My friend Mary tagged along with me on a recent trip.
We went for lunch on a Wednesday, so we missed out on the glowing oil lamps and linen-draped tables you find there in the evening, as well as live jazz, which is performed on Saturday nights.
The turn-of-the-century décor is warm and casually refined, showcasing Van Gogh prints. Our waitress brought us a carafe of ice water with lemon as soon as we sat down.
A lunch counter and a retail store in the back specializing in fine gifts add some flair.
All I need to see on any menu is the word “avocado” and I’m golden. When it’s in the title of an entrée, even better, so there really was nothing to contemplate — it was all about the Avocado Fresco ($7.95), a specialty sandwich featuring sliced ripe avocado, field greens, Roma tomatoes, Monterey Jack cheese and dill aioli on herbed focaccia bread. It’s offered with a choice of pasta salad, fresh fruit salad, green salad, fried potatoes or homemade potato chips. I chose the chips (best I’ve ever had; at other places they’re usually too soggy or too crispy).
Mary ordered the Cranberry Turkey sandwich ($8.25) made with fresh roasted turkey breast, romaine lettuce, brie cheese and cranberry sauce on nine-grain bread.
She said it tasted fresher than the sandwiches she makes with Thanksgiving leftovers.
The restaurant offers more salads than some restaurants do entrees — a full dozen. Grill fare and wraps are also available.
Despite the unusually warm September afternoon, I couldn’t pass up the Ghirardelli hot chocolate ($1.95). Mary had an iced tea ($1.75). And tea lovers of a different sort, take note: An authentic English afternoon tea service — complete with fresh-baked scones, clotted cream, tea sandwiches and fruit tarts presented on genuine Burleigh Ware china — is offered from 3 to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday; reservations are required.
Hicks & McCarthy offers other non-alcoholic drink choices, wine (from $4.95 a glass to $38 a bottle) and imported beer.
I’m going to try the French Dip ($8.50) on grilled French bread, with melted provolone and a side of au jus. At a place like this, you just know the meat’s going to be good and juicy, even before you dunk it.
Hicks & McCarthy
Where: 23 S. Main St., Pittsford
When: 7:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 7:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday; 8 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Sunday