Mark (mhaithaca) wrote,

The littlest things can trigger deep memories! (219.8)

I'm sometimes amazed what casual discussions can dredge up deep memories. Two recent mentions of chicken livers, including on a recent post from susandennis's journal, had me thinking about family memories and a local eatery of days gone by.

Back when you bought a chicken from the store, even if it was cut into parts for you, and it included the liver and other bits that the average consumer today wouldn't know from Adam, my mom used to freeze the livers until she had enough... and then made liver and onions for my dad. I guess it was a childhood favorite for him. I never disliked chicken livers, but preferred them in chopped liver form!

And that conversation made me think of the Lehigh Valley House, an Ithaca restaurant that was open for more than a century, and closed just over nine years ago.

They used to have three choices as an appetizer: a cup of soup, a glass of tomato juice, or chicken livers. That third choice faded away years before they closed, and I can no longer recall how they were prepared.

Much clearer memories of the Chicken Vincente at Joe's Restaurant, another Ithaca icon closing this month. That was layers of breaded and fried chicken cutlets and eggplant slices, plus ricotta, topped (like chicken or eggplant parm) with sauce and mozzarella. It had been on the '80s-'90s menu as a regular item, and was one of the things I kept coming back to. When the restaurant reopened in 2005, they included it briefly, but I guess not enough people were ordering it. It's been an occasional special, this weekend's happy hour bartender tells me. Maybe I can beg them to make it one last time before they close? It's not as if they're lacking any of the components.

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