Dining Al Fresco in Rochester Area

By Deborah Jeanne Sergeant

Now that sunny weather is finally here, enjoy dining out at area restaurants. Here are a few to whet your appetite:

Genesee Brewhouse, Rochester


From the patio, diners can view a 95-foot waterfall in the middle of the city. The restaurant serves pub food including Bavarian-style pretzels. Dinners will find a few unexpected offerings like a burger topped with goat cheese, crabcake sandwich and seasoned pork terrine. In addition to the 16 taps, beer lovers will want to check out the interactive exhibits, multimedia programming, gift shop and brewery. The Brewhouse displays artifacts from the history of The Genesee Brewery, which represents one of the largest and oldest continually operating breweries in America and snagged honors with its Genesee Brew House Helles winning “Best New York State Beer (at least 60% NYS Hops & NYS Malt)” by the New York State Brewers Association.

Ventosa Vineyards & Café Toscana, Geneva


Order your food and drinks to go and enjoy a picnic at the tables near the vineyards right on the estate grounds. The picturesque 23 acres overlook Seneca Lake.

Simply Crepes, Canandaigua, Pittsford and Webster


Featured on Food Network’s “Best Thing I Ever Ate” Simply Crepes is a full-service, casual restaurant with French influences and seasonal menus. Simple Crepes stretches the meaning of “crepe” to include unexpected flavors, along with non-crepe items, such as fried chicken, burgers, sandwiches and French toast. The outdoor patio isn’t large, but its street-side ambience is enhanced by a screen of foliage to provide a garden-like atmosphere.

Gananda Pub at Blue Heron Hills, Macedon


Enjoy your meal on the patio overlooking the grounds of the Blue Heron Hills Golf Course. The restaurant serves pub food and entrees like wraps, salads, salmon, and steak. House specialties include fire roasted pasta and Buffalo gouda mac.

Trio, Rochester


For those who enjoy farm-to-table dining, Chef Marcus Germonto offers locally sourced meals for patrons of Trio. Local farms’ steak, chicken and more are on the menu. Vegan, gluten-free and vegetarian options are available. The fire pits add a touch of warmth for cooler evenings on the patio. Step inside to enjoy a twirl on the dance floor. Upscale dress is required for dining after 9 p.m.

Brewery Ardennes, Geneva


Newly opened in 2021, Brewery Ardennes is styled after a Bavarian pub with numerous craft beers on tap. Chef Jayden White’s menus center on traditional Bavarian fare with his own special flair, crafted from locally sourced ingredients. For those sitting outside, leashed dogs are welcomed, too. Brewery Ardennes was awarded with the 2023 silver for the “Belgian — Other” category by New York State Brewers Association.

The Peppered Pig, Webster


Savor French and American food with wine, cocktails and craft beer. The quiche is a house specialty. Other French fare includes charcuterie, fromage and duck confit. Items such as braised pork belly and chicken liver mousse make The Peppered Pig stand out. But the reliable sandwich, salad, burger and pasta are available for those not into French food. The patio is small but is tastefully appointed.

Tony D’s, Rochester


Enjoy sandwiches, salad, pasta and wood-fired pizza at the large outdoor seating area. Tony D’s offers an impressive array of red and white wines, available by the glass or bottle.

Aladdin’s Natural Eatery, Pittsford


Enjoy homemade pastas, pita sandwiches, salads and Mediterranean fare like as souvlaki and moussaka. Aladdin’s serves New York microbrewery beers and wines. The restaurant has been lauded for its affordability, with many items less than $10. After your meal, stroll along the nearby Erie Canal.

Patrons enjoy a beverage and food at Ventosa Vineyards.