For the third year in a row Smithsonian Magazine has published a list of the 20 best small towns to visit. One of our local favorites, Spring Green, WI is number 11. Healdsburg, CA where my best friend from college has her beautiful jewelry shop came in at Number 2.
Topping the list is Chautauqua, New York. One of my sisters lives nearby, so Mark and I have wandered all around the area including visiting the famed Chautauqua Institution (which I've written about here and here). Since we were in the area for a family wedding last summer, we stopped in Westfield, NY, just down the road from Chautauqua. This charming little town is home to wonderful old houses, great antique stores and a statue of Grace Bedell, the young girl who convinced Abraham Lincoln he should grow a beard.
It's also home to Brazill's On Main, the restaurant my cousin Bill and his wife Teri opened on the historic town square last summer. Alas we were only able to eat there three times in two days! If you are in the area, you won't want to miss this great restaurant. Though the area has much to offer we never found a restaurant that we wanted to return to until Brazill's opened. And I'm not saying this out of family loyalty.
The restaurant is located in an old commercial building that has been beautifully restored and includes a huge old wooden dumbwaiter, along with plank floors and brick walls. I was transported back to my New York state childhood with some of the restaurant's memorabilia like this beer tray. It depicts Dooley and Schultz, the two characters used to advertize Utica Club beer on TV when I was a kid.
We didn't really snap many photos of the restaurant as we were too busy eating and visiting. I'll just note that it's a light airy space with every detail carefully considered. But it's the food that makes it memorable.
This is last summer's menu (below). We went there for lunch two days in a row and came back for dinner on the second day before we left the area. Everything was delicious and had just enough of a twist to make it stand out from the norm. As we were eating our dinner, I remember thinking how much I wished Brazill's was close enough that I could eat there on a regular basis.
I'm hoping we'll get back there again this summer so I can indulge myself some more. To keep up with their news and menu specials, follow them on Facebook. If you stop in, be sure to tell them Linda and Mark sent you.
NOTE: The woman who restored and operated a restaurant at this location, called Cafe Barista, says that the dumbwaiter I refer to in this post is actually a rope driven elevator! I stand corrected.