Sunday brunch at Dano’s in (near) Lodi, NY yesterday was wonderful on so many levels! The Gemultlichkeit – German for cozy, peaceful, unhurry, and the “absence of anything hectic” – was only part of it…

First, “We want to take you to brunch!” was part of the conversation in figuring out what the plans would be – how nice!

Second, that I would be partaking in an event so civilized as brunch made me feel included, organized and grown up. It was also on my way home from a lovely weekend in Ithaca which in combination, set things out on a nice path…I can rarely get myself together to “brunch with friends” as an actual thing so it was kind of a big deal.

Third, that this wonderful place is in itself a gift when you walk in through the huge wooden door and come around the corner to look straight out at beautiful, blue Seneca Lake.

Fourth, new food, new ideas, and old friends rounded out the experience. Homemade rustic bread, unusual spreads for said bread (I am Dr. Seuss), lentil salad and lots of decaf was a delight – in a quantity that created my dinner later on.

Fifth, these friends treated me to this wonderful meal – I feel loved 🙂

Dano’s is a “heuriger” – like I said – new ideas!!!  Heuriger is Austrian for “this year’s wine”…

From Dano’s website…”In Austria, heurigers are an integral part of Viennese life. Friends gather to enjoy the casual atmosphere, to drink new wine from mugs and to share hearty, satisfying heuriger food served family-style. Dano’s on Seneca recreates this atmosphere in a beautiful new building designed by architect Andrea Simitch. With spectacular views of Seneca lake, the rotating menu features Viennese spreads and artisanal breads, salads, roasted and smoked meats, vegetable dishes, homemade sausages, fresh seafood, homemade pickles and preserves as well as Viennese pastries. A traditional heuriger wine will be made exclusively for the restaurant by Standing Stone Vineyards in 2006. The wine list consists of an ever-changing selection of local wines.

Heurigers offer a flexible option to traditional restaurants. Food is ordered a la carte. Many items can be viewed at the display counter. Customers may order all at once or order slowly. Additional food can be requested as the meal progresses. Waiters can take orders at the table, they serve your food as well as take drink and dessert orders. Sharing is encouraged so customers have the opportunity to sample the many flavors of our cuisine.”

And more about heurigers in general here –

Dano Hutnik (prounounced Danyo) was born in the Ukraine – he and pastry chef/co-owner/life partner Karen Gilman drafted this perfect niche and I feel ooh so lucky to have been part of the Gemultlichkeit…

Until, I stood up and hurled my heavy parka on to head out into the sunny-but-still-cold Sunday – and knocked the glass vase on the table next to us to the floor with a shatter. So much for the absence of anything hectic! In step with calmness of this unusual place, our kind wait-person seemed to glide over with a broom and a smile – apparently he had been saying for a long time the current fall flowers in these vases needed to go anyway. Kindness. I offered to help clean up and of course, he said no and not to worry. Service. AND that they have so many of these glass vases left from a wedding this past Fall that it will be easy to replace……


Have a Nothing New Day! ~Kristin


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