Made in Ithaca Tour and a very nice dinner.

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July 31st 2011
Published: August 1st 2011
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Sunday we slept in a bit as we had nothing set for the day until our tour started at noon. Weather not as great - cloudy, with some threats of rain. But it never got really rainy so we were good.

The tour started at Joe's Restaurant, the oldest continually operating restaurant in town. We had salad and pizza, both quite good. The decor of Joe's was vintage 1920's, with small black and white floor tiles and a beautiful wooden bar. Out tour guide was Laura, also the owner of the tour company. She was funny and very enthusiastic about all of our stops. She told us she'd graduated from Cornell in the 1980's and just loved the area so much that she never left.

Our next stop was Purity Ice Cream, also an old local establishment. We sampled 5 flavors of ice cream - it was hard work but we toughed it out! The company still uses the recipes that were developed by the founder in 1936, with a big emphasis on high-quality ingredients. You could tell - every flavor was fantastic. And sadly, it's only available in this area.

Having sampled the pizza and ice cream portions of the food pyramid, it was time for the beer and wine portions. We moved on to the Ithaca Beer Company, where we were taken on a tour of the beer-brewing process. This was really interesting and we now have a little better idea of what the words on a beer label mean. This is a small, fairly new business that's working hard to succeed. Which they must be doing, because Laura mentioned that this past Friday they rolled out their newest summer brew. It all sold out in several hours so they're hurrying to make more for their enthusiastic customers. We sampled 6 or 7 beers and ales. We liked them but honestly there weren't any that made us say "Wow." They were all quite uniquely flavored brews - maybe our tastes are more simple.

The last tasting stop was at Six Mile Creek Vineyards. More wine! And they also distill some hard liquor, which is unusual. We tasted 5 or 6 wines plus one of their liqueurs, Orangecello. Like Limoncello but with a different fruit. Well, that is some good citrus beverage! We did purchase a bottle of this delightful little concoction.

Our final stop wasn't to taste anything, but to see another waterfall. which was just gorgeous. It's called Ithaca Falls, and it's very high, with a good volume of water falling over many different rock shelves. And you get to it by just walking onto a wooded trail which is right in a neighborhood of homes. How crazy to have something like that 5 minutes from your front yard!

For dinner, we ate at the John Thomas Steakhouse which is another highly recommended restaurant according to reviews. This one didn't disappoint. We both had great steaks, with some of the best garlic mashed potatoes we've ever had. Service was professional and excellent, and we had a very enjoyable dining experience.

Tomorrow, we start heading back home with maybe a stop or two on the way....

Additional photos below
Photos: 9, Displayed: 9


Tour guide Margaret Tour guide Margaret
Tour guide Margaret

with the beer bottling machine.
Six Mile Creek VineyardsSix Mile Creek Vineyards
Six Mile Creek Vineyards

view from the deck behind their store.

20th January 2012

Ithaca's Gorges and Cayuga Lake
You might be interested in my blog with the above title and the URL of, and our book ITHACA-THE CITY, GORGES, AND COLLEGES, at

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