We don't solicit free meals from restaurants for reviews like the Ithaca Times, and to be quite frank we don't want to get that fat, eating out all the time. So we don't really review restaurants at Ithaca Blog, so much as mention them occasionally, and then it tends to be ones we know and like already, not new ones we set out to explore.
But this past weekend we went out to a new one, by default: the Ithaca Ale House, and we liked it nicely enough to want to mention it.
The default part comes because we were supposed to meet friends last Saturday at one of our favorites, the Lost Dog, around the corner from the Eileen Ivers show we were going to at the State Theater. But the power went out in the neighborhood, and the Lost Dog was closed. So we had to scramble. Everywhere was jammed, with normal Saturday night trade, plus more from the restaurants that had been struck by unlighting.
Ithaca Ale House was the first place we found that could seat us in sufficient number (five) right away. So that was the place.
And it is a good place. At first glance it seems a lot like Benchwarmers, with a large sandwich and burger menu. And actually that was good enough for us that night. But they do have a number of specials that are more ambitious. One of us had one, a scallops dish, that had the trappings of fanciness, like a very, very large plate, and sauces laid out on it like a painting.
All the dishes were quite satisfactory, and the service was fast and pleasant. We told them we needed to get to a show on time, and they made sure that happened.
Befitting their name, by the way, and as you can imagine, they have a long list of beers, from sour to sweet, and the ones we tasted were fresh and good.
Ithaca Ale House is on Aurora Street, between Hal's Deli and Viva Tacqueria, in the old Wownet Cafe. Remnants of that tenant can be found in the many electrical outlets for internet use that was part of that place's raison d'etre and business plan, before there were computers everywhere on Earth.
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