As graduation inches closer, your parents may be hounding you to find the perfect restaurant to celebrate the occasion. Rather than stressing to find limited seating at the same few spots in Downtown Binghamton, opt to broaden your horizons this graduation weekend. Not only are these five restaurants local favorites, they’re all part of Southern Tier Independent Restaurants, a nonprofit corporation committed to promoting the restaurant scene in Broome, Chenango and Tioga Counties.
Remlik’s Grille and Oyster Bar
Tucked away in a quiet corner of Downtown, Remlik’s provides fresh seafood while offering a glimpse into the city’s history. The restaurant is housed in the historic Kilmer Building, erected in 1903 as the headquarters for the production of Swamp Root, a patented medicine created by Dr. Sylvester Andral Kilmer. In the 2000s, the Kilmer Building underwent renovations and eventually became the home of Remlik’s in 2011. The restaurant offers a variety of dishes, including crab cakes, oysters and Atlantic salmon, prepared by executive chef Anthony Yanuzzi, a Binghamton native. Remlik’s offers a bar area, two private dining rooms, a main dining room and a large outdoor deck, making it a versatile location only an eight-minute drive from campus.
Nirchi’s on the Avenue
You’ve probably heard of Nirchi’s Pizza, but in February 2001, the Nirchi family also opened an upscale Italian-American restaurant in Endicott. Rocco Nirchi, the son of Italian immigrants, took over the family business in 1984 after the pizza company his mother started in 1967 grew larger than anticipated. After expanding and franchising Nirchi’s Pizza, Nirchi and his wife decided to open Nirchi’s on the Avenue. This restaurant features authentic Italian dishes, such as penne alla vodka and chicken Marsala, as well as a cocktail lounge with a large selection of fine wines. Nirchi’s makes an effort to support local artists by providing live entertainment, such as musical performances and comedy shows.
P.S. Restaurant in Vestal offers a unique French-Thai fusion menu, including classic dishes like pad thai and chicken breast a l’orange. Since it first opened in 1984, P.S. and its staff have been lauded for culinary excellence. In 1994, it became the first restaurant in the greater Binghamton area to win the Wine Spectator Award of Excellence. Head chef Rick Dodd also earned the award for chef of the year by the Southern Tier Chapter of the American Culinary Federation in 1995. Not only is this restaurant committed to fine dining, but it also partakes in noteworthy philanthropic efforts. P.S. has hosted numerous fundraisers for organizations such as the American Diabetes Association, Sweet Kids and Toys for Tots.
Housed in the historic Fire Station Number 5 on the South Side of Binghamton, Number 5 is known for its prime steaks and fresh seafood. In 1978, Jim McCoy, an Endicott native who has been in the restaurant business for over 40 years, bought the building and transformed it into an upscale dining establishment. The restaurant’s menu features locally sourced meat, including Birdsall Farms steak from Homer, New York, and an extensive selection of fine wines. The restaurant has a small dining area downstairs, a main section on the second floor and a bar and lounge with live music on Friday and Saturday nights. Don’t miss the opportunity to dine at a local and state landmark before you leave Binghamton.
Opened in July 2004 in Endicott by McCoy, Lampy’s is the sister restaurant to Number 5. McCoy named Lampy’s after Lampy George, a lifelong Endicott resident who gave McCoy his first experience in the restaurant business, hiring him as a dishwasher when he was a senior at Union-Endicott High School in 1966. Although Number 5 and Lampy’s serve some similar dishes, Lampy’s offers a more Mediterranean-inspired menu with hints of American and Italian influences. The restaurant’s most popular dish is the Lampy’s Scampi: battered and fried jumbo shrimp served in a Marsala sauce with mushrooms. With its upscale menu and cocktail list, Lampy’s is the perfect destination for a graduation dinner slightly off the beaten path.