Walking into the restaurant Hand + Foot, you might think that you were in any major city, not in the small town of upstate New York. But, it is in the charming town of Corning, population 11,000. Exposed brick walls, low lighting, a long bar filled with small craft brands and a communal table in the center of the room, this restaurant could be in Manhattan, Brooklyn, San Francisco, Los Angeles.
Owners Dan and Laurie Morton worked in bars in Orlando and New York City before moving back home to Corning. They took over an Irish bar that was covered in sheet rock and housed a golf simulator to create the warm and inviting Hand + Foot.
My first thought when I heard about the restaurant was that they were on trend with the nose to tail movement, featuring whole animal cuisine. After all, what else would hand and foot mean? Well, actually it refers to a card game, similar to canasta, that Dan’s family has been playing for generations.
Hand + Foot offers a creative menu that is rather democratic. Cuban sandwiches, fried rice and chimichangas are just some of the eclectic, multi-cultural influences on the menu. And what is even more interesting is the beverage program. The list includes 120 beers in bottle, approximately 120 wines and more than 100 whiskeys.
During my visit to Corning this summer for the Wine Bloggers Conference, I loved my experience at Hand + Foot so much that I went a total of three times. I just couldn’t get enough!
Dan has put together an extraordinary wine list featuring wines from around the world, as well as the Finger Lakes. The list is exciting to explore and offers so many unique varietals to try. Dry Hungarian Tokaji Furmint, Austrian Gruner Veltliner, Getariako Txakolina from Spain and a Brachetto from Italy that is dry and still are just some of the unique wines I tasted.
If you are in the mood for a cocktail, the list is as fun to read as it is to drink. The drinks all have creative names with fun subheadings, and many feature local regionally produced products, such as Steady as She Gose (are you steady now?) with Anderson Valley “The Kimmie, The Yink and the Holy Gose” sour ale and Averell Damson Gin Liqueur and the Seneca Gimlet (no scurvy: happy mariner) with Mckenzie Reserve Gin or Vintner’s Vodka (player’s choice) + house lime cordial. Or Bar Manger Matthew Williams is happy to create one on the spot.
There is no shortage on flavor when it comes to the food. And the menu ranges in styles, from fried rice with fried chicken to a sausage platter to a beer brisket sandwich with beer cheese. Come hungry, come with friends and share or return multiple times (like I did) to get to taste most of the menu.
Tostones (fried smashed plantain, garlic salt, chili garlic aioli)
Fried Pickles & Pearls (cornmeal battered cornichon, gherkin & pearl onion, green goddess aioli)
Korean Rice Cakes (stierly farm pork belly, tamarind chutney, sweet corn, jicama, cilantro relish)
Fried Rice (green curry rice, capn’ crunch fried chicken, egg, jicama, bok choy, carrots, pickled ramps, golden raisin)
Hand + Foot is a welcoming neighborhood restaurant that I wish was in my neighborhood.
Hand and Foot
69 W Market St, Corning, NY 14830