“What I love most about Rochester is its commitment to the arts, and in that I include the culinary arts. For a city this size, we have a first-rate symphony, multiple museums, Broadway shows, opera, ballet, music schools, and scores of small theater groups that keep citizens entertained through the brutal winters. And what goes hand in hand with going to a show? Dining out, of course. While the Neighborhood of the Arts is surging with world-class restaurants, they can be found all over the city, making a night out for dinner and a show an easy option for most demographics. I made a ‘temporary’ move to Rochester in the late nineties and quickly decided to put roots down due to the fact that it has the metropolitan feel of a large East Coast city, with the convenient advantages of my small hometown in the Finger Lakes.
“Secondly, I’d have to say that Pittsford Wegmans is my raison d’être. Whole Foods is certainly welcome to try to take my business away from this gem, but I doubt it will succeed. My Mediterranean roots cause me to have strong urges for Spanish chorizo, green olives, moldy cheese, and Italian soda, and the fact that I can indulge myself so easily is a big part of why I’ve settled here. In 2005, my husband and I moved briefly to Fort Lauderdale, where we found ourselves pining for Wegmans on a daily basis. Needless to say, that was a short-lived visit to South Florida, and we’re happy to be back in the land of stinky cheese and organic veggies.”
—Kristen Flores-Fratto, Brighton
Owner, The Gate House Cafe & Vesta’s Roman Hearth
Photo: Olive Bar, uploaded to Flickr by Liren Chen; used via Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-SA 2.0).