The dinner entrees, however, are in my opinion where Circa really shines. Last week I enjoyed a memorable dinner of slow roasted, brined pork loin with chimichurri sauce ($16), a fresh, salsa-type sauce made from chopped parsley, minced garlic and olive oil, which is the classic Argentinian accompaniment for grilled meats. The pork loin was moist and flavorful, and a great match for the herby, garlicky chimichurri sauce. It was only after I had finished and complimented Alicyn on the meal, that I learned that Eric, Alicyn's husband, had raised the pig on their property. That's local, and that's Circa.
For food of this quality, prices at Circa are very reasonable. The lunch menu ranges from $3 to $8 for soups and salads, while sandwiches cost between $6 and $8. There is always a fresh soup on the menu, and usually one or two daily lunch specials. The dinner menu changes weekly, with appetizers costing between $5 and $8, and dinner entrees costing $14 to $22, with most entrees falling in the $15 to $16 range. The restaurant also has a nice selection of wine and local microbrews.
Circa celebrated its four-year anniversary this past February, and is open for lunch and dinner from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Reservations are recommended for Friday and Saturday evenings. There is also a terrific Sunday brunch from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The restaurant retails many of the local products featured in its dishes, and hosts a farmer's market the third or fourth Saturday of the month. The next farmers market will meet on Saturday, March 27 from 9 to 12 a.m. For reservations or further information call 655-8768 or visit Circa's website at circarestaurant.net.
Neil Brody Miller teaches American History at Onondaga Community College and is the author of
, a blog on Central New York wine, food, art and culture.