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“Lunch at the Heights=divine”

The Heights Restaurant and H Bar
Ranked #20 of 268 Restaurants in Ithaca
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: American, Mediterranean
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special occasions, Business meetings, Bar scene, Romantic
Dining options: Lunch, Late Night, Dinner, Reservations
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.
Ithaca, NY
Level 3 Contributor
22 reviews
22 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
“Lunch at the Heights=divine”
Reviewed August 3, 2009

I had the gnocchi... it was AMAZING. I love The Heights, although... they are rather expensive. Lunch is not too pricey, but the portions are large and delish! Their service and product is exceptional.

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Helpful?
1 Thank dapo2004
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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227 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
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Rating summary
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Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Cave Creek, AZ
1 review
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
“I dare you to find better food, atmosphere and hospitality...”
Reviewed July 24, 2009

For visitors from Arizona, the prospects of spending a week on Cayuga Lake enjoying cool, crisp nights and sunny days of boating and relaxation were quite the summertime welcome. However, a truly marvelous dining experience at Heights Cafe & Grill in Ithaca was perhaps the most pleasant surprise of the week; thanks to gracious host/owners James and Heidi Larounis, a service staff second to none and a menu that rivals any fine dining establishemnts on either coast (or anywhere in between).

You want creative and delicious? Start with the Truffled Risotto, and after one bite you'll think Lake Como is down the road instead of Cayuga. A fan of seafood? The beautifully-prepared scallops & shrimp appetizer is a little bit of heaven; the pairing of tapioca and coconut broth making this already-sensational dish exquisite.

And the only two words that should come out of your mouth while ordering your entree (aside from "Thank God" for finding Heights in the first place) is very simple: SKIRT STEAK. I guarantee you have not tasted a finer cut of meat; grilled Brazilian-style with plantains, eggplant, potatoes and onions with a banana ketchup (yes, banana ketchup!) and chimichurri sauce. Words do not do this meal justice...you must visit Heights and experience it yourself. And if that were not enough, I found a little space to try the oven-roasted rack of lamb; yet another elegant, creative (with an Ouzo demi glace) dish that begged for closer attention (but the skirt steak kept calling my name).

No room for dessert, right? Wrong. Do yourself a favor and save some room. I don't know whose "signature" should be on Heights' Signature Chocolate Cake, maybe the ancient Mayan chef who decided that cacao could be used in cooking. It's simply that rich and original.

As someone who does a great deal of traveling all over the United States, I've had the great fortune of dining in some wonderful places -- from simple burger joints to amazing five-star restaurants. Heights Cafe & Grill captures elements from all those wonderful places, making a wonderful family vacation that much more special. Run - don't walk - to Heights to say hello to James, Heidi, their staff and a menu that will leave you longing to get back to Ithaca and the southern shore of Cayuga Lake...

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Helpful?
2 Thank AZGoods
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago
Level 2 Contributor
6 reviews
6 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“An excellent dining experience”
Reviewed July 22, 2009

I can’t say enough good things about Heights Café. We were on vacation in the Finger Lakes, hiking gorges and mixing in some boating. We didn’t have high expectations for fine dining; but Heights Café was outstanding in every way. It’s every bit as good as our favorite places in Chicago.

We had the fire roasted Mediterranean sea bass and char grilled duck breast. Not an edible morsel of that fish was left behind. The duck was among the best I’ve ever had. Sides were great too. Dessert was a very satisfying chocolate layer cake and they have perfected their cappucino.

It’s clear why this restaurant has been honored so consistently by Wine Spectator. The wine list is deep and varied. The young sommelier was very helpful. We selected a 2004 Darioush napa cab which was priced very reasonably, practically a steal.

We ate at the bar, which we found to be a very pleasant spot. The bartender did not miss a beat – very professional service. She did not miss a beat. We met the chef/owner, James Larounis, who was personable and gracious, even after a very busy night in the restaurant.

We won’t visit the Ithaca area again without plans for a stop at Heights Café.

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Helpful?
1 Thank letseatChicago
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cardiff Wales
1 review
“Often beautiful food spoilt a little by other aspects”
Reviewed April 23, 2009

Outwardly a nice and well presented. Interior a little crowded with not much room between tables on a busy night. Can be noisy.
Most meals ordered were beautifully presented and conceived.
Don't order the pizza. Possibly the worst I have ever had. Rock hard crust and dry tasteless topping.
Service can be a trifle cold and snooty.Perhaps we were not spending enough.

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Helpful?
Thank CezanneBlue
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
NY
Level 5 Contributor
95 reviews
88 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 106 helpful votes
“Perfect!”
Reviewed March 22, 2009

I have eaten here for years. I have never been disappointed, and they change the menu seasonally. They use free-range meats, and locally grown produce. The wine cellar is deep and the staff is knowledgeable and engaging. The service is outstanding.

    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank Emdoctor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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