Winter just begs for us to indulge in our favorite comfort foods. Hot and flakey pot pies, steaming heaps of pasta, hearty stews and rich desserts fill our plates this time of year. After all, playing in the snow requires extra calories. What is the one thing that can make these decadent dishes even better? Curling up next to a crackling fire to enjoy them. We compiled a list of restaurants throughout Cortland County where you can enjoy your favorite comfort foods, extra comfy by the fire.
2000 NY-392, Cortland
Carver's steak house boasts two ways to get cozy by the fire. Order spiked cocoa from the lounge and curl up in the one overstuffed chairs in front of the lodges behemoth two-story hearth. Or request a seat, front and center, at the nearly 6-foot-long fireplace, for an especially romantic fine dining experience. Carver's innovative menu is filled with comfort food classics reimagined. We recommend their signature Wagyu Meatloaf. House-made with decadent local wagyu beef, topped with a brown sugar glaze and bacon, served with a pile of mashed potatoes and finished with a rosemary demi-glace, this is not your mom’s meatloaf.
13 Groton Ave, Cortland NY
Los Lagos, nestled at the edge of downtown Cortland, serves up classic Latin cuisine. Just past the lounge, the quaint dining room is lined with cozy booths. At its center sits a rugged stone fireplace. Hanging above its mantle is an old black-and-white photo of the family gathered around a table in celebration. You are instantly at home as soon as you sit down next to its flickering flames. The Chile Relleños, blanketed in their signature ranchero sauce, pairs perfectly with a housemade sangria and will leave you feeling warm from the inside out.
HEUGA'S ALPINE RESTAURANT
1 Song Mountain Rd, Tully
Bluebird days just beg us to soak in the precious winter sun. Grab your favorite puffy jacket and head over to Heuga's. Enjoying the mountain isn't just for the ski set. Their massive outdoor fire table comfortably seats eight and will keep you toasty warm as you enjoy some of your cold-weather favorites. Their take on poutine, comprised of housemade fries swimming in curds, bacon, and gravy, is hard to beat. One of our favorites is the classic wedge salad, smothered in their housemade blue cheese dressing. Paired with some salmon or steak, this umami bomb of a salad makes a hearty meal. The best part, you don't have to worry about your food getting cold while you watch skiers make their way down the mountain.
294 Tompkins St., Cortland, NY
Mangia Stattizzito has fostered an enduring affair between food and fire. Before you even walk through the front doors, you are greeted by an impressive display of flames licking falling water. Their appetite for fire doesn't stop there. A wood-burning oven at the heart of the restaurant departs a distinctive hint of delicate smokiness to many of their dishes. Mangia isn't your grandfather's Italian restaurant. The name translates to "shut up and eat." The only thing traditional about this place is the dining room's classic brick fireplace. So pull up a chair, throw on another log and dig in! We love the Mare e Monti, a white wine linguine tossed with shrimp, fresh clams, asparagus, wild mushrooms, grape tomatoes and plenty of garlic. Don't forget to save room for dessert. Unique takes on the classics such as cannolis, tiramisu and panna cotta always have a place on the table.
TRAX PUB & GRILL
2000 NY-392, Cortland
A massive wood-burning stone fireplace presides over the dining room at Trax Pub & Grill. Its crackling flames are adjacent to the two-story floor-to-ceiling windows, making it the best place to watch the snowfall. If you are tempted to weather the outdoors, their patio has two gas fireplaces, perfect for sipping a hot toddy and catching up with friends. Arguably the king of comfort food, Trax offers their mac and cheese four ways. The brisket mac, served with house-smoked brisket slices, drizzled with a smoked cherry bbq sauce, topped with crispy onions and served on a bed of gooey white cheddar cavatappi pasta, will have you breaking up with box mac and cheese. We promise.
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