Northstar House

Northstar House: the Bright Glow in Ithaca’s Gray Winters

The Northstar Plate, a dish that can satisfy both your sweet and savory breakfast cravings, comes with choice of French toast or pancakes, bacon or sausage and potatoes or grits with two eggs your way. Northstar’s French toast is soaked overnight, giving it a cinnamon-y flavor throughout to its center. Topped with New York maple syrup, this French toast outshines all other French toast options in Ithaca.

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Starting the Day Right at Sunset Grill

A choice spot for brunch has a few early indicators of quality to look out for. The size of the crowd around brunch time is the first sign; one look through the doorway of Sunset Grill inspired confidence. The second, aroma, was immediately obvious as the sweet scent of the warm interior beckoned us to enter from the frigid parking lot and demanded that we stay. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, the hot sauce waiting at the table speaks volumes about the establishment that placed it there. To sit at a table prepared for a medley of warmth and savory and be greeted with the familiar bottle of Frank’s RedHot is to be sure your chef knows what they are doing.

Ravioli

Scenes From an Italian Restaurant: ZaZa’s Cucina

While I wouldn’t consider it to be in the upper echelon of Ithaca restaurants, it is definitely a solid eatery worthy of a visit for a date night or merely on a night you want to treat yourself to a tasty and reliable Italian dinner.

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Discussing Death from Beyond the Grave: Denis Johnson’s Final Stories

 

Few authors can place their readers in wildly uncomfortable situations with unreliable characters and still leave them with a sense of poignancy like Denis Johnson. In his long-awaited collection of stories The Largesse of the Sea Maiden, Johnson weaves together five fairly disjunctive tales, all of which mimic the style of Jesus’s Son, one of his most accredited works. However, in his most recent book, published posthumously in January 2018, Johnson’s writing is slightly darker than his previous works. There’s something more resonant about the lessons these stories teach the reader, considering that they come from the grave. Perhaps Johnson describes the experience of reading his work best in the opening of “Strangler Bob” when he says, “you hop into a car, race off in no particular direction, and blam, hit a power pole.”

The Largesse of the Sea Maiden is in many ways a follow-up to Jesus’s Son in that it shares some of the same characters, but more so in the way it evokes the same sort of humanizing tone to discuss recurring struggles in his stories.

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A Mixed Second Chance

When it opened a few months ago, The Sun found it to be lacking in several ways. With the advent of their new brunch menu and promises of improvements over price and service, we decided to give them another chance.

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Holy Split, Signs of M. Night Shyamalan’s Return Are Happening

Director M. Night Shyamalan gets a lot of crap, and rightfully so. Until his most recent outing, Split, he hadn’t made a good movie in more than a decade. After Earth was bad. The Happening was so bad that it was funny. The Last Airbender was so far down the scale of badness that it was no longer eligible to be funny.

ITHACA A-LIVE | Irish Trad Tuesdays + 116 Cook

Ailis is writing solo this week! Today, I’m writing about two small musical events in Ithaca last week: Traditional Irish Music + $1 PBR Tuesdays at Ruloff’s and a Friday night gig at 116 Cook Street featuring Ithaca’s Modern Hut and Shore Acres Drive alongside New York’s Fraternal Twin and New Jersey’s Long Beard. Ruloff’s Traditional Irish Tuesday was a nice way to start off the week. Excellent musicians of all ages got together for a traditional chéile session where anyone can come and go as they please. The session took place in the basement section of Ruloff’s, away from the noisy youth upstairs.