Food in the FLX: The Gould Hotel

The Gould Hotel is a trip down memory lane.A bid to what was — while offering patrons a bit of modern elegance. The Gould Hotel is by far one of the best places to stay in the Finger Lakes — a true staple of the region. It isn’t just about the stay though, as I learned sitting down with General Manager Lori Malfitana.The hospitality business can be tough — but the food industry is no kinder. A restaurant that can handle a large crowd, with a bar that can handle any overflow from the dining room — is serving food that is far, far above the average. In fact, it has quietly become the best place for dinner in Seneca Falls. While there is no shortage of pubs, bars, and diners for residents to choose from — the Gould offers something unique. Something they won’t necessarily find anyplace else. The concept of the hotel pays homage to the history of Seneca Falls — embracing everything the hotel stood for in years past. Weddings, wine tastings, parties, and just about every other event one could possibly imagine — with the addition of catering — are all covered by the Gould.A diverse menu, which features a variety of lunch and dinner items that are completely unique to downtown Seneca Falls — makes the Gould a staple in the Finger Lakes. Our visit to the Gould reminded us why this place has existed for over 100 years, in one form or another, in downtown Seneca Falls.Different things have been done over the years, different names have been on the outside of the building — various challenges seen throughout it’s life — but the structure serves as an anchor in Seneca Falls. A reminder of what was, while continually reminding patrons what can be in Seneca Falls.

Malfitana talks about the hotel like it’s own slice of heaven. The prices are fair, especially for the quality of stay at the Gould — but the real gem is on the first floor. A dining room that looks as well-preserved as any in the region. Especially with the historic nature of the very building. The detached bar makes for the ideal place to gather with friends, or have a cocktail after a long day.

Whether that day was spent touring Finger Lakes wineries, shopping at the Waterloo Premium Outlets, or visiting the historic Women’s Hall of Fame — or Women’s National Park — Malfitana says they see them all. The food that comes out of the kitchen can only be described as a “step above the norm.” Traveling throughout the region — there are hundreds of restaurants delivering a great meal. The Gould does it though in a way that delivers it’s historic nature with the food. As if every plate is served up with a side of ambiance — which delivers in a way that makes it unique.

Our first course included some of the largest jumbo shrimp I’ve found anywhere in the Finger Lakes. While shrimp is often a staple, there are only two other restaurants that we have visited for the Food in the Finger Lakes feature, with shrimp as large as these. Malfitana spoke to the challenges associated with doing unique food, with kitchen staff coming and going. The kitchen has seen some turnover throughout the years — but the product being delivered today feels as though it’s been coming out of the same kitchen for twenty years.

The shrimp we sampled was breaded with some of the lightest breading we’ve experienced to this point. The sauce drizzled over the top — brought a sweet and tangy flavor that was different but intentional. For the seafood lover — the Gould’s shrimp is a staple that cannot be overlooked on any visit.Similarly, the salmon we tried delivered that same “light” feel. While there is absolutely no way anyone could leave the Gould hungry — it’s the kind of fare that won’t make patrons feel overwhelmed. The salmon sat overtop a bedding of vegetables, with a light aioli sauce drizzled over it all. Cooked to perfection and without hesitation an item anyone visiting the Gould should experience.

The diverse menu, which offers everything from elegant filets to pub fare — is something that can accommodate the entire family. Malfitana explained that new specials — like a Monday pasta dinner — is one of the new things the Gould is doing to get the family out of the house. Without a doubt, the Gould delivers historic value for tourists — but the facility offers fantastic options for the passerby or local worker who is looking to get a quick bite to eat for lunch.The Gould Hotel is without question one of the most-historic venues in downtown Seneca Falls. Nestled at the heart of a community with more history than most, it’s a high mark for the facility to earn as they continue to be a mainstay in the Finger Lakes tourism scene.

Food in the Finger Lakes is a feature by Josh Durso, Lead News Editor of FingerLakes1.com. If you want to see your favorite restaurant featured here — let him know by dropping him an email at josh@fingerlakes1.com. Follow him on Twitter for the latest updates @JoshDurso.

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