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Back of the House: Crystal Lake Café at Americana Vineyards

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In our latest issue we take a look behind the scenes at Americana Vineyards’ Crystal Lake Café to learn more about chefs Lindsay Freeman and Jen Ungberg and the inspiration behind their cuisine.

Freeman, who began her post-college culinary saga as a bartender at Ithaca establishments Glenwood Pines and Bistro Q (now Corks and More), initiated food service at Americana in 2007, and Ungberg joined her a year later. What began as a takeout sandwich shop with paninis, tater tots, reubens, potato salad and a couple of little tables, grew. “Nobody would leave!” Freeman says, so they added larger tables and better kitchen equipment, and it continues to grow today.

Over the years Freeman and Ungberg have added more adventurous creations to their lunch, brunch, and dinner menus to enthusiastic response. “We talk a lot about food. We’re always talking about food with the whole team,” Ungberg says. “A lot of our menu items come from what we like to eat. We’re just trying to give our versions of our favorite things,” Freeman adds.

For Peggy Haine’s full profile on Crystal Lake Café, pick up our November/December 2014 issue at any of these businesses.

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