Good Eats at the North and South Ends of Keuka Lake

My measure of a good restaurant is whether it can offer me options that taste better than my own cooking – or even better – something that I do not know how to make myself. My other standard is real food made from real ingredients. With this in mind, the Keuka Restaurant in Penn Yan has proven its self to be one of my favorites in the Finger Lakes Region.

Located on Main Street, the Keuka Restaurant offers good food, a fully stocked bar, and friendly staff. Big screen TV’s line the bar walls for the enjoyment of sports fans, and trivia nights with bar specials call to anyone looking for some fun, but what calls me the most is the food.

The menu includes bar fare as well as original selections and notes items that are local Keuka Lake favorites. I personally have enjoyed the Concord Grape Salad with the NY State concord grape vinaigrette and the Keuka Burger, an 8-oz Angus burger perfectly cooked. My ultimate favorite dish is the Tilapia Milan, a parmesan crusted filet over rice with capers and artichokes and a white garlic sauce. This is one that hits all my criteria that define a good restaurant. Memorable specials in my past have been my daughter enjoying the home-made macaroni and cheese when she was one, and recently trying love out again after a bad breakup over a tender grilled chicken breast with guacamole and melted cheese smothered over it.

The Keuka has a sister restaurant in Keuka Village of Hammondsport, the Switzerland Inn. Located right on Keuka Lake, the Switz offers full lunch and dinner menus unique from the Keuka, local wines, and prides themselves in offering the best tap selection on the lake. The restaurant is conveniently located on the Keuka Lake Wine Trail. My path has lead me less to the Switz than to the Keuka, but I can attest to the Grilled Portobello Sandwich: it is absolutely delicious.

My date and I have discussed making a trip to the Switzerland Inn in anticipation of some fish tacos, but they maintain seasonal hours and close this Saturday, November 18, so it might have to wait until next year. The Keuka is open year-round and since I choose the special over the Tilapia Milan at my last visit, I might have to push for another visit soon.

The Keuka Restaurant is located at 12 E Main St in Penn Yan. They can be reached at 315-536-5852 or keuka-restaurant.com. The Switzerland Inn is located at 14109 Keuka Village Rd in Hammondsport. To contact the Switz, call 607-292-6927 or visit theswitz.com.


By Gabrielle L. Wheeler