One would think that in order to dine in one of the country’s top rated restaurants, you’d almost certainly have to travel to New York City, San Francisco, or Los Angeles. Remarkably, here in Rochester, driving 45 minutes east to the quaint town of Geneva allows you the opportunity to enjoy a privilege usually reserved for our big-city brethren. In case you haven’t heard, Geneva’s FLX Table was recently voted as one of the top ten restaurants in the United States. I've now dined there on two separate occasions and have enjoyed myself enormously each time. As is the case with any great restaurant, the food was magnificent, the wine was exceptional, and the atmosphere at this establishment was unparalleled (in a rather unusual way). Read on…
The evening began with a few pieces of sliced Spanish ham, a great wine accompaniment, and some relaxing conversation. As you’re enjoying your amuse-bouche in a side room, the small staff of four are clearing plates and glasses in the dining room from the evening’s previous seating. At the appropriate time, you’re then casually invited to take your place at the only table in the restaurant – a table that comfortably seats fourteen. The $49 prix fixe menu begins with a Farmer’s Board to be shared by two (that’s not a typo – the dinner really does cost just $49 per person). The board includes a freshly baked loaf of rustic farmer’s bread, accompanying pickled vegetables, and locally sourced cheeses. The next course is an amalgam of various roasted, tickled, and raw mushrooms, button mushroom hummus, ramps and olive oil – delicious! The Smoked Polenta includes a 64-degree egg, drizzled with truffle puree and foie gras. Although I’m personally not a big fan of heavy, fattier meats, everybody else at the table seemed to really enjoy the entrée – Lamb Sausage with a pee-wee potato, black olive puree, ramp, and seaweed. Needless to say, don’t expect to have a bad meal at FLX Table!
In addition to the $49 meal, guests have the option to include a wine pairing package that ranges from $35-$150 extra per person. Your options are playfully entitled- Fun, Baller, FLX Baller, and Big Pimp’n. On both occasions, we happened to be feeling a bit more “Baller” than “Big Pimp’n”, so we paid an additional $55. The pairing selections were probably amongst the most eclectic and unusual of any dinner that I’ve ever had. As I enjoyed the first sips of each wine, I was shocked to learn that both were bottled locally. It turns out that, with this package, there were two Finger Lakes reds that were paired with different courses. The Finger Lakes region is known primarily for its Riesling-rich wine growing climate. Slowly, that perception is starting to change as vintners and wine makers become more skilled and selective in their wine making processes. If you have the chance, go out and buy a bottle of Element Syrah. You’ll be surprised – if not shocked – that this remarkable red is grown on Seneca Lake. It has all of the attributes that one would associate with a great California red.