::platter chatter the eye more than meets the mohegan manor by farah f. jadran I photos by kelly kane Far East cuisine meets traditional inside the 101-year-old Mohegan Manor. What might have appeared as a bizarre match has become a new (and popular) signature at the Baldwinsville destination. While still maintaining its “exceptional dining and banquet” experience, Mohegan Manor now has an exclusive club, Club Sushi & Steaks. “It’s our baby,” said Oksana Smiranova, culinary artist at Mohegan Manor. “It’s been very successful…more than we expected.” Smiranova and Mohegan Manor owner Dennis Sick created a space for the sushi club adjacent to the lower level dining area and VIP sections. Located on the lowest level of the four-story historical location, Club Sushi & Steaks offers “high quality and fresh” sushi, according to Smiranova. “All our fish is delivered the same day, and it’s fresh,” Sick said. Smiranova learned many sushi techniques while studying in Florida, where she observed many chefs. Both Smiranova and Sick went to almost every popular sushi restaurant in Onondaga County to taste and try all the styles available in the area. In the end, they decided the sushi menu would be a superb addition to the already well-known Mohegan Manor. Sick says it has made the restaurant more unique and that “there is nothing like” it in the immediate area. Among its extensive sushi menu, Smiranova says one of her favorites is an inside-out roll that has tuna and cucumber on the inside and seared sea bass on top with a “special sauce.” The Firecracker Roll, a guest favorite, features spicy tuna, shrimp, scallion rolled in tagarashi, an Asian spice. There are hundreds of sushi combinations that Smiranova has flirted with, and she is most proud of her sushi rice because it is a recipe all her own. Because the Mohegan Manor is not focused on turning tables in its dining rooms, guests can dine with ease surrounded by the elegant architecture. “It’s a dining experience,” Sick said. Executive members also enjoy a courtesy limousine shuttle to the restaurant and then back to their home after a night out at Mohegan Manor. “We want people to enjoy their time here. When people go out to dinner it’s because they want an ‘experience.’” The Mohegan Manor menu has many everyday items, but Sick says some items change every three days or so to keep the cuisine modern and unique. This exquisite destination is child-friendly as well, with such long-time favorites as the sliders with cheese and the mac ‘n’ cheese, which, Sick says, “is not your average mac ‘n’ cheese.” While an innovative style has come over the 101-year-old building, there are many aspects that have stayed the same, and have been the home to many matrimonial memories. Smiranova says the weddings at Mohegan Manor are extra special because the location is only available to one bride at a time. The top two floors are available for that special day, while couples can have a ceremony in the W.F. Morris Ballroom and then retreat to the lowest level for an intimate and private dinner with their guests. In addition to capturing a day-filled with memories, brides become automatic lifetime club members at a “pay as you go” special rate. For a group with diverse tastes seeking an elegant dining experience, drive up Oswego Street in the village of Baldwinsville and visit Mogehan Manor. “There is something for everyone,” Smiranova says. And for the daring sushi connoisseur, say, “surprise me,” and Smiranova will create a one-of-a-kind roll just for you. For more information about Mohegan Manor’s Club Sushi & Steaks Club, its executive member perks, sushi-making classes by Oksana Smiranova and its banquet/wedding facilities, visit www.moheganmanor.com.