New York’s westernmost region, Chautauqua County, is best known as a haven for skiers and other outdoorsy types. However, its dining scene isn’t to be overlooked. From urban eateries in Chautauqua’s biggest city, Jamestown, to cute bakeries and upscale bistros in villages like Fredonia and Lakewood, here are the restaurants you must try in Chautauqua County.
Since 1995, the Ellicottville Brewing Company has been serving hand-crafted beers and upmarket pub grub, the recipient of three World Beer Championship Awards in its 20 years of operation. Housed in a gorgeous building dating back to the 1860s, this brewery and restaurant teams beers like its Master Ultra Pale Ale or Blueberry Wheat with salads, sandwiches and burgers, alongside dishes like shrimp and grits with modern Southern succotash and slow smoked Texas beef brisket. Brewery tours are available for the dedicated beer fans and a second location has opened up in neighboring Fredonia.
Established in 2004 with the goal of celebrating unique ingredients and local products and artists, Forte classes its menu as an eclectic, creative take on American fine-dining. Globally-inspired dishes like mulligatawny stew appear alongside fancy classics like pan-roasted ribeye with hot pepper and potato mash. Dishes are complimented by a full bar offering everything from signature cocktails and sake to beers from the local Southern Tier Brewing company. An inventive sushi menu is also on offer, featuring sashimi, nigiri and specialty rolls. Additionally, Forte is also part art gallery and contributes to downtown Jamestown’s growing arts scene with regular exhibitions.
Bringing fine-dining to the picturesque village of Fredonia, The Brick Room serves creative New American cuisine built around seasonal ingredients sourced from local farms. Occupying a prime location in a quaint building on Fredonia’s charming Main Street, the ambiance at The Brick Room is warm and intimate with a stylish dining room that welcomes guests to try eats from the restaurant’s concise but tempting menu. Enjoy small plates like house-made pumpkin ravioli and sautéed jumbo Maine mussels, or larger plates such as grilled pork loin with mac ‘n’ cheese. Complete the meal with a local beer or choose from the extensive wine list.
The family-owned and operated Upper Crust Bakery & Soup Co first opened its doors in 1990 and for over 20 years, owners Jim and Colleen have been delighting diners with their signature soups, paninis and baked goods that taste just like your grandmother used to make. Each day, Upper Crust offers four to six freshly-made soups with varieties including chicken noodle and creamy potato, while its delicious paninis are made with freshly-baked bread and come in flavors like roast turkey and cheddar or tuna melt. Indulge your sweet tooth with baked treats such as cinnamon buns, cherry turnovers and coffee cake.
For over 20 years, Dina’s Restaurant has been regularly hailed as one of the best dining establishments in Ellicottville. Its unique, New American menu is built around healthy, locally-sourced produce and will certainly appeal to hungry locavores and health-conscious diners. Diana’s is a sleek and stylish space with exposed brick, a chic onyx bar and intimate leather booths. It’s a relaxing, comfortable venue in which to enjoy tempting dishes such as its signature slow-cooked cowgirl ribs glazed with honey chipotle barbecue sauce served with applesauce, smoked gruyere and mashed potatoes.
Brazill’s on Main is housed in a lovingly-restored property dating back more than one hundred years in historic downtown Westfield. Owners, Teri and Bill Brazill, have established this restaurant to offer a casual fine-dining experience. Teri, who is also Brazill’s executive chef, crafts creative, traditional and contemporary American fare with a focus on local ingredients whenever possible. Standout dishes include maple mustard grilled salmon glazed with locally-produced maple syrup and served with fresh vegetables and rice pilaf.
A seasonal restaurant open only during summer months, La Fleur serves fine French cuisine and has received a Four Diamond AAA Award. Located in a gorgeous Victorian country house a short distance from Chautauqua Lake, an elegant space full of rustic French-inspired charm welcomes guests to sample an extensive French and domestic wine list alongside executive chef Jonathan Haloua’s inventive spin on classic French cuisine with dishes like country-style pork pate with hazelnut, pistachio and figs, or pan-seared filet mignon with green peppercorn and cognac sauce.
Located in downtown Jamestown, a short walk from the scenic Chadakoin River, Landmark is a classic steakhouse serving a fresh take on traditional chophouse fare. A stylishly ‘old school’ dining room with a grand, roaring fireplace, paneled walls and dark wood furnishings set the ideal stage to try hearty fare. Dishes include the Landmark signature sirloin steak, served with potato wedges and grilled pork chop on a bed of sweet potato mash, alongside market-fresh seafood dishes like Faroe Island salmon with citrus risotto. A coy bar and lounge offers a more casual space in which to enjoy locally-brewed beers and a diverse wine list.
One of the most raved-about restaurants in the western New York region, Webb’s Captain’s Table has been owned and operated by the Webb family since 1942 and boasts a lovely location on the edges of Chautauqua Lake in Mayville. Guests can choose to sit inside the restaurant’s cozy main dining room complete with a wood-burning fireplace, or on its second story deck to enjoy stunning views of the lake. Enjoy contemporary American dishes like Veal Oscar, topped with shrimp, asparagus and hollandaise sauce, or baked Virginia ham with a pineapple fruit glaze.