UTICA, N.Y. -The Tailor & the Cook in Utica can now boast a new culinary achievement: the DiRoNA.
The restaurant earned recognition from the Distinguished Restaurants of North America this month, making the Bagg's Square eatery one of two establishments in central New York to win the honor.
"We aim for every guest who eats at this restaurant to have an excellent experience and we strive for nothing less than that," Tim Hardiman, executive chef and owner said.
The award was based on food, beverage, wait staff performance and ambiance.
"It's not like a best of four, you need to hit them all consistently," Hardiman said. "Because if one of those falls short, then you just haven't delivered on your promise. It doesn't really matter who the guest is. The awards are fantastic and I'm really thankful and we are all humbled by them, but the reality is that the real reward is that guests continue to walk in the door."
The award comes on the tail end of minor renovation in the restaurant, which includes all new artwork.
One of the newest finds featured on the walls is actually a blast from the past: a piece of signage used to advertise an old business that once occupied 94 Genesee Street. That old business also helped Hardiman name his restaurant six years ago.
"We did a lot of research on what the building had been," Hardiman said. "The coolest one or the most noteworthy one that we came across was the UTK Tailoring Company."
The UTK Tailoring Company operated between 1910 and 1938. The old portion of signage was found in the adjacent building, where it was used as a floorboard. The sign now greets every customer who enters the restaurant.
"We wanted to give a nod to the past," Hardiman said.