Hammondsport Music in the Park and Union Block Italian Bistro

Update July 2016: Here's the lineup for the 2016 Music in the Park

It was the perfect end to a perfect day. Maybe I shouldn’t be throwing around the word “perfect” so willy-nilly, but last night was was one of those nights where everything was just right. Chris and I were completely wrung out from a productive day working on our cottages; cooking dinner was out of the question. We have a list of restaurants to try and Seneca Farms almost won out, but it was a gorgeous Thursday night and Music in the Park beckoned, so we headed south to Hammondsport’s Union Block Italian Bistro.

The Union Block Italian Bistro in Hammondsport, NY

We’ve been hearing about the Bistro all summer and it lives up to the rave reviews. Fantastic! Since it was just the two of us, we walked directly to the Grotto downstairs and ate at the bar. It had a friendly, cozy atmosphere and we struck up lively conversations with other patrons.

Having a beer at the Grotto, downstairs in the Union Block Italian Bistro

Chris was immediately impressed with the craft beer selection and we both loved the menu, especially the extensive list of “cicchetti”, small snacks and side dishes to share. When we asked for recommendations, the woman next to us rattled off half a dozen dishes; turns out she’s a long-time, loyal customer and she simply raved about the food. We tried the 5-cheese ravioli and 3 small plates including braised kale, beans and greens (spicy!), and sun-dried tomato and cheese jalapeno. All were delicious, although we would have preferred a roasted jalapeno to raw. We can’t wait to come back - next time with more people so we can sample even more dishes!

After dinner, we made it halfway across the street before taking a u-turn and heading back to Crooked Lake Ice Cream Parlor for a scoop of Panda Paws to share.

Crooked Lake Ice Cream Parlor in Hammondsport, NY

Music was in full swing on the square and despite the stunning weather, the park wasn’t crowded. We found an open bench right in front of the bandstand, and planned to stay just long enough to finish our ice cream. Ha! As Chris noted, we couldn’t have picked a better band if we tried. Misfit Karma is a talented trio who played the likes of Bonnie Raitt, Led Zeppelin, Little Feat, Neil Young and the Grateful Dead.

Misfit Karma playing at Music in the Park in Hammondsport

The musicianship was superb and - bonus! - the band provided an excellent opportunity to educate Chris about the difference between brass and woodwind instruments ;). Many thanks to the Hammondsport Chamber of Commerce for once again organizing and sponsoring Music in the Park; no matter what band is playing, I've always enjoyed the music and atmosphere.  

Address for Union Block Italian Bistro: 31 Shether St, Hammondsport, NY 14840