A Fine Meal Awaits at Downtown Utica’s Ancora!
Ancora is a Mediterranean inspired eatery in the heart of the Downtown Utica district located next door to the Stanley Theater. Its menu is quite vast within the Mediterranean theme and provides many choices to please most diners complimented by a full bar with an impressive selection. Whether you choose to enjoy a full meal such as one of the varied specials or something from the menu, sample the tapas, or fall into romance with coffee and crapes, Ancora will provide a meal to remember.
The ambiance of a restaurant is one of the first things a patron notices and Ancora is classy and refined with a bit of a modern edge and flair. The inside is quite pleasing and the open layout of the floor plan near the bar allows for an entertaining view of some of the meal preparation most especially the crapes which Ancora is well known for. It is easy to step inside, feel comfortable, and take a seat at the bar for a pre-dinner drink. The staff is friendly and engaging as well as being attentive and well versed in providing for guests’ needs. All questions were answered not only thoroughly but with a genuine interest and enthusiasm which helps set a great tone for an evening out.
As an appetizer we enjoyed the calamari which is some of the best I’ve had in the city. It was crisp on the outside and tender to the teeth, seasoned slightly and to perfection. The portion was generous and it was easy to tell that the rest of the meal would also be spot on.
Two entrees were sampled on the evening we dined at Ancora; the special of the night which was a crab encrusted filet served with sour cream whipped potatoes and spinach and a mushroom ravioli. The medium rare filet was cooked perfectly, very tender and enjoyable. It was well seasoned without a heavy hand and the light tomato based sauce on the plate was a surprising compliment to both the protein and the potatoes. The potatoes themselves were artfully arranged under a cap of sautéed spinach and were smooth and likewise well-seasoned with the tang of sour cream present but not overwhelming. Again, the tastes of the entre together were very complimentary and everything enhanced the other creating balance. The pasta selection was no runner up to the meat, being lightly topped in a cream based sauce, the filling in a good ratio that neither overwhelmed with mushroom or the creamy mild cheese accompanying it.
Portion sizes at Ancora are also balanced; a nearly perfect amount of food to leave guests feeling full and satisfied but not overwhelmed by a mound of heavy food. Dessert is possible, and necessary! If the tiramisu is any example of the rest of the selections, I suggest Ancora as a perfect stop for an evening cup of coffee and a sweet treat! The crapes looked positively divine. Back to the issue at hand, Ancora’s tiramisu is lightly saturated and moist, not soggy as can sometimes be the case. The flavoring was utterly perfect, rich, creamy and very decadent without being heavy.
Outdoor and indoor seating is available at Ancora, adding to the reasons it should make your list of places to stop out for a great meal and a pleasant evening with friends. The meal was a total pleasure. I hope your experience is the same.
Location: 261 Genesee St., Utica
Hours: Lunch – Monday through Saturday 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Dinner – Monday through Thursday 5 to 9 p.m.; and Friday and Saturday 5 to 11 p.m.
Web site: http://ancorautica.com/users/awp.php?ln=717788
-Melissa L. Walker
The Fuze Magazine
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