Table Talk: Lakeside Lodge & Grille
By Blaze Marshall
Monday, March 7, 2011
My friends from Toronto Canada have been coming to Lake George for fifteen years. Last year I made their acquaintance at a local establishment and, after hearing about their dining adventures, decided to interject some recommendations.
Believe it or not, during their fifteen years of visiting, they never took the time to visit Bolton Landing. They have preferred to stay in the village, park their car once and for all, and enjoy walking to all the amenities our area has to offer. Who can blame them for that? There are likely many who venture to our area and decide to do likewise. However, I have always perceived that our success in the tourism industry is due to our regions offering, not just one community, but every part of Warren, Washington and even Saratoga communities.
I decided a trip to Bolton Landing to see The Sagamore Resort, the wonderful shops, laid back ambiance and great restaurants was a must for Frank and Andree′.
We called ahead to Artie and Nicole Baker’s Lakeside Lodge to not only ensure timely seating, but outdoor placement as well. Upon arrival we were greeted by fellow columnist Kate Baker, explaining that we would be among the first to experience the culinary offerings of Chef John Giordano, formerly of the Saratoga Polo Club and Michael Arthur’s.
The Lakeside Lodge was formerly the House of Scotts with the makeover a true delight for lovers of the lake and the Adirondacks. The centerpiece of the indoor dining room is a huge stone fireplace, the bar an antique canoe, a 5 ½ horsepower Johnson outboard and the remainder ala Henry Caldwell birch bark walls, bent branches steamed and skinned. There are also a host of interesting photos of past years of the region. I also noted an Evinrude outboard located inside that brought back fond memories of my family’s boat livery on Saratoga Lake in the 40’s and 50’s.
Kate summoned us from the bar after enjoying a cool draught and seated us on the south porch which afforded us a perfect peek of the lake accompanied by the sounds of live music from the adjoining park. Absolutely perfect! Our waitress Jessica, promptly delivered menus and a basket of wonderful warm sliced Italian bread and rolls.
Chef Giordano’s menu is straight forward and to the point. All entrees may be enjoyed with a house salad for a small additional charge.
You can begin with steamed littlenecks, a colossal shrimp cocktail, boneless or bone-in wings or scallops and bacon. There is also a wonderful spinach and artichoke dip baked in a cruet with toast points as well as a delightful sushi plate with either tuna roll or California roll, served with citrus soy, wasabi and pickled ginger.
Soup lovers can rejoice with one of the area’s best New England chowders or spicy roasted corn chowder. Not your average salad choices include a great pecan chicken salad with mixed greens, red onion, dried cranberries, cherries, apples, mandarin oranges, feta cheese and basil balsamic vinaigrette. Moist chicken slices are coated with a crisp pecan crust.
Sixteen choices of entrees grace the Lakeside’s menu including a wild Atlantic salmon, seared tuna and my personal choice; a Chilean sea bass, pan roasted and finished with a sweet whole grain mustard and brown sugar glaze. Veal Oscar, pasta primavera, tenderloin tips and a Lakeside fish fry are options as well.
Frank chose a 12 oz. New York sirloin perfectly prepared medium-rare with compound herb butter. The tender beef was nicely charred on the exterior and brought out several accolades from my Canadian friend.
Andree took my recommendation and was very pleased with a marinated free-range chicken. A complete half, char grilled and finished in a light sweet balsamic reduction. I am not one for marinated anything, but this is my favorite one-half chicken dish regardless.
This writer went with barbeque back ribs because my Canadian friends wanted to sample another of their favorites. I was very pleased with two huge slabs of slow roasted, grilled baby ribs doused with a house-made sauce. All finger licking, fall of the bone good!
All of our entrees were accompanied with an ample portion of garlic mashed potatoes, fresh asparagus and carrot slices.
Jessica delivered smooth, friendly and efficient service throughout and the ample portions precluded our sampling any of the Lakeside Lodge’s desserts.
Throughout dinner, a cool breeze blew in off the lake, the background live music from the park was a real plus and the Lakeside’s food cemented our Canadian-American friendship. Fifteen years was way too long to wait for this couple to enjoy Bolton Landing and Artie and Nicole Baker’s Lakeside Lodge and Grille.