barVino: The Coolest Place North of I-90 in New York

In the sleepy Adirondack town of North Creek, there’s a new restaurant. It’s called barVino (lowercase ‘b’ and uppercase ‘V’ and all one word). They have live music every Wednesday, a great wine list, and a tasty beer list. They also serve delicious food. After visiting one of Lisa’s dad’s projects in Tahawus (pronounced “Ta-HAUS” — two syllables, not three), we stopped in for a bite.

Double-Ben at work
Double-Ben at work — photo thanks to Robert McNamara.

Dishes are small, meant for sharing, and are excellently prepared. The poutine (French fries topped with gravy and cheese curds) was excellent. The other, lighter options (flat bread, salad, etc.) were great too. The place is proud of its food and space and it shows. The locals are proud of it too — they pile in as the night elapses, some for food, some for just a drink. The restaurant feels like it’s single-handedly revitalizing downtown North Creek.

My favorite part, though, was the man we dubbed “Double-Ben.” He was as tall and lanky as our Indianapolis friend Ben and as bearded and coifed as our Knoxville friend Ben. He was … Double-Ben, an uber-Ben from the north, the combination of all known Bens. And he was a twin. There are two Double-Bens in North Creek — Double-Ben-Original-Recipe and Double-Double-Ben. Something in the water, I guess.

But back to barVino, this place is amazing. It’s worth the drive, any drive. It just-ever-so-slightly edges out The Tavern as the greatest place to eat in the Adirondacks.

It’s the coolest place in New York north of I-90. I mean, yeah, the entire city of Rochester is technically north of I-90, but from a psychological standpoint, it’s south. Whatever. You know how when a prize-fighter knocks out the reigning champ and is touted as the best in the world? It’s like that. barVino is now the reigning champ. All others must challenge it for the title. Bring it on.

The Tony Jenkins Jazz Trip.
The Tony Jenkins Jazz Trip — photo thanks to Robert McNamara.
Rock, Paper, Scissors -- beat the bartender, the next drink is on the house. Amazing.
Rock, Paper, Scissors — beat the bartender, the next drink is on the house. Amazing.