Foodie and family-friendly Rochester restaurant serves up something for everyone
By Christopher Malone
Dining out in Rochester yields a lot of excitement. There are tough decisions to be made when narrowing down places. The selling points of Edibles Restaurant and Bar, 704 University Ave., were the eclectic menus and catering to all diets, stylish aesthetics and its open-mindedness. How many places offer a Sunday brunch and drag show series called “Drag Me to Brunch”?
The restaurant sits in the arts district. There are murals. There are statues. There’s even a bus stop that’s an umbrella. Plus, Edibles sits inside a historic mid-1800s flatiron building.
Due to the unique architecture of the building, the dining area is on the smaller side but seating capacity increases once the weather is warmer, thanks to outdoor seating. We arrived for a 6 p.m. seating, and the nearly saturated restaurant was packed 45 minutes later with families, couples and individuals of all ages. The seating situation is also pretty tight — needless to say, reservations are highly encouraged.
We kicked off the evening with a bottle of red wine. The California 7 Moons red blend, ($34), which retails between $10-$12, was pretty good. Edibles also gives patrons the option of bringing their own bottles and charging a $15 corking fee; on Mondays the fee is waved.
The list of appetizers (half-priced on Tuesdays) presented very tough choices. So, we opted for the sampler platter. The three of us were able to enjoy five appetizers for a reasonable $26. Two of each app (besides the tots) were presented: pierogi ($13 for standalone appetizer), truffle tots ($9), crispy duck legs ($14), lunchbox shrimp ($16), and salmon cakes ($14).
The tastings were teases. The potato pierogi were topped with caramelized onions and a drizzle of sour cream. The truffle tots coated with truffle oil and sea salt couldn’t have been crispier; my partner figured they were baked and then placed under a broiler. The chipotle aioli was thick, creamy, and could have been eaten by the spoonful.
The tender, grilled duck legs were slathered with barbecue sauce and were far from dry. The lightly panko-breaded lunchbox shrimp were entirely edible, and the sweet and sour sauce was as equally finger-licking good as the former’s barbecue sauce. The soft salmon cakes boasted their main fish ingredient, and were topped with chives and the chipotle aioli.
Although we adhered to our quick decisions, the entrees were a diverse group of enticing options. The pasta dishes were the Old World bolognese ($20) and a mushroom pappardelle. Since we enjoyed truffles on the tots and anticipated mushroom risotto with the osso bucco, the bolognese won the toss up.
The al dente-cooked rigatoni came smothered in the rich, red gravy. The meat consisted of a blend of veal, pork and beef. The blend of the three meats was a trifecta of flavor. Compared to meat previously consumed for a review — this dish was distinctive and at a decent price.
Cards on the table — the osso bucco ($27) was a sexy standout. The braised pork shank with San Marzano tomato gravy was incredibly tender and packed with flavor. The meat slid right off the bone, which passive aggressively coaxed us to eat more. The aforementioned mushroom risotto was soft and delicious. The mushrooms were fresh and the risotto was creamy.
Our third option was the New Zealand rack of lamb ($32) — the most expensive item on the menu. The lamb, although on the cooler side, was cooked very well. The grill marks added a noticeable, but not overwhelming, charred flavor. The red wine demi-glaze was a safe choice to drizzle atop lamb, and the herbed potatoes were a standard go-to side. They know how to cook their lamb, and the portion size was perfect.
With 20 percent tip, the bill came to $180 and change. The food quality, the atmosphere, the cleanliness and the knowledgeable staff — kudos to Danielle, who was very attentive and knew much about the restaurant, the food served, and the place’s history. There have been enjoyable places on my dining journey to consider frequenting again, but Edibles Restaurant is a place to run back to.
Edibles Restaurant and Bar
704 University Ave., Rochester
Mon – Wed.: 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.; 5 – 9 p.m.
Thurs & Fri: 11:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.; 5 – 10 p.m.
Saturday: 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.; 5 – 10 p.m.
Sunday: Private Parties Bar & lounge open late night