Located in the quaint village of Naples, just south of Canandaigua, is Roots Cafe. The building itself is hard to miss, it is Cookie Monster blue with purple trim and a giant wraparound porch. I’ll be honest, I was lusting after the porch seating. It was a warm, overcast day, it was finally not raining, and I wanted to have my wine and sit outside.
About Roots Cafe
Roots Cafe is owned by Mandy and Chris Gorton. In addition to being an owner, Mandy is also the chef! They are focused on using local ingredients and changing things up seasonally. The focus on farm to table and made from scratch is evidence in their delicious and fresh flavors.
Tip: Because it is near a winery, and one of the best places to eat in town, it can get busy. I suggest getting to Naples around 4 p.m., doing a quick tasting at Inspire Moore Winery, which is a 30 second walk from the restaurant, and then grabbing a porch seat right at 5 p.m. when they open.
Eating at Roots Cafe
They change up the menu seasonally, and have a range of specials created based around what is available and fresh that day. Starters and salads range from $8-11, and the main courses are $11-25 depending on whether you want a burger or something more substantial.
We had to order the mushroom poutine to start, and we were rewarded with messy awesomeness. The mushrooms were so savory and delicious, the french fries were crispy and crunchy, and the melted cheese gave hints of salt and tang. It was honestly the highlight of the night. I could bathe in it. Not really, that’d be weird. But I would definitely be totally fine if this were part of my regular lineup of food.
For our main courses, we all ordered burgers. I got the Holy Guacamole Burger that came with smashed avocado on a Sweet Grass Farm organic beef burger, with a kale and craisin salad on the side. I also ordered some carrot and cabbage slaw as an extra side. I can’t pass up coleslaw, it is one of my favorite side dishes. The burger was melt in your mouth tasty, the kale salad added a hint of sweetness, and the slaw was crunchy and fresh. It was the perfect porch meal. Or get a cocktail- they had an amazing cocktail menu!
Roots Cafe Wine List
Given their proximity to Inspire Moore Winery, it should come as no surprise that they serve their wine and only their wine, which is fine with me because I really enjoy some of their wines.
For only $6, you can pick from a selection of Inspire Moore wines. I decided to go with the Change. I ended up with the 2014 Change, a Blaufränkisch with 5% Cab Franc added. The wine had surprisingly floral nose, along with dark berries, leather, and nice meaty notes, but was still light bodied enough that it tasted refreshing in the heat. I knew the moment I sat down that I was having a burger, and this was the perfect choice. It complemented the richness of the meat, while also providing a nice acidity that played well with the guacamole.
Our only critique had nothing to do with the wine, it was the beer that turned out to be problematic. We noticed that many of the beer options they said they had were out, and they didn’t have a good selection of alternatives. My feeling on that is that if you’re eating at a place that overlooks a vineyard, drink wine… but that’s just me.
Local Wine Overview
Finger Lakes Wine: Yes, but only from Inspire Moore Winery
- Red, rose and white by the glass
Price Range: $6 for glass
Range of Local Wines by the Glass: Given Inspire Moore’s offerings, the restaurant had a great selection including their biggest hits and some fun surprises like the Blaufränkisch.
Wine Knowledge: If you’re looking to converse about the wines, I would head to the tasting room. When you’ve made your pick, pop over to the cafe. The tasting staff at Inspire Moore knows their stuff, so trust them when making your decision.