The Tailor and the Cook Restaurant Showcase
The Tailor and the Cook is a unique, fine cuisine restaurant located in historic downtown Utica. It is an intimate establishment seating only 40 dinner guests, which gives it a decidedly casually feel. The staff is courteous, knowledgeable, and eager to make sure you enjoy not only the meal, but the whole dining experience.
Over the years the building has housed many industrial businesses. The Tailor and the Cook has kept the essence of that history with a minimally adorned interior. Bare, red brick walls lead up to the exposed ventilation shafts that run along the ceiling. The UTK Tailoring Company, where the restaurant gets the inspiration for its name, was once a tenant at the location. An antique tailor’s mannequin greets people as they enter.
The decor is sparse, opting for more of a factory-chic vibe. Aside from some assorted tchotchkes behind the bar there are no distracting decorations. Lighting is low and subdued and comes from candle light on the tables and subtle fixtures hanging from the ceiling. The only modern looking feature in the whole place is the brushed stainless steel, hood vent over the ovens, which is actually quite attractive.
One of the defining aspects of The Tailor and the Cook is that it is dedicated to sourcing as much of their food as possible from local farmers and growers. Patrons are encouraged to ask the staff about their local partners, and they are more than happy to tell you. Items come from area businesses such as Radicle Farms in Utica, Kriemhild Dairy in Hamilton, and Mill Hollow Maple in New Lisbon. The menu often lists the specific farm where an entrée item came from.
With all that said, how is food? Simply put, the cuisine is truly exceptional. Executive chef Tim Hardiman has overseen the creation of a menu with something for the foodie in everyone. Entrée offerings such as duck leg confit, pan roasted monkfish, and braised beef shank are all cooked to perfection and served with complimentary sides and veggies. Portion sizes actually allow just enough room for dessert, and with such decadent options as French apple cake and triple chocolate brownie bread pudding, that extra room will definitely be desired. Be warned though, if any of this sounds appetizing do not hesitate to go, as their menu changes seasonally and might be completely different come spring time.
From the amuse-bouche, to the main course, to the dessert, every dish is beautifully presented with attention to detail. The locally sourced ingredients make a difference as everything tastes remarkably fresh and not processed. At the end of four courses one feels sated and not stuffed.
Then there’s the wine list. It features an extensive selection to satisfy even the most discerning palate. Along with wines from around the world, including France and California, The Tailor and the Cook carry over their “buy local” ethos even to the wine list with over three dozen varieties from New York State’s own world-renowned Finger Lakes wine region.
The Tailor and the Cook has gained a deserved reputation as one of Central New York’s premiere fine dining experiences. It is located at 94 Genesee St. in Utica. It is open Monday through Thursday from 5 to 9:30 p.m.; and Friday and Saturday from 5 to 10:30 p.m. The bar opens at 4 p.m. every day. Reservations can be made by calling (315) 624-FOOD, or by visiting their Web site at www.thetailorandthecook.com.
James Suits / The Fuze Magazine
Mario Lomedico / Picture This Photography / The Fuze Magazine
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