Moosewood has got to be one of the best restaurants I’ve ever eaten at. For as far back as I can remember, half the cookbook collection in my family’s kitchen has been made up of titles from their repertoire. Their dedication to delicious, authentic, healthy food is incredible, as many meals falls into the categories vegetarian, vegan, and gluten free. They have a set menu dependent on season. My father, sister, and I ordered a few of these entrees this past weekend: Quesadillas made of black bean and sweet potato, Southwestern Shrimp and Grits (delicious tiger shrimp over hearty, polenta like corn bread- pictured above), and a Ghanaian White Beans dish. My grandparents both ordered off the ‘specials’ menu, which typically includes two soups and two to three main entrees that change daily.
I’ve been eating at Moosewood for so long that I remember when their entire menu used to change day to day. It’s such an interesting concept, arriving at a restaurant and having new options you’ve never seen before. I have never been disappointed with a meal and typically after we visit, my father scours the same old cookbooks, worn down with use, dog-eared and sauce stained, for new recipes to make at home. I believe there are something like ten total, and we own them all. “Simple Suppers” is one of the best.
My biggest tips, if you’re in the area and able to stop in, are to first, get there early. The restaurant opens at 5:30 for dinner, but my family always arrives at 5:10 to put our name in. If you can, and it’s nice weather, ask for a table outside on their patio. Then if you’re looking to kill time, Moosewood is located at the front of a little shopping center, and there are plenty of quiet, simple stores to peruse while you wait (my favorite being a little, wonderful, used book shop). Next, regardless of what you order for a meal, you must order Moosewood’s Ginger Tea. It comes with fresh ginger and oranges. I prefer it hot, in the huge mugs they provide. And if you are feeling a little under the weather, even better! Finally, be adventurous. Don’t be afraid to try something a little different. Maybe you’ll even find a new favorite restaurant. As for me, I’m sticking with a favorite I’ve had for a long time, and counting down the days til my next trip to Ithaca.