Ancora is a delightful bit of class in downtown Utica, right on Genesee Street and next door to the Stanley Theater. It’s perfect for dinner before the show, drinks after the show, a date night or a get together for a birthday or shower. There’s outdoor seating in good weather that’s great for people watching and there’s an intimate bar with a view into the open kitchen. It’s almost as fun to watch the crepes being made as it is to eat them.

The menu has nothing but good stuff on it, but some of the items deserve their own special mention. Try the calamari, mostly for the dipping sauce. If you love Utica greens, these are a MUST-TRY, Ancora’s version of a local staple. The nightly special is bound to be superb. And for the love of all that’s holy, have a crepe for desert. Definitely worth the calories!

Everything is beautifully plated and served by professional staff. The bar is fully stocked with a better wine list than one usually finds in Utica. The owner, the young guy you think can’t possibly be experienced enough to run this joint, is often around and available for conversation. So please ask him about his story. Here’s a hint, he started as a dishwasher…

Dress as fancy as you like or just come in business casual attire. There’s no actual dress code, but why not make yourself look as nice as the food?

Robin Behl, La Cuentista

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