and special events business.
This partnership will result in a three-season, temperature-controlled structure by late spring 2022. If you’re thinking of a grassy setting on the shores of Lake Great Gatsby, you’re thinking right. For dining, the outdoor kitchen will feature a wood-fired pizza oven and wood-fired grill.
Besides weddings, the venue will be able to host baby and bridal showers, corporate events and parties on weekends and during the week.
Fingers crossed that this is the year that the brewery Engine 14 in Naples will sound the sirens.
Former Rochester firefighter Greg Borden and his family have been working hard to open this year in an unused section of the Hazlett Red Cat Cellars in Naples. The firefighter-themed brewery was to join Naples Brewing Co. , which opened this year.
When opened, the Engine 14 Brewery will feature a 1953 Ward LaFrance fire truck that Borden purchased, later finding out to be a decommissioned Rochester fire truck — the Engine 14 — that was last powered in 1964 from the same fire station that operated in it for years.
Mac and cheese, forever
Everyone seems to love the cream of comfort foods and macaroni and cheese.
Alicia Lindsay understands that.
Her main job is as an art teacher at Lyon Elementary School. But it can also be artistically tried in the 16 or so homemade macaroni and cheese she cooks and sells at farmers markets, including Canandaigua, through Ms. Linzy’s Mac-N-Cheese.
A member of the Lyon Community Center board of directors, Linzy started making macaroni and cheese for a fundraiser several years ago, and they’ve hit the spot.
Its most popular overall is Buffalo Chicken Mac and Cheese, although people in Canandigua seem to like it best what she calls “Mommy’s Mix”. These are four types of cheese – Gouda, Gruyère, Monterey and Bergenost – and applewood bacon. This winter, you’ll be trying the pulled pork, chicken philly, and philly cheesesteak.
To find out where Alicia Linzy next, or to order, visit https://www.facebook.com/MsLinzyMac/.
We may love to go out, but many like to go out to eat in places that remind them of home.
Take in the so-called “Fantastic Girls Club,” a group of friends who enjoy weekly—sometimes too often—gatherings at Blue Ribbon Smokehouse, Restaurant & Bakery in Phelps.
They will talk about most things, family, current events, and non-current events, often in and around Phelps.
Like most people, COVID-19 means they can’t see the people they love. They couldn’t do many of the things they loved to do. And they couldn’t go to the places they loved to visit, like the Blue Ribbon.
When the pandemic restrictions eased and they were finally able to leave their homes and walk through the front doors of their favorite restaurant, former village clerk Pat Heminger was moved to chant, “Hallelujah!”
For 2022, this is a desire that we all do our part to lick COVID-19 and its variants once and for all, and relive the Fantastic Girls Club experience.
As Hemminger said, “It was a relief to be relatively normal again.”
Eat, drink and be a Murphy
The Eat and Drink and Be Murphy column explores the region’s food and drink bounty—and the people who bring it to you—nut stew, paired with handcrafted beer or Finger Lakes wine. After all, who does not like to eat and drink? Associate Email Editor Mike Murphy at email@example.com or call 585-337-4229 with ideas and suggestions.