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.

Ratings and reviews

RATINGS
Food
Service
Value

Details

PRICE RANGE
$8 - $30
CUISINES
American, European, Fusion, Gastropub, Dining bars
Meals
Dinner, Drinks
View all details
features, about
Reviews (49)
Filter reviews
49 results
Traveler rating
31
12
4
1
1
Traveler type
Time of year
LanguageEnglish
Traveler rating
31
12
4
1
1
Show reviews that mention
All reviews fried chicken collard greens trifle fries burger salad great cocktails an appetizer comfort food outdoor seating jr downtown appetizers tender veggies
Sort and selected filters
Sort FilterEnglish
Updating list...
Reviewed March 16, 2024 via mobile

Their food was absolutely delicious. Their custom cocktails were freshly made and they didn’t skimp on the alcohol. The restaurant was clean and well laid out. The hostess and server were on spot and made sure we were taking care of. We loved our meals...so much that we’ve told everyone we saw the next day - we will absolutely stop be again when we’re in Ithaca.More

Date of visit: March 2024
Helpful?
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed October 6, 2023 via mobile

Stopped in on a Tuesday night for dinner. Cute place near the State theater. Small, tight menu- but well thought out. Cocktails were very good. Cambozola app was excellent. Schnitzel and Fried chicken were also very good. The homemade hot sauce was a nice touch....Reasonably priced also... Manny took great care of us.More

Date of visit: October 2023
Helpful?
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed October 18, 2022

slightly off the "downtown"/restaurant row path, but worth the extra few blocks. small but eclectic and carefully selected menu. great cocktails too.

Date of visit: October 2022
Helpful?
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed September 27, 2022

We have eaten here once in a while over the years and always liked it. Tonight, we went in and asked for a table for two. The server said he had just the table for us, and showed us a table with two high chairs....Being somewhat elderly, we are not comfortable on high chairs, so we said that. I asked him how long we would have to wait for another table. He said, in a not encouraging tone, that he didn't know, maybe 15 or 20 minutes, maybe more. Pointing to a table for four, I said, What about that table? He said, "That's for someone else, not for you." He might have said, "That table is reserved," or "We are holding that table for four people," and we would have understood, that would have been ok, but that's not what he said. His whole demeanor, from the start, was contemptuous, snide, uninviting and unapologetic. We both felt he was extremely rude.More

Date of visit: September 2022
Helpful?
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed August 27, 2022 via mobile

We walked by and made a spontaneous decision to eat here as there were lots of diners outside, which gave a great atmosphere. They had well-cooked comfort food, including a good veggie option. Our server was friendly and helpful, and accommodated our requests. Excellent cocktail...menu as well!More

Date of visit: August 2022
Helpful?
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed August 27, 2022

Revisiting proved to be a good call. Since covid they have enhanced their menu and really focused on the dining experience. Great food and service. This place knows how to pick a power-combo. The Chef has produced a carefully curated small but tasty menu, and...the cocktail selection was well defined, interesting and mature. I was rather inpressed with who i assume was the sous chef and main servce bartender - who both churned it out during our visit - the place is small and was packed, and that service power couple executed like champs.More

Date of visit: August 2022
Helpful?
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed August 24, 2022

This place gets it. They were the antidote to our previous night's meal. We had gone to a well-liked "stuffy upscale" restaurant that promised all kinds of culinary dimensions but just couldn't deliver on any of them. In contrast, The Rook offered a compact, focused...menu of creative dishes and drinks in a cool environment outside. Our opening round of the Bobby Dolcetto and the Sammy Davis Jr., Jr cocktails really set the tone. Both the fried chicken with collard greens and the summer pasta were well executed - just what we needed.More

Date of visit: August 2022
Helpful?1  
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed August 24, 2022

The Rook is the kind of place that takes good care of you. The staff are friendly and attentive - they know that my husband likes his water with ice, and a glass of ice and a spoon will magically show up at his elbow...without even asking. They know my taste in cocktails, and will offer me one as I'm settling in. The food has always been well-prepared, with an eye toward seasonal produce and local offerings when possible. The burger is one of the best in town - thick soft buttery bun soaked with burger juice (get it with bacon and brie, you won't regret it). The entrees are seasonal, with at least one vegetarian option at any given time. If you save room for dessert, the trifle of the moment always hits the spot (and they use real whipped cream, of course). They have a strong cocktail program, and change up the cocktail list with the seasons. They're not afraid to experiment with bitters and various amari, and the results are delicious! They have indoor (socially-distanced) and outdoor seating - the picnic tables under the tent are nice on summer evenings with the lights strung up. Whether you're looking for a tasty meal or just a drink, you'll be well taken care of here.More

Date of visit: August 2022
Helpful?1  
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed August 16, 2022 via mobile

We tried The Rook based on all of the great reviews and our experience was otherwise. The atmosphere is cute, but that’s about where it ends. The menu is small, so you would think at least they’ve mastered the few items they are serving. Everything...we ordered was mediocre at best. The hush puppies appetizer - the worst hush puppies we’ve ever had, tasteless. The bacon wrapped dates…ewww! The bacon was pure fat, white and translucent - and overall it was super sweet since the bacon as it was served was inedible. The shrimp and grits - worst ever, tiny serving size and just bland. My daughters salad was forgotten. My husband’s Lucky Hare IPA was stale, 4 months old per the date stamped on the bottom of the can…IPAs should be served fresh and this was a hometown beer - no excuse! As for wine, there is exactly one red available - hope you like it! Thumbs down for us.More

Date of visit: August 2022
Helpful?1  
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed July 9, 2022

The Rook has been our list of places to try for at least a year. Their IG page does a fantastic job of marketing and drawing people in, but unlike many of the restaurants in our city on an average Summer Friday night, they didn't...seem to be all that busy. Maybe it's because they aren't in a neighborhood that gets a lot of foot or drive by traffic , but after eating there I'm inclined to believe it's due to their overpriced and average food. My basic tenet of eating out is "If I'm going to spend my money on something, it better be something that I can't make myself better at home". I don't feel that the Rook satisfied that qualification. My wife is excited about Shrimp and Grits whenever they're on a menu, the ones featured on the Rook's menu were $24, which is not a ridiculous price. But for that price you would assume that you would get a generous amount of grits/polenta studded with bacon and a generous portion of shrimp. The bowl came out and I'm not kidding you, there was a ladle full of grits in an oversized bowl, there was enough bacon and shrimp in the bowl, but this just felt like an appetizer disguised as an entree. After much deliberation, I got the Pork BBQ plate which was a half rack of ribs, a link of unsmoked andouille sausage, slaw, pickles and a roll. At $22, it was a better value than what my wife ordered, but I didn't find much to enjoy about this dish. The ribs weren't very meaty or tender. I'm not sure what sauce coated the ribs but it was neither hot, nor sweet nor vinegary. The sausage was much more of a problem for me. When I order andouille sausage as a part of my meal, it's usually a smoked sausage. This was a fresh sausage more akin to the texture of an Italian sausage, so the taste was just off and unimpressive. I think I gave away at least half of my ribs and sausage. I think the Rook is sources some of their product (like the sausage) from local vendors, which is fine, I respect that... but not at the expense of the experience. Local doesn't always mean better. We really wanted to like this restaurant and we just didn't. It seems in my opinion that whoever the chef is that conceptualized these dishes didn't do enough R&D on putting out the best product in the best executed way. Additionally, I'm aware that we're in a recession and that inflation has forced businesses to make the difficult choice between raising prices while providing less and taking the chance alienating customers or lowering the quality of the product they're putting out, so some of what we experienced may be that. But customer satisfaction is a delicate cross section of providing value and delivering quality. Myself and my party simply didn't get either of those. We won't be going back unless we can determine if something changes.More

Date of visit: July 2022
Helpful?2  
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed March 22, 2022

nice to eat on the adjacent patio during COVID. They even gave us some lotion to keep the bugs away. We had the Chicken Samy (good!), fried chicken, pasta, and collard greens. Staff was super-helpful especially after a decently long wait for a table.

Date of visit: August 2021
Helpful?
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed October 6, 2021 via mobile

Downtown Ithaca has become a food desert for late dining. All the restaurants are closed by 8 or 9 pm, or not even open on weeknights- Mahogany Grill, Simeon’s and Viva Taqueria to name a few. But just a few blocks away we found The...Rook, a small restaurant with a few awesome brews on tap. The menu is still limited, but features duck fat fried chicken (which one of our party was anxious to try), and a special of 3- 3oz. pork chops with pierogis and a compote of apples, cabbage and a little onion. Delicious!! Indoor and outdoor seating and a well stocked cocktail bar round out their offerings. We were lucky to find The Rook, and so will you be!More

Date of visit: October 2021
Helpful?
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed January 18, 2021

great food and cocktails...interesting specials....nice staff. A touch on the pricey side, but I assume this is new/in response to the covid struggles. the rook does a really nice job - def try the chicken and donuts, and if you're in town for a while...do one of their family style meals.More

Date of visit: December 2020
Helpful?1  
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed October 18, 2020 via mobile

The rook has a 4 piece chicken special for 10 bucks. Ten bucks! The gas station has chicken that price. Of course this is fantastic comedy in duck fat fried chicken. You must try some. The appetizer with bacon wrapped dates is always a favorite....Its a really good value here when you look at the overall end of meal tab. If you want to keep it modest, watch out for the TWELVE dollar drinks. Uh. This ain't NYC.. But, the food is big city fantastic.More

Date of visit: October 2020
Helpful?3  
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
Reviewed November 9, 2019

We were a party of 5 long-time girl friends visiting Ithaca. Two of us had had drinks and dessert a couple of years ago at The Rook and had vowed to return when we were back in the area. We shared the onion tart and...Gandolfini fries to start; both were delicious. The tart pastry was lovely and the duck fat fried loaded fries were addictive. We didn't leave a morsel of either. We shared the hearty greens with buttermilk dressing and the fig salads. For mains we had salmon over lentils, the black pepper gnocchi, flank steak with horseradish cream and a burger with extra cheese. The gnocchi was melt in your mouth tender and the horseradish cream was the ideal complement to the mid-rare steak. The burger was perfectly cooked and seasoned, with lots of melty sharp cheddar; it was clear the kitchen loves and loves to cook a great burger. And the burger came with more of the duck fat fried fries. To top it off, we shared an apple cake and homemade donuts for dessert. All in all a great dinner with professional, friendly service. Only wish I could go more often!More

Date of visit: October 2019
Helpful?3  
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.
View more reviews
Best nearby
Best nearby hotelsSee all
The Hotel Ithaca
322 reviews
.29 miles away
Super 8 by Wyndham Ithaca
940 reviews
.34 miles away
Hilton Garden Inn Ithaca
1,171 reviews
.35 miles away
Meadow Court Inn
190 reviews
.38 miles away
Best nearby restaurantsSee all
Saigon Kitchen
345 reviews
.17 miles away
Gorgers
83 reviews
.23 miles away
Taste of Thai Express
245 reviews
.23 miles away
The State Diner
163 reviews
.06 miles away
Best nearby attractionsSee all
Liquid State Brewing Company
22 reviews
.19 miles away
State Theatre of Ithaca
77 reviews
.23 miles away
Kitchen Theatre Company
16 reviews
.04 miles away
Sciencenter Sagan Planet Walk
18 reviews
.32 miles away
Questions & Answers
Get quick answers from The Rook staff and past visitors.
Note: your question will be posted publicly on the Questions & Answers page.
Submit
Posting guidelines
Is This Your Listing?
Own or manage this property? Claim your listing for free to respond to reviews, update your profile and much more.
Claim Your Free Listing

THE ROOK, Ithaca - Menu, Prices & Restaurant Reviews - Tripadvisor

Frequently Asked Questions about The Rook

Yes, The Rook offers takeout services.

The Rook is rated accordingly in the following categories by Tripadvisor travelers:
  • Food: 4.5
  • Service: 4.5
  • Value: 4.5