Originally from Ithaca—where organic is
all the rage, Becker notes—the pair has always been very familiar with
natural products and has been cooking organically for 20 years. In
addition to the restaurant, there is an organic grocery store attached
with local and international products available for purchase.
“I only stock organic products and will explain the
health benefits of them to teach people how to eat right,” Becker
continues. The store is stocked with produce from countries across the
Atlantic such as Italy and France. Tasty options include organic
chocolates, olive oil, Italian tomatoes, sauces, breads, and a variety
The entrees on the menu may change daily depending on
what new recipes Becker may want to prepare, an element that gives the
place the feel as if you’re being served dinner at home. An extensive
local and organic wine list that includes the vintage Anelas from the
Skaneateles Winery, is coupled with an imbiber’s dream lineup of
international beers such as the French-Canadian beer Unibrau and
Wolaver. Or if you prefer something non-alcoholic, Italian sodas are
offered including San Pellegrino and Acuqua Tanna from the Tuscan hills.
“We are just looking to provide diners with the highest
quality experience possible,” says Becker. Everything is cooked in a
wood-burning stove with a smoker that gives their fare a distinct
taste. The restaurant’s specialties include handmade Italian desserts,
French press coffee and tea, and Butternut Squash Ravioli. Meal prices
range from $7.95 to $40. Some of those include lobster ravioli, gourmet
Italian pizzas, pasta and Buffalo hot dogs.
Customers can dine inside the hand-built cabin in the
winter or sit outdoors in the summer surrounded by gardens of
rainbow-colored flowers with a view that overlooks Skaneateles Lake.
“Our place is not only a destination for food, but a place for peace
and tranquility,” says Becker.
Niles Gourmet Country Market & Bistro Cucina Rustica
is open Wednesdays through Sundays, noon to 9 p.m. in the spring,
summer and fall, and noon to 7 p.m. in the winter. For reservations and
information, call 784-5015 or visit www.nilesgourmet.com.