Not too many Binghamton University students venture north of the roundabout on Court Street. But Remlik’s, located on Lewis Street, is more than worth the trek.
Situated inside a cavernous, ornate building — which dates back to 1903 and was built by a homeopathic medicine millionaire — the four-year-old restaurant may seem like the kind of place you’d only come with your parents ($40 steaks, ahem) and would turn you away if you came in underdressed. However, manager Tina Henkle said they’re a place for any occasion.
“You can come in in shorts, with a cap on — we don’t care,” she said. “We like to give fine dining service but we don’t like to project the image that we’re just fine dining. You can do anything from cocktails to sandwiches to lamb.”
The executive chef, Anthony Yannuzzi, has a background in French and Italian cuisine, but said that the restaurant is a blend of all that and more. Whatever this blend is, it’s working.
My date and I spent the ride to the restaurant arguing over who would get to order the caramelized onion croquettes, two deliciously wonderful little breaded balls of creamy house-made risotto swimming in a savory house-made marinara sauce. But when she heard about the soup du jour, chicken tortellini, the croquettes were mine. She described the soup as a fancier version of the classic chicken noodle.
The leftover marinara from my appetizer proved very useful when the server brought over a basket of bread. Not just any bread, though — garlic knots, and better than any that I’ve had in Binghamton. They were warm, soft, just the right amount of doughy in the middle, not too garlicky and perfect for soaking up the marinara.
For entrées, my date had the tortellini paloma. These cheese-filled tortellini came in a creamy red-pepper sherry sauce with prosciutto. She lamented not being able to bring back leftovers even before she finished. Her only complaint was the peas, which tasted a bit undercooked.
I had the sesame-encrusted ahi. Ahi tuna is my absolute favorite, and I was ecstatic to taste their version. It was good — not great — but definitely good. There was a lot of sesame, which overwhelmed the tuna’s delicate taste, but the spicy jasmine rice and vegetables were a nice complement to it.
The desserts are chef’s selection, so they are subject to change. We each had a slice of cake, one vanilla and one chocolate. I’m not usually a cake person, but the berry drizzle on the fluffy vanilla cake was too good to resist, and the cold, thick chocolate cake was also delicious. Just as we thought we were going to fall into a food coma, the chef sent out some fresh fried dough with honey and homemade caramel as dipping sauces.
Tina was right — the food was great, and the atmosphere was both classy and welcoming. So whether you’re looking for a nice place to take your parents that’s not Lost Dog, or you just want to grab a bite with friends, Remlik’s is your choice.
Remlik’s is located on 31 Lewis St.