Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Dano's Heuriger on Seneca is a Viennese restaurant near Watkins Glen, NY. A heuriger is an Austrian term meaning a restaurant with an emphasis on wine harvested during the current year. The wine served is mostly from the Finger Lakes region and from Austria. Traditional Viennese food is served everyday from their extensive menu. Some of my favorite item on the menu are their delicious goulash, schnitzel and sauerbraten. There are a wide variety of spreads to enjoy with their fresh breads. Their salads are unique and accompany the meats well. It is owned by husband and wife Dano Hutnik and Karen Gilman. Karen is the pastry chef and my favorite dessert is her apple strudel Dano has been a chef for many years and has dabbled in many things including jam but recently he is working on perfecting the art of hand-crafted cheese. This past winter, we were given a tour of his cheese projects and we were also given a cheese tasting. We found his cheese to be as good as his regular menu items, exceptionally done well with a eye for detail. Dano tends to be very critical of his food so by the time you are tasting it, it has gone through many trials before it is good enough to serve to his customers. This restaurant is on the Seneca Wine Trail which our Seneca Lake Inn is an associate member of for every year it has existed.
Dano's food is worth the trip alone but his restaurant overlooks Seneca Lake with large glass windows offering a spectacular view. Behind the restaurant is fresh herb garden which he uses in his salads and there is a large meadow and orchard to the side. The architecture of the building is modern with simple lines starting with very large doors for its entrance and tall windows facing the lake. Karen's large paintings hang on the walls to complete the modern look. On warm days, customers are invited outside to enjoy the food on the terrace.
One of my favorite memories of eating at this restaurant was when we went with a large group and ordered the "Chef's Table" which is a large sampler of Viennese food served family-style. We brought our own wine and spent an entire evening being served food from his menu. You must call ahead and make arrangements for this but he gave us a per person price and when we arrived the food started flowing and did not stop soon enough before I was full and whispering "uncle". I say whisper because I did not want the food to stop because dessert was next.
The summer hours are from 12-8:30 on Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays. The restaurant is open to 9 pm on Friday and Saturday. The restaurant is closed on Tuesdays. You can call (607) 582-7555 to make reservations. Reservations are preferred, but walk-ins are welcome too. The address is 9564, Route 414 in Lodi, NY. It is just north of Shalestone Vineyard. From our Finger Lakes Inn, the restaurant is a 20 minute drive.
Innkeeper Rose Hilbert
POB 95, 112 E. Main St.
Trumansburg, NY, 14886