Cigar Aficionado

Turning Stone Casino Resort, New York

Oneida Indian Nation’s Turning Stone Casino Resort is much more than a place to gamble. A recent getaway to the destination was a very pleasant milieu for delicious dining, golfing and cigars.

Atop the Turning Stone Tower is an especially hospitable space where fine cigars may be purchased and enjoyed in the cozy smoking parlor and on the adjacent outdoor terrace. The 21st floor rooftop aerie, shared with Turning Stone’s newest restaurant, TS Steakhouse, offers a comfortable, upscale environment with a commanding distant panorama over the surrounding countryside of field and woodland.

The upstate New York resort is unique as casino properties go. The Lodge, a fashionable, AAA Four Diamond boutique hotel, is only a short walk to gaming but distinctly separate from the casino. Sitting adjacent to the clubhouse, its chic and spacious suites overlook Shenendoah Golf Club’s 18th hole. The Lodge has its own AAA 4-diamond award winning Wildflowers restaurant and the Skana Spa. Together they deliver a private, quiet and peaceful venue to stay, relax, dine and play.

The parlor’s humidor is stocked with a lineup of reasonably priced selections: AVO Heritage Robusto-$10, El Triunfador Lancero-$12, Ashton Double Magnum-$15, My Father No.5-$18, Diamond Crown Maximus Toro #4-$20, Tatuaje-$25, Padrón 1926 Maduro-$40. TS Steakhouse’s cigar menu includes flavor notes and spirit pairings for each selection, such as Casa Dragones tequila or Glenmorangie Signet Scotch with the Padrón 1926 Maduro or 15-Year-Old El Dorado Rum with a Tatuaje.

TS Steakhouse describes a menu built on Oneida Indian traditional cuisine, a history of using locally sourced and sustainable foods, and culinary options featuring seasonal ingredients. The list of dishes presents a variety of choices: cherry pepper calamari, pan-fried crab cake, 18 oz. porterhouse or the bone-in double cut Niman Ranch pork chop, Wagyu New York strip, pan-roasted elk loin, and surf & turf of 8 oz. fillet and 1 1/2 lbs. Maine lobster.

Golf at the resort can be played on a triad of distinctive 18-hole gems that are challenging and entertaining: Kaluhyat Golf Club (gah-LOO-yut, an Oneida word meaning “the other side of the sky”), Shenendoah Golf Club, and Atunyote Golf Club (uh-DUNE-yote, meaning “eagle”), and a pair of 9-hole layouts—Pleasant Knolls and Sandstone Hollow. All together, the courses accommodate players of virtually all skill levels.

Turning Stone’s Golf Dome houses a two-tiered indoor range and academy for golfers wanting to swing a club when the weather isn’t cooperating. The entire golf operation at Turning Stone is owned and run by Turning Stone as a successful independent business enterprise, rather than as a value added amenity for casino patrons.

There are also ample opportunities to wager. The 120,000 square feet of gaming space includes 2,439 cashless multi-game machines for slot play, video poker and blackjack; 87 tables for blackjack, craps, three-card poker, roulette, Caribbean stud poker and baccarat; a 32 table, state-of-the-art poker room; and high-stakes bingo hall.

Freelancer Bill Nestor explores globally to write about travel, golf, food, nature and lifestyles.

The Turning Stone Casino Resort
5218 Patrick Road, Verona, NY 13478
For reservations call 800-771-7711
Information 315-361-7711