The Clever Chefs of Central New York

What comes to mind when you think of your favorite food spots? Is it the local diner down the street or the popular up-and-coming restaurant around the corner? Whatever it is, there are chefs behind the scenes who are creating those delicious meals.

Central New York has devoted chefs who strive to serve their customers the best quality food. Using locally sourced ingredients and making you feel like you are more than just a customer. These chefs, along with many more in the region, know how to serve up finest cuisine.

Mel’s at 22

When you think of Otsego County, you may think of popular Cooperstown, the home to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum or the Fenimore Art Museum which hosts many shows but, have you ever wondered about the food that you can enjoy while strolling the streets? Mel’s at 22 in is the perfect place to wine and dine after a day on the town.

Newly renovated Mel’s at 22 was created in memory of owner and chef Brian Wrubleski’s wife, Maryellen. Established in 2014, this restaurant comes not just with great food, but also a story.  Brian worked in the culinary industry for 30 years but knew there was something missing – a restaurant to call his own.

The restaurant came during a time when he needed it most. Now it is a successful family affair. His daughters and son-in-law all work by his side and run Mel’s at 22.

Social on State

Binghamton is the home to many different grub spots, so what is it that makes this one stand out from the rest? Well, Social on State is run by Chef and Owner Jay Pisculli. This Long Island native’s passion for cooking was rooted in his childhood. He has now brought a local, modern, cocktail lounge to the heart of Binghamton.

The theme is tapas. Pisculli has put a twist on the classic dining experience and has integrated more of the social aspect. The tapas concept came from the realization that there wasn’t that type of dining offered in the area. The menu is full of seasonal rotating dishes all made for sharing. This way, guests can socialize while sharing and socializing during their meal.

“I think the food at Social on State is different, because for me it is very personal. We aren’t tied to a cuisine, such as an Italian restaurant or Chinese food place,” he says. “We make food that tastes good and looks beautiful. I believe that you absolutely eat with your eyes. Presentation can win a person over before they even taste the meal.”

The Tailor and the Cook

Farm-to-table is the name of the game at The Tailor and the Cook, nestled in downtown Utica. Their roots? The chef Tim Hardiman and his business partner Chris Talgo have been friends since childhood, both having had a “support local” mindset since the beginning.

Together, they opened up this restaurant right in the heart of Utica. The name developed from the history of the building in which they are located. The address was once the home of UTK Tailing Company from 1910 to 1940 and they decided to keep the name going or at least part of it with their own twist. The Tailor and the Cook they strive to give their customers nothing but the best. By locally sourcing their ingredients from farms in the area they make sure that they are always serving up the freshest meals.