Amidst the Pandemic, Masita is Earning Its Spot on the Collegetown Scene

When Jin Kim and Jeesoo Lee opened Masita this past winter, they (like the rest of us) had no way of knowing what was right around the corner. The coronavirus hit restaurant owners incredibly hard, and many Ithaca businesses were forced to close their doors and regroup. Kim and Lee, having only been open for a month, were at a major disadvantage, as they lacked the dedicated fanbase of other established restaurants. Fortunately, Masita was not their first rodeo. Back in South Korea, the two women were longtime business partners and owned multiple successful restaurants together.

2 Stay 2 Go: A Student Success Story

Opening a restaurant in the middle of a global pandemic is crazy, and critics would say it’s impossible. Sitting inside of 2 Stay 2 Go during the soft opening just proves otherwise. Food is about bringing people together — something that’s been lacking in this technological, socially-distanced age. Most of us are spending all day in our apartments or dorms, staring at screens and lamenting the good old days when we used to be face-to-face and not mask-to-mask. The opening of a new Collegetown restaurant is exactly what students needed to pull them out of their hovels.

2 Stay 2 Go: The Question Cornell Students Will Begin Answering on October 9, 2020

Daniel Jones ’22, a student in the Cornell School of Hotel Administration, came up with the idea to open a pop-up restaurant in Collegetown from Oct. 8 until Nov. 8, two weeks before I joined them for a full run-through of their menu. Jones was determined to keep the restaurant 100 percent student-run and operated, and not even a week later, he recruited his team from across the graduating classes at Cornell. Noah Horns ’22 and Bobby Dandliker ’22 are his co-executive chefs, Samay Bansal ’21) is acting as his president, Sabrina Sam ’22 is his pastry chef and Luke Verzella ’23 and Elin Atonsson ’23 are his marketing directors.

Food Ethics | The Third Saturday

The local restaurant in Pennsylvania where I worked was easily defined by seasons. The year started off in a barren winter. The garden beds out front were hugged in snow, the thermostat dropped low and customers, especially after a holiday shopping spree, were scarce. I’d find myself staring at the clock, willing it to chime closing time, 2:00 p.m. Winters were scarce of many things: Fresh food, warmth, entertainment, customers and, most importantly, tips. I never liked winters in the restaurant very much.

Rulloff’s: A Premature Goodbye

When I first went to Rulloff’s, located on 411 College Ave back in February, I thought I would be saying goodbye to the bar and restaurant since its building is set for demolition at the beginning of this summer to make room for an apartment complex. Unfortunately, we would instead be saying goodbye to Rulloff’s, like many other restaurants, as a result of the current COVID-19 pandemic. Plastered on its doors now are signs that read, “Due to the coronavirus crisis Rulloff’s is closed until further notice.”
When I dined there, I asked if Rulloff’s would open another location, and the waitress told me they honestly don’t know. However, the answer being “yes” is less likely given the new and upsetting reality all restaurants now face. Whether it was trips to Insomnia Cookies to take a study break, post-prelim boba runs, Chatty Cathy dates with my roommate, frequent and spontaneous stress-prompting trips to Mango Mango or celebrations at Koko — Collegetown restaurants have always been there for me during my time at Cornell.

Hakacha: A New Hidden Gem in the Ithaca Dining Scene

Hakacha is an Asian fusion restaurant that has recently opened on 311 Third Street, near the DMV and across from Aldi. When I read ‘fusion’ online, I audibly groaned. When a casual dining restaurant claims to provide fusion cuisine, I’ve come to expect nonsensical combinations of foods from various regions, haphazardly slapped together on a board with little to no regard for actual gastronomical composition. Therefore, most of the time, ‘fusion’ food falls short of any claims to innovation. Nevertheless, my dedication to my fellow foodies is the reason why I decided to visit this place anyways.

Viva Taqueria & Cantina: Extra Ordinary

There are, however, two big pluses of Viva Taqueria and Cantina: the efficiency of its kitchen and its comprehensive drinks menu. With three full pages of drinks, highlighted Happy Hours (4 – 6 p.m., Monday through Friday) and just about every kind of margarita under the sun, Viva might bolster a slightly more impressive bar than kitchen.