ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — Flower City Food Tours announced Tuesday the return of this year’s food tour season. This tours will begin May 1st, with culinary adventures in Rochester’s Neighborhood of the Arts, Park Avenue Neighborhood, and Pittsford. Their season runs until late fall.
The food tours consist of a three-hour walking tour with multiple stops allowing participants to sample some of each area’s popular food spots. The tours will also consist of highlighting multiple architectural, historical, and cultural points of interest throughout each area.
Organizers say that the tours schedules and booking availability are found online and that tickets must be purchased in advance of the event. Group sizes are limited to 12 people.
“In between the bites, they get the sights,” said owner of Flower City Food Tours, Cheri Davenport. She started the business after she has some extra time as a new empty-nester, and was inspired a by California food tour. “Rochester has some great neighborhoods with great food.”
Davenport says that these tours are not only a way to help bolster the business of the individual restaurants, but also to support the surrounding neighborhoods; and after a pandemic-reduced 2021 season, she and the guides are ready to hit the ground running.
One of the stops on NoTA tour is Polizzi’s. Owner Tom Polizzi has been working in the Rochester restaurant industry for decades. This new place which started in 2018 and sits at the parking lot entrance of Village Gate, is a different take on the usual.
“When we opened we wanted to do something a little bit different, we didn’t want to be your standard steakhouse or Italian-American, so I went with kind of a Northern Mediterranean,” Polizzi said, as it combines his own heritage and experience. That was certainly evident in the dishes he presents when Polizzi’s is up on the tour.
“(We serve) our mushroom risotto, with crab and truffle oil, and the other one is going to be our baklava and our signature baklava ice cream,” he said. He agrees with Davenport that the tours go beyond helping each individual restaurant.
“It gets you people in here who didn’t know you were here, it lets them realize that there’s good food in Rochester,” he said. “And even if they don’t go to restaurants in the Gate, maybe they’ve never been to Village Gate, and now they’re being exposed to other restaurants too, just by walking through here.”