We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.
We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Good food but terrible service and policies.” 3 of 5 stars
Review of Booker's Backyard

Booker's Backyard
1638 East Shore Drive, NY State Route 34, Ithaca, NY 14850
+1 607-319-0351
Website
Menu
Improve this listing
Ranked #55 of 221 Restaurants in Ithaca
Price range: $10 - $22
Cuisines: Fish & Chips, Bar, Seafood, Barbecue
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Scenic view
Dining options: Late Night, Outdoor Seating, Reservations
Description: Opened in 2012 Booker's Backyard continues to be recognized as one of Ithaca's Best Restaurants. Located just outside of town Booker's offers amazing outdoor dining paired with a beautiful upscale casual interior. Booker's features a unique blend of seafood and barbecue inspired items that they've deemed East Coast Comfort Food.
Senior Contributor
30 reviews 30 reviews
25 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
“Good food but terrible service and policies.”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed February 16, 2013

We've been here 3-4times and I wanted to write a good if not great review.

The food is good, and I think that it's overall a good choice - for most occasions.

Today really soured me however. We showed up 10 minutes before our call ahead seating and they refused to seat us, even though there were plenty of tables and spots available. The explanation was that our whole party wasn't here yet.

We would have liked to sit down and get something to drink, but no dice and no reasonable reason.

Not sure I'm coming back after this!

    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Write a Review

51 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    14
    22
    9
    2
    4
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Ithaca, New York
Top Contributor
66 reviews 66 reviews
50 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 17 cities Reviews in 17 cities
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
“Not Impressed”
2 of 5 stars Reviewed January 21, 2013

I clearly had a much different experience than the other reviewers, perhaps it was an off night. First the wait between receiving menus, getting drinks, ordering, was very slow. Nothing was offered for the kids to do, I had to ask if they had crayons (they did along with used coloring books)

They offered complimentary rolls, which we glady accepted. The rolls looked nice but they were completely flavorless and the butter being regular butter didn't add any flavor either. An herbed butter would have helped. Next we had the Lobster Puffs, again no flavor.

I had the rib dinner. Great portion size, maybe a little too much. The ribs were way over seasoned and I would "bet the farm" that they had been previously cooked and reheated. The grits actually had an excellent flavor but were too thick. I did like the collard greens and cole slaw. The bold flavors of the 4 different foods didn't really compliment each other. My husband had the BBQ burger, again nice portion when I asked him how it was he said "it's OK" but he wished they offered a regular burger as an option. The only other burger had pulled pork on it.

To end on a positive note, They have a great kid's menu with tons of options and the decor was cute.

  • Visited January 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 2 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Top Contributor
138 reviews 138 reviews
84 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 66 cities Reviews in 66 cities
108 helpful votes 108 helpful votes
“Great food”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 22, 2012

Stopped in yesterday after a recommendation from a "local". Stepped in to a warm and inviting restaurant with great decor, a nice bar area, and wait staff who were great. Our drinks never remained empty and the servers were on the mark.

Hog wings, onion soup and barbecued shrimp were our lead off appetizers. All were great. The soup had mushrooms and Swiss cheese melted on top. Mains of steak, seafood pot pie and ribs were all equally good. The seafood dish had hunks of lobster and a quantity of shrimp...yummy.

We will return.

  • Visited December 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ithaca, New York
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
20 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 20 cities Reviews in 20 cities
15 helpful votes 15 helpful votes
“Monday night feast with an at home feeling.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 12, 2012

Dinner tonight at the bar was terrific. My wife and I split one appetizer, she had a dinner sized portion of soup and I had an entree. Food was served promptly, hot and everything was very, very flavorful. We're stuffed! The bar staff was great getting things out and then cleared. We could not have felt more welcome. Each visit to Booker's gets better and they seem to be hitting home runs in the kitchen with their new chef.

    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ithaca, New York
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Almost Amazing”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 23, 2012

After seeing the amazing location, beautiful outdoor seating, and spectacular bar I started to get excited. Reading the delicious menu (mac and cheese with pulled pork on top!) got my expectations high.
We began with the mac and cheese bites, because my boyfriend and I wanted to try the mac and cheese but didn't want it as an entree. The texture was great, but the taste was bland. Just a little salt and pepper in the breading and maybe a little bit of a stronger cheese (or some salt at least) would improve it.
For our entrees I ordered a Bourbon Burger and my boyfriend the Pork Butt sandwich. I expected my burger to have a little more taste to it, since it says a shot or bourbon bbq sauce would be present, but unfortunately there was only a drizzle. The burger itself needed a little seasoning as well.
My boyfriend loves southern food, but his pork was very bland in his opinion.
I think this restaurant is still finding it's footing. The ingredients used were obviously fresh and of a good quality. The menu is creative and contains a lot of delicious comfort foods. As a southern influenced restaurant I think the chefs need to be a little bolder with their spices! I will definitely try it again in a few months once it has time to refine the menu. This restaurant has great potential!

  • Visited October 2012
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

Travelers who viewed Booker's Backyard also viewed

 
Ithaca, Finger Lakes
 

Been to Booker's Backyard? Share your experiences!

Write a Review Add Photos & Videos

Owners: What's your side of the story?

If you own or manage Booker's Backyard, register now for free tools to enhance your listing, attract new reviews, and respond to reviewers.