Rating: Dig It
Nestled in Rochester’s South Avenue strip sits a cozy restaurant with candlelit tables — a place where food is served on vintage metal plates, and which opens its doors every year to one of Rochester’s biggest Vespa reunions is the Open Face restaurant. It is even run by two RIT alumni.
Drew Sterman, a Fine Arts graduate and his business partner, Jared Valentine, who studied Industrial Design, launched their restaurant in 2004, catering to anyone who sought out delicious food, coffee and tea served fresh alongside a daily repository of atmospheric refinement.
The interior space, completely designed by Sterman and Valentine, combines the owners’ previous experience in design and art into something all their own. Upon entering, the appearance is welcoming, with small attention to details encircling a very small but intimate space.
The menu is diverse, featuring special items like a coconut cream latte and a variety of sandwiches with a side option of soup, chips and salads to settle a person’s appetite at a reasonable price. The food is delectable and its presentation is given the same amount of attention as everything else inside.
Still, Open Face is more than just a restaurant. Guests don’t just eat. They create their own experiences. Tea is served differently: Instead of being given to customers in small pods, people pack their own by hand. There are thirty varieties of loose-leaf tea and another unique-tasting, almost antique drink called the Moxie, named after and made by the oldest soft drink company in the United States.
All in all, everything is worth trying. The curry carrot soup in particular should not be missed. Check out Open Face. Seriously. Any guest will feel at ease both before and after eating.
Open Face is located on 651 South Avenue and is open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. For a menu and more information, visit OpenFaceSandwichEatery.com.