Graft, A Watkins Glen Wine and Cider Bar

Now that Sunrise Landing is closed until mid April, the innkeepers can do a little exploring of their own.  Having begun that mission in earnest – we have made a wonderful discovery – Graft! It’s one of the newest sensations in Watkins Glen.

The decor is chic and the food extremely creative. They offer an extensive menu of small bites but most plates are meant to be shared by two. The chef is Christina McKeough who was the original owner of Hazelnut Kitchen in Trumansburg.   Our first visit, Bob and I  stuck to our favorites – we both had a classic Caesar Salad made with whole romaine leaves, and served with Garlic Toast. We also  shared a plate of hummus and pita with Green oil and pistachio dukkah.  A bottle of Ravines Chardonnay completed the feast.  The desserts are as creative as the main offerings such as: salted caramel budino with pistachio praline, or chocolate gingersnap tart with whipped cream and cocoa nibs – just to give you an idea.

When I first heard it, the name was a mystery to me. It conjured up references to “dishonest dealings by elected officials” – not a good connotation. So our  first discovery was about the name – which not surprisingly referred to it’s other definition. The origin of the name and their philosophy is on the menu: “Why Graft? In horticulture, graft means to unite a shoot or bud with a growing plant to create something new; to join two varieties together to create one. At Graft, we look to connect community in the discovery (+joy!) of local – inspired seasonal menus and New York Wine and Cider”.

Graft is closed for the holidays until January 11. They have been staying open until 10 PM but my guess is during the winter months it will depend on the demand. When they re-open on January 12 at 4 PM, they will also be unveiling a new upstairs space.  I am looking forward to checking it out that night or shortly thereafter.


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