Judge a Label by its Restaurant
Pittsford eatery has something for everyone
By Christopher Malone
When I first saw Label 7 in Northfield Common, I immediately wanted to try it. This was three years ago, when my now-wife and I enjoyed a dinner at Olive’s Greek Taverna across the street — my third review for this magazine.
Being not from the area, it was easy to really enjoy this little local-focused shopping center located next to another historic Erie Canal towpath.
At that point, Label 7, located at 50 State St. in Pittsford, was celebrating its 10-year anniversary of being in business. Aside from writing and the surrounding little shops, it’s great to have more reasons to return to this neck of the Rochester area.
Like many of the region’s restaurants, Label 7 falls in line with an ongoing and sure-fire theme — casual upscale dining. It’s not a bad thing.
This isn’t my calling Rochester restaurants redundant or unoriginal. These niche restauranteurs seem to know what they’re doing when it comes to offering a comfortable atmosphere and a delectable menu.
West Coast meets East Coast with a pinch of country chic in this Napa-style restaurant. The open-layout eatery boasts wicker furniture, wine bottle chandeliers and minimal rustic décor. It’s not aesthetically overwhelming, so it’s easy to focus on conversation and comestibles. Plus, the restaurant (bathrooms and utensils included) is very clean and organized.
While eating at the bar, I enjoyed Rohrbach Brewing Company’s malty with a caramel punch Scotch ale — a never-fail and personal favorite of mine. At this point and for a dozen minutes, I fooled my bartender Dylan into thinking I was there for a beer and to read the book in front of me. But he checked in with me, took my order for apps, and our one night of friendship went on from there.
This evening, Label 7 kicked off its seasonal menu with staples and new options. Not knowing what the changes were, my unbiased decisions led me to order the duck poutine ($14) and Brussels sprouts gratin ($12) to begin this personal feast. Both small plates had a lot to boast about. The shoestring fries were covered in fennel, herb and apple duck gravy. With each bite came with cheese curds and chunks of duck confit.
The sprouts plate was my favorite of the two starters. Green and crisp Brussels sprouts were joined by melted cheddar and gruyere cheeses; dusted parmesan coated the top. It’s one of those small plates where sharing is difficult for personal and selfish reasons opposed to food quantity.
Although I passed on the L.A. Chicken, a Label 7 staple, I was able to try new additions.
First came the mushroom stroganoff ($16) with grilled chicken (additional $6). For the amount of chicken added and the overall size of the “large” plate, the added cost was steep. Still, the smoky flavor from the singe marks on the protein added more welcomed flavor to the already complex pasta dish. The homemade (it had to be) herbed tagliatelle pasta was joined by crimini and shiitake mushrooms as well as carrots, fennel, and celery onion in a tomato and red wine sauce. Oh, and there was tofu sour cream as well.
Cue the osso bucco ($24), one of my favorite pork dishes. As soon as the plate hit the counter, pork fell off the bone of one of the smaller pieces. I celebrated in my head. The pork was braised with Madeira wine, a fortified Portuguese wine usually distilled with a spirit (typically brandy). The pork was sat on a bed of soft mushroom risotto and was topped an arugula and fennel salad with cranberries. The piece of culinary art was as aesthetically pleasing as it was to eat.
For dessert, the only thing not saved for leftovers, was the bread pudding ($8). Apologies for potentially not describing this properly: It’s an apple fritter-style bread pudding with a scoop of Pittsford Dairy Farms vanilla ice cream. A sliced strawberry sticks out of the top and a berry coulis is drizzled on the plate.
The bread pudding had a crispy exterior similar to an apple fritter. The inside was warm and soft, packed with pieces of apple and cinnamon. As a person who loves apples, cinnamon, bread pudding, and especially apple fritters, this is a wonderful dessert.
Before tip, the meal came to a reasonable $101 and change.
Label 7 has something for everyone and provides tasty, quality food for every dietary need. Kudos to the teamwork of the friendly staff. There’s much anticipating of trying something new the next time I’m in the area.
Photo: The osso bucco ($24) at Label 7 in Pittsford is a piece of culinary art.
50 State St.,
Pittsford N.Y. 14534
585-267-7500 | labelseven.com
Sun. – Mon.: Closed
Tues. – Sat.: Noon – 9 p.m.