In recognition of the exodus of the Felicia bartenders who have been with us the longest, known to the drinking world as Sharon (Shay) and Nat (Gnat), Felicia rented a limo earlier this week and the whole Felicia gang headed over to Seneca Lake. For those out-of-towners reading this blog, Seneca Lake is the deepest of the Finger Lakes located in, you guessed it, the Finger Lakes region of New York. Armed with two of Felicia's best bottles of champagne which lasted less than the 30 minute ride to the first winery, the dolled-up Felicia staff piled into the limo for a night on the town, er, small town. Though Felicia clearly stated to Right Limousine that there would be 10 people on the excursion, the limo definitely only seated 9, leaving one Felicia to enjoy sitting on a lap or the hump on the floor. This fact became less uncomfortable as the night wore on and intoxication levels increased.
Felicia's first stop was beer tasting at Wagner Vineyards and the adjoining Wagner Valley Brewing Company in Lodi, NY. While the wines at Wagner remind you why you need to be cautious in buying wines from the Finger Lakes, their beers are quite tasty. The Sled Dog Doppelbock was proclaimed the staff favorite.
Second stop: Chateau Lafayette Reneau Winery in Hector, where the wines were surprisingly good. Felicia has noticed more of them on local restaurant menus lately, especially their Riesling.
Felicia's next stop was the Village Marina in Watkins Glen whose ambiance can best be compared to a crab shack. Here the staff cooled down from the breeze off the lake as they drank beer (exception: Woody drank Red Cat!) at a picnic table on the shore. Appetizers were ordered and snarfed down by the tipsy crew; however Felicia would advise you to stick with beverages at this location since all of the appetizers were deep fried and tasted, well, like a deep fryer.
Dinner stop: Wildflower Cafe in Watkins Glen, home of Rooster Fish Brewing Company. Felicia really likes Rooster Fish's beers, especially the nut brown. However, the cafe was out of all of the brews except one. Strange. So the gang tried ordering from their non-local bottle menu, but they were also out of pretty much everything on there, too. Even stranger. The burgers were great, but the beer selection was obviously disappointing for a brew pub.
The details of the rest of the trip got a little hazy after Melissa bought us all a shot of Jameson (some of us recall a full moon Trumansburg) but hey, all bartending bonding experiences require a shot of whiskey, don't they? The night was deemed a success by all, and no one complained the next day about any lingering painful effects from the adventure, except for mourning the lack of beer at Rooster Fish and the heartbreak at saying goodbye to two of Felicia's own. Nat and Sharon, thanks for your excellent taste in cocktails, mixology skills and years of dedicated service to Felicia.