Lake Placid is what I pictured a ski town to be. Some fake Swiss chalet architecture, a Main St. with tourist-focused retail shops, a beautiful lake (called Mirror Lake, Lake Placid is on the other side of Mirror Lake), and surrounding mountains. And the tallest mountains still had snow! Lake Placid has two seasons - Winter and Summer. We arrived in the in-between time where shops and restaurants opened if they felt like it, and nothing was hurried.
Here is are some of the food and drink highlights:
First of all, if you visit during the in-between time there is no excuse for you not to eat dinner with a view. Virtually all of the sit down restaurants are located on the lake side. We experienced great romantic views every evening. Just the thing for a 20th wedding anniversary celebration.
For high end elegance go to The View. This is the restaurant associated with the Mirror Lake Inn. It does indeed have the best scenic view of the lake, mountains, and town. We gazed at the sun sliding off of the surrounding mountains and sighed. Because it was off-season we were seated in a small dining room that until the very end we had all to ourselves. (Another sigh.) Our waiter, unfortunately, seemed a little green as far as experience. He was unfamiliar with the wine list, including the only New York State wine listed on the menu and featured as one of the sparklings by the glass. He did make up for it by being very pleasant and attentive. We started with a glass of Joel Gott Sauvignon Blanc. Nice and crisp, not as citrusly as ones from New Zealand. The white wine paired very well with our first course, Shaved Fennel and Citrus Salad. Very light and imaginative. For the main course I selected the evening's special: Beef Tenderloin topped with a Lobster Salad. My husband could not resist ordering the Roast Chicken Brunswick served with Succotash of Corn and Lima Beans. Of course, we ordered red wine - a 2000 Bouchard Pere & Fils Pommard. Yes, a very yummy choice and a good selection given the varied entrees we ordered. Alas, my meal appeared and the tenderloin was overcooked, no pink at all. I had to send it back. The waiter was very apologetic and returned from the kitchen with another meal. Not as medium rare as I am used to, but acceptable. The lobster salad was divine. Large chunks of lobster claw tossed with tiny greens and a hint of citrus for the dressing. The roast chicken was a big hit with my husband, especially the succotash. Personally, I hate the combination of corn and lima beans (butter beans, really), thus, hubby does not eat the dish at home. Even though our waiter could have been more experienced and there was a kitchen snafu, the picturesque setting in a seeming private dining area went a long way to smooth the way. If given the opportunity, we would gladly eat at The View again.
For old world Italian (or maybe NYC Italian) step into Jimmy's. Once again a great table with a view. They serve the only fresh pasta in town. Jimmy's seems to be like a lot of family-run Italian restaurants - great food, but a wine list that isn't even trying and usually too pricey even for the cheap stuff. But never fear we found a 2000 Codirosso Vistarenni Toscana. For my entree I ordered the special - Chicken Spedini. My other half had Ziti with Meat Sauce and Meatballs. The entrees came with bread (not homemade) and a typical restaurant salad. My chicken was thin sliced and sauteed with roasted red peppers, olives, proscuitto, and artichokes. Very tasty. It was also served a side of pasta. It, too, was mouth-watering. Needless to say the Ziti was a big hit as well. On top of it all check out the twilight view...
We also ate dinner at The Brown Dog Cafe. And, you guessed it, a great table side view. The Brown Dog is a wine bar with great brown dog art by a Vermont artist. We had good food and good wine. What we had, I don't have a clue. I must start writing this stuff down!
If you only go to one place for lunch, you must go to Tail o' the Pup. It's a road side BBQ, Bar, and Lobster/Clam Bake hangout. Booths inside and picnic tables under striped awnings outside. It's located in Ray Brook, a spot in the road between Lake Placid and Saranac Lake. Hubby had the Clam Chowder and Pulled Pork BBQ. I got the ribs. Not bad for BBQ from the north. My ribs were not as smoked as Buzz & Ned's in Richmond, but the BBQ sauce was right on the money. The pork was a little on the sweet side and needed a fair amount of hot sauce.
We also happened upon a fabulous wine shop - Terry Robard's Wines & Spirits. We found a 1993 Bouchard Pere & Fils Volnay for $30. What an incredible Burgundy find. If we had not been crossing over to Canada on our next leg we would have filled the trunk.
A place not to stay - Northwoods Inn. It was cheap, but there was a reason. Just a rundown motel that saw better times years ago. Try the Best Western Golden Arrow for reasonable rates. If you want to splurge, stay at the Mirror Lake Inn.