I grew up in Syracuse, my first job was teaching up the road from Ithaca in Union-Springs. We used to go to Ithaca all the time to eat. But, I was a young teacher, so we usually hit pubs.
Anyways, there are LOTS of good restaturants. I would second going to Antler's
. try Agava's
for southwestern decent food, Ithaca Ale House
for an excellent burger in a sleek taproom, Simeon's on the Commons
is a tradition - an traditional food is the best best, like their potroast, shortribs, franch onion soup. Just a Taste
for the tappas expoerience, and Alladin's Natural Eatery
is up in collegetown (Cornell) and is a great little mediterrranean joint. In the summer, I always loved their gaspacho soup. They have complete entrees, but also small plates, like pita and hummus. I guess it's like an appetizer, but I've had that as my lunch, along with some stuffed grape leaves. Although, if you want a Gyro, and you're interested in getting in touch with your inner college (which is why an adult would go to collegetown), go to Souvlaki House
. Not much in terms of atmosphere - kind of no frills, but they make a good Gyro - for lunch, it's great.
There's so much good Italian food in syracuse, and relatively inexpensive, that I hated paying the higher price for Italian when in Ithaca, BUT ZaZa's
is good, a litle more upscale than a homestyle type Italian restaurant, but still has homey and comforting food, and a very nice atmosphere.
Enjoy the weekend. It's like they say, "Ithaca is Gorges!" And the color should be amazing compare to what we have in the mid-atlantic!