Once a month I meet a dear friend in New Hartford (Utica), NY at Georgio’s Village Cafe. We both order Utica Beans and Greens, Utica has recently been granted some culinary fame when Guy Fieri made Utica Beans and Greens on his Foodnetwork show.The dish – made with fresh chopped escarole, hot cherry peppers, fresh prosciutto, grated cheese and a mix of oregano, bread crumbs and cheese. How can you go wrong with those ingredients. There are several recipes for the dish on the web and Lady ChowChow will be making it and sharing the outcome in the near future. Also on the menu is another Utica favorite Chicken Riggie’s.
The name “Chicken Riggies” is a Utica, NY, colloquialism and a household name known to everyone in Central New York. And, for those that do not know, Utica, NY is so famous for its Chicken Riggie’s that there is actually much publicized, annual “Riggies Fest” where people (and, restaurants) compete with their own version of the dish, and a winner is crowned every year. For a restaurant, holding that revered title, inevitably translates to a big boom in business.
So are many of you surprised that Utica is a hotbed of culinary bliss in upstate NY?
I will name another soon to be famous dish from Utica. Georgioi’s Portabella appetizer. The mushrooms are cooked in a dark thick beef broth and covered in melted mozzarella and served with baskets of warm crusty bread. Now that is a reason to get out of bed in the morning! Kids and husband/wife driving you crazy? landscaper cut down the wrong tree? mother- in-law moving in for the holidays? go to Georgio’s and get the Mushroom Appetizer.Better than Prozac to take care of nasty stress makers!
60 Genesee Street
New Hartford NY 13413
“Guy Fieri the host of “Guy’s Big Bite” and two other shows, dedicated an episode that aired Sunday called “Blondes Have More Fun” to Utica-inspired cuisine, including Utica greens.
Fieri, who appeared at The Turning Stone recently as September, called the popular dish “Turning greens from Utica, NY,” said former local resident Mike Falvo, who turned on the show Sunday morning to see an unexpected reminder of home.
“I saw him putting the greens in the pan, and he mentioned the ingredients, and they sounded really familiar,” said Falvo, who now lives in San Angelo, Texas. “I said, ‘I think he’s making greens.”
The dish – made with fresh chopped escarole, hot cherry peppers, fresh prosciutto, grated cheese and a mix of oregano, bread crumbs and cheese – has a cozy spot on the menus of many local restaurants, including Georgio’s Village Café, Dominique’s Chesterfield Restaurant, Delmonico’s Italian Steak House and Joey’s Restaurant”