Nina’s opens in Sherburne; Suzi’s makes you smile in Bouckville; and Ulysses is a hit in NYC

Reservation please!

Where have you eaten lately?

Hello again from Unchained Restaurants. I hope you’ve had a chance to enjoy good meals at locally owned and operated restaurants here in Central New York and beyond. Here are some quick side dishes:

— Have you been to Nina’s in Norwich? Well, the popular Italian restaurant in Norwich has opened a second location in Sherburne, taking over the site vacated by Lewis’ Restaurant. It seemed like a long wait, but Nina’s Italian Grill is now open for business at the intersection of routes 12 and 12B.

Wife L, her folks and I had a chance to visit on Friday night, and we all enjoyed the more modern interior, extensive menu, and quality food that was dished up. The restaurant has been completely transformed, with a long granite bar-top now greeting guests as they first enter. Nina’s is still waiting for its liquor license, but I can see this section filling up once the suds and vino can be poured.

A take-out area with a few tables comes next, and then the main dining area. The re-figured kitchen, new carpet, warm colors and more natural light all are welcome changes. While it was busy when we visited, it did seem louder than it needed to be. I hope they can add some sound-deadening pieces to make conversation easier.

Nina’s serves all sorts of pizzas, pasta dishes, chicken and veal dishes, hot and cold subs,  calzones, and a few steaks. I had my Italian fave, baked ziti, and it delivered with a terrific sauce and extra helping of mozzarella cheese. The rolls that come to the table are worth visiting on their own, they are incredibly good.

— If you haven’t been to Suzi’s Place in Bouckville for breakfast, you should make the trip. Today I had one of their daily specials: french toast with fresh bananas and blueberries, with sausage. It was terrific, with a light cinnamon topping adding a touch of sweet. Wife L had her standby, the eggs Benedict, but this time with greens added. It was a hearty dish served with homemade home fries.

— A recent trip to New York City with Brother M and Niece K brought us to the Financial District.  A walkabout of the area led us to visit the U.S. Custom House, with its amazing rotunda, Fraunces Tavern,  the place that George Washington said farewell to his officers in 1783, and for dinner (there is always food involved), to Ulysses Folk House, a bar and grill.

Ulysses is one of a good dozen bars and restaurants in a historic section of Stone Street that is pedestrian-only and filled with covered picnic tables covered that provide outside dining options. Pretty hostesses stand outside different establishments, ready to share a menu and secure you a seat. Ulysses was a hit; The Dubliner was a dud.

Freedom Tower and the 9/11 reflecting pools are not far from there, either, and are absolutely worth a visit. Be prepared to be moved by the powerful tribute to the 9/11 victims.

The memorial pool marking the site of the south tower.

The memorial pool marking the site of the south tower.

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