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“Wonderful calamari!” 5 of 5 stars
Review of The Willows

The Willows
900 Culver Avenue, Utica, NY 13501
315.765.0271
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Ranked #3 of 148 Restaurants in Utica
Cuisines: American
Dining options: Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
21 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 4 cities Reviews in 4 cities
11 helpful votes 11 helpful votes
“Wonderful calamari!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 14, 2013 via mobile

Absolutely the best calamari, nice and crispy also add red hot peppers and fry them with the calamari. It is delicous!!!! My boyfriend had Seafood riggies and was flattered by the value of his meal.

  • Visited May 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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51 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    36
    10
    5
    0
    0
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Buffalo
Top Contributor
60 reviews 60 reviews
26 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 43 cities Reviews in 43 cities
59 helpful votes 59 helpful votes
“Delicious!”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 27, 2013

We had dinner at the Willows a couple weeks ago on our way to the Adirondacks to ski. I really liked the variety of entrees on the menu, and the prices were reasonable. Salad is included in the price, and it was fresh and delicious! No iceberg lettuce in sight! My chicken entree was served with a wonderful maple syrup based sauce, and I loved it! Our server was very efficient, and she also helped us with directions to the Adirondacks. We were a little late in arriving, and everyone was very accommodating. The dining room is very attractive, spacious, and quiet. I can't wait to go back!

  • Visited March 2013
    • 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.
Chicago, Illinois
Top Contributor
230 reviews 230 reviews
166 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 55 cities Reviews in 55 cities
84 helpful votes 84 helpful votes
“Eating at the Bar”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed March 3, 2013

I walked in without a reservation before 6 pm on a Saturday night, and they were fully booked, so the host suggested that I eat at the bar. The bar was nearly empty and I was able to order from the full menu.

The food was fresh and tasty. I particularly liked the gorgonzola/garlic salad dressing. I had a veal this that topped a fried cutlet with greens and a creamy sauce. It was okay, but the sauce was a bit heavy.

There service was attentive and friendly, particulary given how busy they were and the fact I had no reservation.

  • Visited March 2013
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 3 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
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New Hartford, New York
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
21 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 9 cities Reviews in 9 cities
17 helpful votes 17 helpful votes
“Good Food, Not So Good Atmosphere”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 11, 2013

The Willows has very good food. We started off with the spicy tuna roll, tempura-style ($9.00) as an appetizer, and it was delicious. Tuna was sushi grade and cooked perfectly.
Entrees range from pasta to medallions of filet, and include either a house or Caesar salad. I tried the Duck Confit ($$24.50) and was pleased with the presentation and the taste. The salad was amazing with fresh baby greens, radicchio, bleu cheese and cranberies. All the flavors melded together well.
My dinner partner had the Haddock En Croute ($22.00) and was also very happy with the texture, taste, and presentation of the meal. We finished off with an amazing creme brulee...the BEST I've ever tasted. It was light, fluffy and the crunchy top was sweet and delicious.
The wine list is also very good, and I went with a favorite: Kendall Jackson Chardonnay ($28.00).

The Willows' atmosphere leaves something to be desired, however. Tables are in one large room with very little on the walls to absorb sound. At a few tables, some of the guests were laughing and shouting so loud that it was impossible to have any kind of conversation with my partner who was sitting across from me. I had to have the server repeat her questions at least twice because of the noise level. It was also very warm inside and after awhile I developed a headache from the noise and temperature.

Service was VERY slow, and we were there for almost 3 hours. I enjoy a leisurely dinner as much as anyone, but felt that that was much too long.

Parking is also problematic as the lot is very small.

I would recommend perhaps a weeknight dinner instead of weekend if you're going to go. And make your reservation far in advance; the Willows is popular.

  • Visited February 2013
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 3 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
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Central NY
Top Contributor
50 reviews 50 reviews
29 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
27 helpful votes 27 helpful votes
“Just wonderful...”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 19, 2013

Food was great and plentiful. Atmosphere was pleasant and welcoming. Staff were attentive but not overly so. I have to say, if you're looking for a wonderful evening for dinner in Utica - this is the place. I say evening because the food is being prepared for you, as you ordered it, so it takes a bit to get it out to you. It's well worth the wait -- and -- you can enjoy some wine and pleasant conversation in the lovely dining room while you wait.

  • Visited January 2013
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
    • 5 of 5 stars Food
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