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“Excellent Meal in Ithaca”

The Heights Restaurant and H Bar
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Ranked #15 of 261 Restaurants in Ithaca
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: American
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Business meetings, Special occasions, Romantic, Local cuisine, Families with children
Dining options: Dinner, Late Night, Lunch, Full Bar, Parking Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Description: The Heights Restaurant and H Bar was established in 1995 by Culinary Institute of America graduate James Larounis and his wife Heidi. We are located in the Village of Cayuga Heights, one mile from the center of Cornell University. The restaurant has a casual, contemporary atmosphere and features Mediterranean-inspired American cuisine. We place the utmost value on our seasonal menus and on sourcing locally. We also take great pride in our wine list which includes over 400 bottle selections from the United States and international regions, and over 20 wines by the glass. The Heights Restaurant and H Bar has been a Wine Spectator award winner since 1999.
Fairport, NY
Level Contributor
44 reviews
28 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Excellent Meal in Ithaca”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 10, 2013

My daughter and I were visiting Cornell, and a snowstorm prevented us from leaving Ithaca at the end of the day. The Heights Cafe and Grill was just a mile or so from our hotel. It was a bit difficult to find, but there are several signs en route which helped. It is located in a small shopping area with buildings that look more like houses than the normal strip mall. The heavy snow also made it challenging to find. When we arrived, we were greeted and seated right away. I am not sure if getting a table on Friday night is always easy, but it was in the midst of a snowstorm. There are two or three dining rooms, furnished nicely, and quite welcoming. The menu offers a number of appetizers, three wood fired pizzas, and a number of entrees. That evening there was also quite a list of specials. We were served a bread basket with pita wedges and homemade bread right away. it came with a garlicky hummus. My daughter doesn't usually like hummus, but she really enjoyed it. We began by sharing the crab cake appetizer. It was quite good and made with risotto and topped with a giant grilled shrimp. Salad comes with the entrees and the pizza, and was a good sized portion of baby greens with halved cherry tomatoes, blue cheese chunks, orange sections, and more with a mustard vinaigrette dressing. We shared a rustico pizza which was topped with marinated steak slices, red potatoes, kalamata olives, fresh rosemary, and more. We also had sautéed scallops over gnocchi with onions, sun dried tomatoes, etc. Everything was excellent, and all flavors were interesting, different, and delicious. The chef is from the Culinary Institute of America which might explain the inventiveness and high quality. There is a good selection of beer, wines, and cocktails, also (but we didn't have any). I am sure dessert would have been delicious, too, but we were too full. Service was excellent, attentive but not pushy. Although not inexpensive (about $60 for the two us before tip), it was well worth it for such a fine meal. I look forward to another visit,

  • Visited February 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
2 Thank GizFriend
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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213 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Trumansburg, New York, United States
Level Contributor
37 reviews
33 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Top shelf dining”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 31, 2013

James has a nack for preparing some of the tastiest foods in the area. I particularly like his sweet breads. Coming from the CIA, he creates dishes which dance in your mouth and give your taste buds a reason to cheer.

Visited June 2012
2 Thank Paul T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Ithaca, NY
Level Contributor
91 reviews
43 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 28 helpful votes
“Good food, but the portions are way too big”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 20, 2013

I have been to this restaurant many times. The food is always good and the chef is quite imaginative, but the portions have been getting bigger and bigger, to the point that I find the dinners to be overwhelming. I prefer to go for lunch, when I can be served a manageable plate. I know that many others like to bring leftovers home with them, but this is something I don't like to do. I would rank the Heights 5 stars if the portions were better managed.

Visited August 2012
Thank MKeren
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
31 reviews
17 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
“Favorite Restaurant around Cornell”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 9, 2013

Arguable the best restaurant in Ithaca. The atmosphere and menu are the most cosmopolitan among its competitors in the area. I always enjoy the Heights' full filleted fish.

Visited October 2012
1 Thank Lindsay B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
East Coast
Level Contributor
29 reviews
18 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 33 helpful votes
“Nothing compares!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed January 7, 2013

By far this is the best restaurant in Ithaca and the surrounding area. It is a lovely, small spot with excellent service and extraordinary preparations of even standard menu items. It is the one place I can have a hamburger and be transported to a better place. The steak salad always pleases and the daily specials are soooo tempting, The short ribs are wonderful and tender, scallops are to die for. Really everything is delicious I've had there and we like to stop for lunch on a regular basis.

Visited December 2012
1 Thank ShellsEastCoast
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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