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Garlic Pepper Parmesan Salad Dressing Inspired by The Changing Scene

Inspired by a old newspaper clipping recipe for the house salad dressing from the Changing Scene restaurant in Rochester, this creamy garlic pepper parmesan salad dressing is super easy to make, and absolutely delicious!

Homemade Garlic Pepper Parmesan Salad Dressing in a jar surrounded by lemons, a wedge of parmesan cheese, a big bowl of salad greens, and a pepper grinder.

Do you remember the Changing Scene restaurant? If you are from Rochester if you didn’t get a chance to dine there, you at least most likely heard stories about the unique downtown restaurant. The high-profile restaurant closed many years ago but remains part of our local culture, and skyline.

Rochester’s Revolving Restaurant

View of the First Federal Building in Downtown Rochester from Red Wing Stadium

The Changing Scene opened in downtown Rochester in August 1977 as the first revolving restaurant in New York state. The restaurant featured the best views of the city from its 21st-floor perch on top of the First Federal Building.

Revolving restaurants are found all over the world, but they all feature an eating space that rests atop a broad circular revolving platform that operates as a large turntable. The restaurant its self doesn’t rotate, just the interior dining area. The building remains stationary and the diners are carried on the revolving floor. The revolving rate at The Changing Scene was once per hour which enabled diners to enjoy a panoramic view of Downtown Rochester without leaving their seats.

The Changing Scene was not without its struggles during its 11 years in operation, and at one point going through eight general managers in five years [mfn] Democrat & Chronicle, March 1, 2014, Whatever Happened to Changing Scene? [/mfn] There also seem to be conflicting memories of the actual quality of the food, some will say the food was amazing, while others say it was just “ok” at best.

The Changing Scene closed in 1987, and in 1990 and the rotating mechanism was dismantled [mfn] , so it is not likely that space will be going for a spin again anytime soon.

Homemade Garlic Pepper Parmesan Salad Dressing in a jar surrounded by lemons, a wedge of parmesan cheese, a big bowl of salad greens, and a pepper grinder.

The Changing Scene House Salad Dressing Recipe

I found this recipe for The Changing Scene House Salad Dressing in an online forum, and I stashed away the image of the newspaper clipping in my restaurant recipe archive for a few years.

A Rochester New York newspaper clipping featuring house salad dressing recipes from local restuarants.

The listed ingredients for The Changing Scene’s House Salad Dressing are:

  • 1 pint mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 4 tsp parmesan cheese
  • 2 cloves garlic

Instructions:

Place all ingredients into a food processor or blender and pulse until creamy and no chunks.


A lot of times when I am testing out “restaurant recipes” I have to wonder if ingredients were purposefully omitted, or if there was some error in printing, and that is very much the case with this recipe. The original recipe is quite basic, and not that impressive.

Creamy Garlic Pepper Parmesan Salad Dressing

My recipe for Creamy Garlic Pepper Parmesan Salad Dressing, while inspired by Changing Scene’s salad dressing is a little different than the basic dressing from the newspaper clipping. The pepper, garlic and parmesan flavors a played up by the addition of dijon mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and a little bit of lemon juice. The mayonnaise-based dressing is then thinned to a perfectly pourable consistency with milk.

Creamy Garlic Pepper Parmesan Salad Dressing

Creamy Garlic Pepper Parmesan Salad Dressing

Yield: 12 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

Inspired by a old newspaper clipping recipe for the house salad dressing from the Changing Scenes restaurant in Rochester, this creamy garlic parmesan salad dressing is super easy to make, and absolutely delicious!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons parmesan cheese
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
  • juice of half a lemon
  • salt to taste

Instructions

  1. Place all ingredients into a food processor or blender and pulse until creamy and no chunks.
  2. Serve immediately or refrigerate until ready to use.

Notes

Make the salad dressing early in the day and cover and store in the refrigerator for 2 hours or overnight for the best flavor.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 147Total Fat: 14gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 9mgSodium: 238mgCarbohydrates: 4gFiber: 0gSugar: 3gProtein: 1g

Even though I try to provide accurate nutritional information to the best of my ability, these figures should still be considered estimates. Please see my Nutrition Disclaimer for more information.

Homemade Garlic Pepper Parmesan Salad Dressing in a jar surrounded by lemons, a wedge of parmesan cheese, a big bowl of salad greens, and a pepper grinder.

What are your memories of Changing Scene?

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