Utica Greens, ever heard of them? Ever had them? Another regional food I was curious about in Central New York. Franklin Hotel [301 S James St, Rome, NY 13440] isn’t technically in Utica, it’s 20 minutes down the road – but they have the greatly praised greens too.
Franklin’s was full of regulars, very bustling just around open at 11:00 am. We had an excellent waitress who made us feel right at home. The bread was served in thick, fluffy, and crusty ginormous hunks – butter was herbed, what a good start.
I did my best not to ruin my appetite with the bread, which was difficult. We ordered the Greens Vescio comprised of mainly of escarole with prosciutto and cherry peppers. The portion was borderline absurd for two people as an appetizer, you could build a house out of it!
The greens were great though, unique and flavorful – earthy, salty, savory…addictive. I can understand why this is such a popular dish in the area, and if we weren’t traveling I would have enjoyed the rest of them the next day as leftovers. For our mains I got a turkey Panini which was fantastic – all the flavors you could want, roasted pepper, Swiss cheese, tangy red onion, and creamy pesto mayo.
Oh yes, it was hearty meal at the Franklin Hotel. The people were good, the food was good, and we loved the whole experience. This family business has been open for over 40 years, and I hope it sticks around for another 40!