Seasonal Fare at The Lake House: How Two New Chefs Are Elevating Rose Tavern’s Cuisine
“One of the very nicest things about life is the way we must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and devote our attention to eating.” – Luciano Pavarotti
Crisp asparagus, zesty radishes, delicate wild ramps, garlic, and mushrooms, sweet cherries, and even sweeter maple syrup…these are just some of the local, seasonal ingredients found around Canandaigua right now and gracing the menus of Rose Tavern.
Now under the helm of executive chef Steve Easkins, a New York native who worked with some of the state’s leading restaurateurs, like Danny Meyer, before establishing the two dining venues at Rochester’s Radio Social, Rose Tavern is set to impress discerning diners even more.
Along with Easkins overseeing all culinary operations at The Lake House, including seafood-centric Sand Bar and event venues, the property has also recently welcomed a new executive baker, John Bard, who has extensive experience in pastry kitchens and bread baking.
Together, Easkins and Bard are dialing in the property’s cuisine, especially when it comes to local, seasonal fare. Case in point: The culinary team is currently planting herbs and vegetables on the property to begin using in dishes this summer. (The Lake House already has a Sauna Garden, cultivating local flowers, plants, and herbs that complement the spa’s essential oils.)
When asked about The Rose Tavern’s seasonality, the two say that they are constantly evolving and updating the menu at Rose Tavern. “Our custom wood-fired hearth is at the center of everything we do at Rose Tavern. High-quality beef, poultry, and seafood will rotate throughout the season, paired with seasonal sauces and sides,” says Easkins.
For spring, that means featuring the season’s first local ingredients, like the afore-mentioned asparagus and garlic scapes, as well as the first local lettuces and herbs. The duo is also championing local farmers and producers, with some of their go-tos including Bostrom Farms and Autumn’s Harvest Farm for locally- and pasture-raised meats, and Deep Root Farm for vegetables. First Light Creamery and Pittsford Farms Dairy help provide milk and cheese, while local mills, The Birkett Mills and Farmer Ground Flour, supply specialty grains and organic flours.
These partnerships and local knowledge come together to offer crowd-pleasing dishes that are also hyper-local. For example, Rose Tavern’s Farmstead Cheeses & Charcuterie platter is made possible by working closely with an artisanal charcuterie maker in Canandaigua. “The variety and quality cheese found throughout New York State is some of the best in the world, so we will look to highlight that always.
Of course, one must also save room for dessert when there are delights such as sesame chocolate trifle, featuring a sesame chocolate cremeux and chocolate sponge, or lemon poppy tart with a poppy seed tuile and honey meringue.
Ready to experience Canandaigua’s seasonal bounty at Rose Tavern?