Ferona restaurant in Canandaigua NY plans to expand tapas menu

CANANDAIGUA, NY — Over the rhythmic chopping of carrots and onions for that night’s bolognaise sauce, Asa Mott is multitasking. 

First the carrots, then the onions — no tears visible. While his hands and eyes are focused on that night’s dinners, Mott’s thoughts are on the next opportunity to seek out local ingredients that give the tapas and other Spanish-themed foods at Ferona their local flair. 

This can be fruitful. For instance, back in the spring for his first week at the Canandaigua restaurant, he wound up with two lambs to work with in preparing dishes. On this weekday, he’s thinking of a Saturday trip to the Canandaigua Farmers Market. 

There is the Ferona menu — dotted with dishes like panache, datiles (bacon-wrapped dates) and Ignacio’s or garden paella, to name a few. And then there’s the soon-to-be-specials menu, with more short-term specialty dishes based on what he finds on these food-finding missions.

Thinking ahead: “Personally, I’d like to flood the table with a bunch of small dishes that everyone can share and enjoy,” said Mott, who was owner and chef at the now-closed ButaPub in the South Wedge area of Rochester. 

Asa Mott is chef at Ferona in Canandaigua.

“Just trying to make it more of a tapas place, really,” Mott said. “The chef who was here before me was really good, so there weren’t any drastic changes that needed to be made. Tightening up and making the concept work a little better.” 

Ferona — the name is a composite of the letters of the names of owner Rafael Guevara’s three children — opened at the end of 2019, but the COVID-19 pandemic ended up closing the eatery for a time. 

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