Thursday, October 13, 2011

Hazelnut Kitchen

After hearing great reviews about this place my aunt and I decided that it would be a good time to try it because we were without the usual crowd of people this trip. Hazelnut Kitchen's website strongly suggest making reservations so when I woke up Saturday morning at 8am I called them and left a message asking for a reservation and they called me back at about 11:30 to confirm it.
The inside is absolutely adorable, I loved the table decorations...this is what I envision when I think of a small town fancy restaurant. In Trumansburg, this is the only thing I would consider "fine dining." They change their menu monthly and they use fresh ingredients from around the area.
They even use old silver silverware. Very cool.
After ordering they gave us some bread in this cute little pail with a chive butter. There were 2 different breads in the pail, plain rolls and this olive bread. The plain rolls were lackluster, not worth the calories however the olive bread (according to my aunt) was delicious! I hate olives, but I tried the bread, and if there were no olives in it, it would have been delicious, much better quality then the plan bread rolls. The butter was ok, I could take it or leave it.
For my appetizer, and this was what I was most excited about, was the Caramelized Onion and Leek Soup with apple brandy $7. I wanted so badly to like this, but I thought that it was lackluster. There were not enough flavors, I LOVE caramelized onions and I thought it didn't highlight the wonderfulness of the onions. The smell of the soup was wonderful, you could really smell the apple brandy, however taste-wise I felt like it was just missing.
My aunt got the Blue Heron Farm Leaf Lettuce Salad with roasted hard neck garlic dressing, local apples, candied pecans & toasted pumpkin seeds $9. This salad was delicious, the light but flavorful tastes of the dressing along with the toppings make this a perfect fall salad (heck I would eat it year round).
One of their most popular items (at least according to all the yelp and urbanspoon reviewers) is their Hanger Steak $20 with a red wine reduction, fries and malt-vinegar aioli.. My aunt ordered this, and I am very sorry to say that I suggested this to her. While the steak was cooked to the temperature that she requested it had this horrible char-grilled taste with every bite, you could not taste the steak at all. However the fries and the aioli were delicious.
I ordered the Burger that they feature $13 served with house-made squash "ketchup", caramelized onions & finger lakes farmstead gouda. The overall seasoning/taste of the burger was bland and the toppings were not enough to make up for it. I was not a fan of the squash-ketchup, but I am not the biggest fan of squash so that could have been the reason I didn't like this burger that much. The fries were on point, delicious.
For dessert I got another popular item, the Hazelnut Butter Cake $7 served with a sea salt caramel & hazelnut ice cream. Wonderful, it was one of the best combinations of sea salt and caramel that I have ever had and the hazelnut ice cream was just as good with little bits of the nut in it. The combo of the cake, caramel and ice cream were outstanding.
My aunt ordered the Warm Apple Oatmeal Crisp w/ Vanilla Bean Ice Cream $7. This was delicious, the apples were cooked perfectly, and the ice cream was wonderful.
I really wanted to like this restaurant. They got great reviews on yelp and urbanspoon raving about the quality of the food. While they may have used fresh and local ingredients, their food was not what I expected. The only part of my meal that I finished were the fries..and the dessert. I would have been willing to give this place another try but sadly the service completely turned me off to a second chance here.

I felt like the employees were pompous and very not considerate, there was a very snotty feeling to this establishment. This type of attitude would not work in a major city. No one came to ask us how our meal was, I couldn't get someones attention to ask for some aioli for myself. The place was not full, in fact it is a very small restaurant. The only time we saw someone was when our plates were empty and dessert was offered. I was ready to leave, but my aunt said that I should do a full review so we ordered desserts, which happened to be delicious. 

I'd say come here and give their dessert a try, but unfortunately you have to make a reservation or you will most likely be turned away at the door (I saw at least 3 parties turned away).

53 Main Street
Trumansburg, NY
Hazelnut Kitchen on Urbanspoon

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