Sunday, December 8, 2013


We met up with friends this week for dinner at Cure, which might be Rochester's hippest restaurant.  It's located in the Public Market, and here are the actual directions: "Turn onto Railroad from Main St., and proceed all the way to the Market gate (it may appear locked from a distance, but you will see that it is open as you get closer). Take a right turn into the market, and follow the parking lot lanes towards the row of buildings. You will see Cure ahead and slightly to your left."  In fact, Cure is the only thing open in the Market at night, so on a very chilly Friday, we drove through the deserted lots and past darkened stalls toward the beacon of Cure's red neon window sign.

Inside, the restaurant is cozy with a noise level that's hopping but still good for conversation, and every surface holds a tea light--seriously, every surface, even the tops of junction boxes and the bathroom sink.  It gives the entire place a nice glow.

Cure's menu is designed for sharing, and courses come out as they're ready.  I won't bury the lead--the food is amazing!  

We ordered an assortment of dishes: tomato rillette, arugula and heirloom tomato salad (special that night), oven roasted camembert with fingerlings and onion jam, wild boar meatballs, and hangar steak.  And, when I asked for a Diet Coke, I learned that Cure serves Tab (be still my heart!).

The tomato rillette is essentially a sweet and tangy tomato spread.  Served with lightly toasted baguette slices, it made a great starter.  And, its acidity played nicely off the camembert, which was all melty, rich goodness complemented by the caramelized onions of the jam.  It came with a large portion of seasoned, room temperature fingerlings.

It was a big of a surprise to see an heirloom tomato salad on a Rochester menu in December, but the tomatoes were wonderful.  Perfectly ripe and tasty, they were hiding under a mound of arugula tossed with a light vinaigrette.  Again, a good counterpoint to the camembert.

The meatballs came out next in a neat row.  They're topped with white beans, carmelized onions, bacon and croutons--a fantastic smoky/crispy accompaniment.   The meatballs were moist and dense.  They had a slight Asian note to them.

Finally, the hangar steak arrived.  Seriously, this steak was like butter!  It's presliced for sharing and served with meaty, woodsy mushrooms.  So, so good.

The portions are solid and good for sharing, but they're not overwhelming.  We cleaned every plate without feeling crazy full.  So, we ordered a couple desserts:  apple tart and flourless chocolate cake.  These weren't as inventive nor as flawlessly executed as the rest of the meal, but they were fine and made even better by the Java's coffee served alongside.

If you haven't been to Cure, yet, what are you waiting for?  Grab some friends and prepare for some outrageously good food!