I'd give my left arm to have Hazelnut in Ithaca--I'd save a ton on gas, not driving to Trumansburg. Still, the trip is worth it: everything from the $13 burger to the inventive house specials show an amazing attention to detail, a commitment to quality, and an interest in locally-sourced ingredients. The menu also doesn't neglect vegetarians, with at least one second-course offering as well as smaller plates and specials to choose from. Hazelnut is also one of those rare places that matches itself effortlessly to the diner's mood or occasion. I've been equally at home in jeans and a sweater or a nice cocktail dress and pearls, depending on the occasion. Service is responsive without being intrusive; servers are very knowledgeable about how dishes are prepared and are able to offer good advice on pairing wines--often local--with your selections. Whether you're there for just a bite or you plan to linger most of the evening, it's a great choice. Definitely call ahead for reservations, and leave your American Express card at home (they do take Visa, Mastercard & Discover, though).
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