Gold-medal winning food and drink in Lake Placid

IMG_1369My 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.

IMG_1377Saturday 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.

Greek-style wings and the droolworthy feta sauce at Lisa G's

Greek-style wings and the droolworthy feta sauce at Lisa G’s

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.

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21 Responses to Gold-medal winning food and drink in Lake Placid

  1. Amber DeGrace March 3, 2014 at 7:44 am #

    Yum! Everything sounds so good (and you know the beer is right up my alley). The Greek wings sound fab! I may need to try recreating them in my kitchen…or just travel there! 😉

    • Francesca March 5, 2014 at 9:02 pm #

      Amber, there is no doubt in my mind that you could recreate those Greek wings AND that amazing creamy feta sauce. But you still should go to Lake Placid. I think you and the family would have a good time there.

  2. Raul (@ilivetotravel) March 3, 2014 at 6:24 pm #

    I also hate eating wings for the same reason you do – but I agree, they were delicious with that sauce!! Good times – and good eating in the Adirondacks!

    • Francesca March 5, 2014 at 9:03 pm #

      I’d eat those wings in public every day if I had the chance!

  3. @mrsoaroundworld March 4, 2014 at 9:53 am #

    Yum!! Those burgers look amazing!

    • Francesca March 5, 2014 at 9:04 pm #

      It was my first time trying bison and I was a bit reluctant, but the meat was quite lean and had tremendous flavor.

  4. Erin at The World Wanderer March 4, 2014 at 6:34 pm #

    Drool-worthy feta sauce is right!!! I ordered my extra and wanted a tub to bring home. OMG now I’m so craving it!

    • Francesca March 5, 2014 at 9:04 pm #

      Just means we gotta go back!

  5. craig zabransky (@StayAdventurous) March 5, 2014 at 1:31 am #

    So happy to see first priority was a beer, (although it did take a wile to walk there 😉 and also, I am SO HAPPY to see the mention of the campfire, what a cocktail, so need one for my next, or our next fireside chat.

    Yes, the food was delicious too, I as a NYer, come to expect that of my state… but I was impressed with the beer / cocktail… Well done Lake Placid. Stay golden, Craig

    • Francesca March 5, 2014 at 9:05 pm #

      Ha! It did take us a while to get to the pub. We just took the scenic route 😉 I’m hoping for another fireside chat soon, my friend!

  6. Josette LeBlond March 5, 2014 at 3:53 am #

    Thanks for information.
    Interesting article.

    • Francesca March 5, 2014 at 9:05 pm #

      Thank YOU for stopping by & commenting!

  7. Lance | Trips By Lance March 5, 2014 at 12:22 pm #

    I’m on board with all of this. I’m not sure I knew you are a fellow beer snob. That’s good to know. I would agree with you about wanting to try a cocktail with a description like that.

    • Francesca March 5, 2014 at 9:06 pm #

      Oh, Lance, beer snob I am – of the highest order. We’ll have to compare notes!

  8. Leah March 7, 2014 at 12:55 am #

    All this travel is seriously making me fat. I suppose it’s actually all the eating while traveling that’s making me fat. I’d choke someone for those wings, and the campfire drink? How cool is that?

  9. Traveling Ted March 7, 2014 at 4:31 am #

    One of my favorite outdoor activities is sitting around the campfire. I would love to have a drink that could capture that mood and of course get me buzzed.

  10. Pola (Jetting Around) March 7, 2014 at 10:25 am #

    I wish I could have joined you guys on the trip! Perhaps I would have ordered pierogi (thanks for spelling it right!) just to see… Nah, I’m spoiled by those that my mom makes. Campfire bourbon drink? OK, I’d be tempted to taste that…

  11. lola March 13, 2014 at 7:29 pm #

    this makes me hungry. VERY HUNGRY!

  12. the lazy travelers March 17, 2014 at 9:12 am #

    holy crap. i return to the states tomorrow for a week and even though lake placid isn’t on the list, i cannot WAIT to eat american food. so good, so bad. so fat.

  13. SMC Pharmacy April 16, 2014 at 3:22 am #

    Great article.

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