Hazelnut Kitchen: Locovore’s Delight

May 14, 2011 at 6:00 am Leave a comment

Finger Lakes, new York

Checkered tile floor, warm globes of light

Seeking advice from some locals on where to eat dinner in Ithaca one Saturday night, we were wisely redirected to try Trumansburg, home of the Hazelnut Kitchen.

The Hazelnut Kitchen was founded in 2007. The Chef/Owners, Jonah and Christina McKeough relocated from Philadelphia to Trumansburg. With degrees from the CIA, in Hyde Park, NY. Together they worked in numerous well-known restaurants throughout the country.  This experience wove the foundation from which they create an ever-varying menu of elegant comfort food, featuring locally grown produce, and grass fed beef and cheeses from local dairies.

Finger Lakes, New York State

53 East Main Street, Trumansburg, New York

The tiny Village of Trumansburg, famed for The Grass Roots Festival, is close to Ithaca, the Finger Lakes Wine Trail and abundant farm communities. They felt it was the perfect spot to create a casual yet chic dining atmosphere, with an open kitchen, checkered tile floor, warm globes of light and mismatched silverware that reminded us of restaurants we visited in Italy.

Back half of the restaurant

We were enchanted with everything about Hazelnut Kitchen. Our friendly waitress said she was a “lifer.”

“I have worked all over the U.S. and this place is the real deal.”

She told us. She had been working at Hazelnut for 2 years. She carefully guided us through our menu selection plus a few lovely surprises.

We started with a Malbec from South America, La Bruja.

For our appetizer I ordered the pâté made in-house on baguette toasts with Dijon mustard, while Charlie ordered a vegetarian entrée as an appetizer, which had warm cored cukes, beets and the most delightful fried, hash browns. These were a full meal together, but we had to try more.

scallop surprise

While we were waiting for our next course the kitchen sent us a single luscious scallop, served over citrus roasted pork, with a jalapeno spear.

vegetarian shepherd’s pie, with asparagus on top

We enjoyed the vegetarian shepherd’s pie, which had mushrooms inside, a potato crust and asparagus on top, delicious, but it filled us right up, along with Charlie’s grilled Angus hanger steak, hand-cut fries, and malt vinegar aioli (that was our new vocabulary word for the night).

Don’t just take our word for it, I checked out what other review sites said:

Finger Lakes, New York State

open kitchen, bustling with activity

YELP:  5 stars (19 reviews)

“This place is absolutely divine. From the humble, lovely atmosphere, to the attentive service to the scrumptious food, it really doesn’t get that much better than the Hazelnut Kitchen. Using locally sourced ingredients, the Hazelnut Kitchen’s menu changes each month, with additional nightly specials.”

“Hazelnut is easily the best restaurant in the greater Ithaca area. Sadly, I only discovered it after it was featured in Food & Wine, but it became a weekly staple after our initial discovery.”

Urban Spoon 50 votes and 92% like it

Other kudos:

Cooking with Ideas is nuts for the Hazelnut Kitchen

Eat This House


Entry filed under: Cayuga Lake, Dining, Ithaca, Uncategorized. Tags: , , , , .

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