Fine Dining

Starrbistro
117 Main Street
Cortland, NY 13045

Contact: Wayne Allen
Phone: (607) 299-0077
E-mail: chef@starrbistro.com
Web site: www.starrbistro.com

Description:

Seating Mon - Sat, 5 - 9 pm. Serving fine European food.

Starr Bistro entrees range in price from $9.95 to $16.95.

If you're looking for an enjoyable evening out, Starr Bistro is the place to go. The warm, inviting atmosphere alone is reason enough, but Starr Bistro also offers classic European food and personal attention from the chef. Dining at Starr Bistro is an opportunity to experience fine dining with a local twist.

After graduating from the Culinary Institute of America in 1994, owner and Executive Chef Wayne Allen was an apprentice at the Statler Hotel in Ithaca; since then, he has been a chef at such regionally renowned eateries as the Sherwood Inn, Phoebe's Garden Café, the Brewster Inn, and Dante's. Even more impressive than his illustrious credentials, however, is Wayne's commitment to his dreams and to Cortland. Growing up in Cortland County, Wayne noticed the regional trend of young people leaving for greener pastures - and taking their education and fresh ideas with them. Rather than join the trend, he decided to give back to the community in a unique way.

Accessibility is one of Wayne's chief goals. The message at Starr Bistro is that the opportunity to experience fine dining should be available to everyone, and Wayne delivers that message with a smile to everyone who walks through the door. Instead of being walled off at the back of the building, the Starr Bistro "show kitchen" is right out in front, separated from the dining room only by a counter. Wayne cooks every meal from start to finish, and from this vantage point he is able to greet, chat with, and thank every customer. Wayne wants people to feel at ease no matter if this is their first fine dining experience or their hundredth. He is on hand to explain courses, difference between French cuisine and his American take on it, suggest wine-and-food pairings, or tell the stories behind the artwork on the walls.

Bringing a cultural experience to Cortland, which historically hasn't had many upscale eateries, is Wayne's dream. Striking out on his own has been challenging but also rewarding. Wayne says that working under other chefs had a way of curtailing his ambitions, because they got to make the final decisions about new menu items or other changes. By working on his own he has the freedom to make his own decisions to provide an entertaining and comfortable evening out for his customers.

Check out the Starr Bistro website for complete menu information and appealing pictures of the entrees!

Interview with Wayne Allen, Executive Chef, March 7, 2007