The Menus of Madison County: Culinary Survival Guide

As the restaurant critic at the Maroon-News for the past year, I’ve gotten a lot of questions about the food scene around Hamilton. Where can I find decent and affordable sushi? Where should I bring my parents for family weekend? What’s the best place to take that girl from my poli sci class I’ve had a crush on all semester? (Just kidding, no one’s ever asked me that one). So for the last issue of the semester, instead of writing about the mediocre Korean food I had last weekend, I would like to share some of the tips and tricks I’ve picked up throughout my eating adventures. This is by no means an exhaustive guide to culinary survival in central New York, but I hope it can make your dining experiences more enjoyable.


David’s Fireside Inn (corners of routes 20 and 26, Bouckville).

I love Fireside. Its vague cabin-like appearance, colorful locals and prime beef burgers make me very happy. Bring your parents, bring your friends and order your burger with pepperjack and bacon.


Sumo Japanese Restaurant (4671 Commercial Drive, New Hartford).

It took some cajoling on behalf of friends who had already visited this establishment, but I really enjoyed my sushi here. The lunch specials are a steal and, like many of the restaurants I’ve visited over the semester, Sumo is conveniently located by Target.


Seven Oaks Club House

Purists may not agree with me, but the “Birdies” at the Club House are one of my favorite things to eat in Hamilton. These crispy wings, coated with a tangy soy-ginger sauce, make a fine meal. Don’t hold back, and let that sauce get all over your face.


La Petite Maison (Main Street, Waterville).

Located in the small pink home of a French nobleman who fled France during the revolution, her spirit lives in La Petite Maison. This delectable French restaurant serves up expertly cooked meats, simple sides and decadent desserts that will all have you saying oh-la-la.


Circa (76 Albany Street, Cazenovia).

Though I still contend that Circa is the perfect date restaurant, its services will probably be appreciated more quickly for those looking to sample some of central New York’s local and seasonal delicacies. The menu changes weekly based on what’s in season, ensuring a creative and delicious variety of dishes.


Michael’s Fine Food and Spirits (7672 State Route 20, Sangerfield, NY, at the corner of Routes 20 and 12).

When it hits, it hits hard, and nothing satisfies like a medium-rare chop. Michael’s offers this cut with an herby peppercorn and coriander crust that complements the tender meat.