My time in Lake Placid was (too) short, spanning only a weekend, but I managed to fill it with all kinds of delicious meals and beverages, starting on Friday night at Lake Placid Pub & Brewery. It was a pretty happening place with a good mix of couples, possibly enjoying date night, and families with younger children. We had gotten into town a bit later than we’d planned so we were starving. First matter of business, though: beer. I am a self-proclaimed beer snob and one thing I make sure to do when I travel someplace new is try the local beer. Lake Placid Pub & Brewery brews their own; it doesn’t get any more local than that. I tried the IPA, which was solid, and the Moose Island Ale. Maybe because I drank it after the bolder IPA, the Moose Island Ale was too light for my taste. I spied many tasty-looking dishes on the menu but I chose the one that sounded most unusual: toad in the hole. I had to order it just because of the name. Basically, it’s sausages and mashed potatoes wrapped in a puff pastry, and smothered in onion gravy. It was served with French fries and applesauce. It was sinfully delicious and filling and I ate every last bit of it.
Saturday morning found us awake at a reasonable hour and ready for breakfast at Generations Restaurant, Golden Arrow Lakeside Resort’s on-site restaurant. The view of frozen Mirror Lake from our table was just as spectacular as all the food we were treated to. While there, we learned of the farm-to-table initiative many of Lake Placid’s restaurants are a part of, including Generations. With seven million acres of “forever wilderness” in the Adirondacks, restaurateurs have a number of high quality local products right in their backyards. I also learned that the Lake Placid area is a major producer of maple syrup. Honestly, I had no idea, but realizing how close Vermont is, it totally made sense. It also makes sense then that maple is prominently featured on the menu at Generations (and other local establishments, as I’d come to find out). We started with a housemade cinnamon roll, consisting of all local products, right down to the organic flour from Champlain Valley Milling. We were presented a few more courses but the highlight came at the end of our feast: we were witness to a tableside cooking demonstration of bison burgers (bison meat from local farms, of course) on a heated Himalayan salt slab. It was amazing to watch the meat cook and sizzle right in front of our eyes. It really didn’t take very long for the burgers to cook and right before they came off the slab, we poured fresh, local maple syrup over them and watched it caramelize. I’d never tried bison before and now I’m not sure I can ever eat it again without holding it up to the high standard set by Generations Restaurant.
A bit outside of downtown Lake Placid is the amazingly beautiful and luxurious Whiteface Lodge. We spent Saturday evening there, enjoying the warm ambiance (and free Wi-Fi, because that’s what bloggers do) of KANU Lounge. The idea was to relax and have a cocktail or two, and maybe an appetizer, so I studied the drink menu. Despite Whiteface’s extensive craft beer list, I was drawn to the specialty cocktails. One in particular piqued my interest: the Campfire. I couldn’t ignore the claim that the bourbon drink actually tastes like a campfire. I know that doesn’t exactly sound appetizing, but I had to give it a go. Let’s just say that I didn’t stop at one Campfire and that I’ve been searching for maple water, one of the drink’s ingredients, since returning from Lake Placid, with the hopes of recreating the Campfire at home. After all those drinks, we needed some food, so we ordered a few baskets of the truffle salt fries. These were no ordinary fries, not with shaved cheese curds and crispy duck bacon. We may or may not have fought over the last few fries in the baskets…
Our feeding frenzy next took us to Lisa G’s. It’s said Lisa G’s is all about “comfort foods with a modern twist”. I’d say that description is pretty accurate. At first glance, one might think the menu is suffering a bit of an identity crisis, not quite sure to which ethnic group it might belong. There’s pizza, and then there are pierogi; there’s curried fish stew, and then there’s risotto. So there’s a little bit of everything going on at Lisa G’s. I had a hard time deciding what to order and eventually went with the risotto. It has olives, which I don’t really like, but it also has manchengo cheese, which I really do like. Olives and all, I didn’t leave a trace of risotto in the bowl. I have to also mention the wings at Lisa G’s. Now, I typically don’t eat buffalo wings, especially in public (way too messy), but Lisa G’s also offers Greek-style wings. Think Greek-style chicken but in miniature and with a creamy feta dipping sauce that is to die for. We finished all the wings and then asked for more of the feta sauce so we could spread it on bread, or eat it straight from the bowl. It’s THAT good. As for my drink of choice, I once again bypassed the impressive beer selection and went for a specialty cocktail, the bourbon-based Sassy Cider. I wanted to keep the bourbon theme going and – well, I’m sassy. It also includes maple syrup and a dash of cayenne pepper. It almost was a bit too spicy for me but I managed to enjoy the Sassy Cider and finish it off.
It’s a miracle that I left Lake Placid sober and that my clothes still fit. I expected fun and adventure in the mountain town, but I honestly did not expect such delightful food and drink. And don’t let the talk of beer and booze keep you from bringing your children to any of these places. Each is appropriate for kids and families; it all just depends on what YOU are comfortable with.
My visit to Lake Placid was sponsored by the Lake Placid CVB and its partners. As always, my thoughts and opinions are my own, and I was in no way swayed to write positively about all of the incredibly delicious food I ate and the delightfully unique drinks I consumed.