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The Chef & The Cook

Picture this: You are sitting on a cozy brick patio that has been warmed by the sun while you watch the calm river flowing by and when you listen closely you can hear the water gently lapping the shore. 

The Signature Mimosa, a new twist on an old favorite, watermelon puree and sparkling rose, and the refreshing “Life is Good Lemonade” with Disco Lemonade, Chef Made Limoncello, and Vodka 6100.

As you feel the days residual sunshine on your face you placidly watch the day turn into twilight. A friendly server, who compliments the experience, brings you an ice cold hand crafted cocktail that you enjoy while taking in the beauty of your surroundings and the peacefulness that the evening has to offer. Maybe you are on a first date; maybe it’s your first date night out in a long time; perhaps you are catching up with a group of old friends; or taking a moment to reconnect with a sibling that you talk to every day but rarely have a chance to actually sit down with and relax. This milieu has encouraged a feeling of peace and togetherness so when you decide on your order you are inspired to share. As the sky fades into shade of purple, your meal arrives. The farm to table fresh cuisine you ordered is plated in a manner that resembles artwork; almost too beautiful to be disturbed by consuming it. This feeling quickly dissipates as you are overwhelmed by the intoxicating smell emanating from the dish. As you take your first bite your evening begins to melt into perfection.

Could such a place actually exist? Certainly you’d have to travel halfway across the world to find such splendor in a dining experience, right? What if I told you this serene, beautiful, and delicious place exists right here in Central New York? I am pleased to inform you that the scene I just described is not from a book, or a faraway grotto. You can find this experience for yourself at The Chef & The Cook, tucked next to the river at 7 Syracuse Street in Baldwinsville. They are open for indoor and outdoor seating Tuesday through Thursday from 4 pm to 10 pm, Friday from 4 pm to 11 pm, Saturday from noon to 11 pm, and for Chef’s Brunch on Sunday from 10 am to 2 pm. Reservations are encouraged but not required and you can make them via phone at 315-303-4159 or on their website at www.cheffourrent.wixsite.com/thechefthecook under the reservation tab. The Chef & the Cook is the ideal place to eat, drink, and relax.

The Veal Osso Buco

The Chef & The Cook is the latest collaboration of the creative and talented Chef’s DeAnna Germano, Mark Germano, and Jason Jessmore. The team is also the co-owners of the innovative high-end food truck Chef4Rent and Cocaire in Elbridge. Together, they have decades of experience and their collaborations are nothing short of masterful, inventive, and scrumptious. The team is always looking for creative ways to create new dishes and reinvent old favorites to create an absolutely unique dining experience while using fresh and sustainable ingredients. They also offer an incredible bar selection including a large selection of craft brews and their handcrafted signature cocktails. I can assure you that the cocktails are unlike any you have ever seen because they utilize a variety of ingredients melon, watermill, berries, and chef made limoncello. A meal at The Chef & the Cook is unlike anything else around; it is truly a culinary journey. The Chef & The Cook is proud to announce that they will be introducing a new menu, keeping crowd favorites and adding new and delicious items. There daily menu is constantly evolving and their Chef’s Sunday Brunch offers something new and exciting each week.

My sister Sara and I went to The Chef & The Cook on a warm summer Tuesday. We noticed that they offered outdoor seating on their marvelous patio and indoor seating inside their modern dining room. The ambiance of both spaces was absolutely divine. We began our meal with a signature cocktail. Sara, who has always loved a pink drink indulged in the Signature Mimosa, a new twist on an old favorite, watermelon puree and sparkling rose. It was cool and refreshing. Being inspired by the entirety of the atmosphere, including the summer sunshine, I ordered a “Life is Good Lemonade” with Disco Lemonade, Chef Made Limoncello, and Vodka 6100, it was the perfect refreshment! With so many fantastic menu options we decided to split a few items. First we had the Duck Wings, coated with their amazing ssäm sauce and served with soy scallions and sweet heat cherries these wings were incredible.

The Duck Wings, coated with their amazing ssäm sauce and served with soy scallions and sweet heat cherries

They were meaty and flavorful and perfect for sharing. We then enjoyed the Lobster Roll, a triple decker delight with sous vide buttered lobster chunks, topped with lettuce, tomato, and celery mayo. The lobster was tender, sweet, and perfectly buttered, the lettuce and tomato added a great texture to this perfect summer dish. Next we had the black bean tempura softshell crab and it was an impressively creative dish. The crab was lightly coated with a flavorful black bean tempura and gently fried to a golden brown perfection. It was served with a toasted sesame aioli, wasabi snow, cherry blossom, shoyu pearls and a cucumber ginger gel. These flavors worked incredibly well together creating a dish that was inspired by a sushi roll but presented in an imaginative way. Lastly we had a dish of Veal Osso Buco; a generous portion of veal served in a flavorful hunter sauce with caramelized onions, and roasted tomatoes with homemade gnocchi. Every single bite of this dish offered a unique yet complementary flavor creating a culinary symphony! We ended our meal with what I would like to call “The Chef & The Cook Challenge,” these were two unique servings of crème brûlée that were served in tea cups and caramelized at our table. The Cook was represented by the traditional vanilla custard and it was familiar, light and sweet. The Chef was represented by the innovative recipe, twisting the traditional in a fabulous way, creating a crème brûlée with espresso and lavender. These flavored were magical together. I call it a challenge because despite eating both desserts we couldn’t decide which one we like better because they were both so amazing.

Over the last several years I have written reviews on many amazing restaurants around town but I just need to tell you that The Chef & The Cook has really stood out and is certainly on my list of favorites! If you are looking at the menu but can’t decide because everything looks so amazing The Chef & The Cook offers a culinary journey through their menu. Try their 10 course tasting menu or their “In the Weeds” special which is one of everything on the menu. They also offer there 10 course tasting menu with wine and bar pairing to really take things up a notch! At The Chef & The Cook ever menu option is bound to satisfy. Treat yourself, indulge, and unwind. Come to The Chef & The Cook today!

Kerilyn Micale
Kerilyn E. Micale is a Cicero native.