Dining OutFeatures

Fit for All Palates

Little farm-focused café has big ambitions


By Christopher Malone


The personal-sized pizza, also called the mountain man flatbread, boasts a plethora of ingredients, including butternut squash.

This trip to Local Palate in Phelps came as a recommendation — from a stranger, actually. Funny enough, they were a staff member of another restaurant, which ended up being closed.

This was my first time actually stopping in the town of Phelps.

Similar to many small towns in Western, Central, Upstate or whatever region you’d like to refer to this part of the state, Phelps has a particular charm. It parallels others, including a Main Street with parallel stretches of buildings.

Where it could come across as a one-horse town to some, the place has its distinct feel and infinite intricate details coaxing you to look around to see what can be found.

After all, these places may boast some of the biggest surprises — gems that are not so hidden, like Local Palate.

The eatery is part café and part shop. Upon entering, a plethora of local products sits on shelves to the left along with craft beer and other beverages in the line of glass-cased fridges. In front, before the staff greets you, a case of baked goods, including muffins and bagels and more, is the welcoming committee.

Yes, food welcomes you.

The darkened dining area is brightened with natural lighting pouring in through the large windows, glazing the minimalistic wooden, rustic décor and plants.

Acoustic music lightly played through Local Palate’s speaker system, including Caamp (yes, with two a’s a band I highly enjoy — give them a listen), complimenting the aura.

After sitting down, I ordered the dunkel on the tap list — whimsically called “Dunkel Breakin’ My Heart” — caught my eye since I’m a fan of dark German lagers. The malty forward beer was neither heavy bodied nor potent in ABV; it added warmth and comfort on such a wet, snowy and windy day.

The boujee beef wrap at Local Palate. It comes with medium rare roasted beef and Boursin cheese.

The boujee beef wrap caught my eye. Instead of opting for chips, I substituted the side with the soup of the day, a buffalo chicken tomato bisque. The combination came to $16; opting for the chips would have kept the price at $13.

Boujee, not to get confused with bougie, someone who is socially or economically mobile or is in a higher economic class compared to others. The latter pertains to people who act like they are in a higher class. Knowing this, I wanted to know if it lived up to its name.

The fact the wrap contained medium rare roasted beef and Boursin cheese also helped with the decision-making process. Then consider the fresh arugula, tomatoes and maple Dijon mayo all cozied up in a spinach wrap.

It tasted as great as it sounds. It was great because everything was fresh. The red roast beef didn’t taste bland or repurposed (leftover), the Boursin was bright in flavor, and the veggies spoke for themselves.

The Buffalo chicken tomato bisque lived up to its name. Yes, the flavor matched that of a Buffalo chicken wing (dip or no dip) but it wasn’t overpowering in flavor. The tomato balanced it well. What is noticeable with the Buffalo part is the resonating medium heat kick.

In the large bowl of soup were generous amounts of pieces of grilled, tender chicken. The smokiness of the char added to each bite and that’s all the flavor the chicken needed.

Going for a guilt-free option, the blackberry autumn harvest salad ($17) with chicken ($4 extra) seemed to be a great choice. The salad was made up of spinach and more arugula, cubed butternut squash, goat cheese, pecans and pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds). And, of course, blackberries.

Put it all together, dress it up with Local Palate’s in-house blackberry vinaigrette and what do you get? A hearty, sweet and savory salad. Eating healthy never tasted so good.

The blackberry autumn harvest salad with chicken: It comes with spinach, rugula, cubed butternut squash, goat cheese, pecans and pepitas (unshelled pumpkin seeds). And, of course, blackberries.

But then I opted for the mountain man flatbread ($14) The personal-sized pizza, which is still shareable (if you want to be generous with others) also boasted a variety of ingredients, including more butternut squash.

A sweet hot honey drizzle also topped the flatbread with main ingredients shredded brussels sprouts, mozzarella and a garlic sauce. The pizza can probably be eaten in one sitting despite its hearty qualities.

Before tip, the meal came to $54 and change.

The chic Local Palate goes big with its offerings. They cater to all diets and preferences. And it goes beyond food and beverages. The community-focused eatery hosts events, including live music from regional artists east and west of Phelps. I’m sure musicians come from the north and south, too, but it’s just a saying.

What I’m also saying: Check out Local Palate, fill up and come back for more.

Local Palate

91 Main St., Phelps, 14532

(315) 548-0101




Sunday: Closed

Monday – Thursday: 6:30 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Friday: 6:30 a.m. – 9 p.m.

Saturday: 8 a.m. – 9 p.m.

Top image: Façade of Local Palate on Main Street, Phelps.