2014-10-02 – Saranac Lake Country Club and Artisans Restaurant
Today was another beautiful day so we decided to check out some launch sites and state parks northwest of the Lake Placid area. Some folks at the RV park mentioned kayaking in the Saranac Lake area and we drove to Fish Creek SP to check it out. We would definitely consider staying here though there are no services except a dump station but the park is located on a good sized lake that links to other lakes and ponds as well. There are several sites we would probably fit in though as with all state parks, it is iffy. They were not built in an age of 40 footers. For those of you with a trailer or tent, and who don’t care about being “off the hook”, the state parks in NY can’t be beat for beauty and location. However, you have to reserve online if you want to visit before Labor Day. After Labor Day, there are some reservable sites but most are first come, first served but go during the week and not the weekend.
We then stopped at Saranac Lake Country Club to see what the greens fees were. Generally, in this area, you can’t play golf for under $100 per person, including cart which is outrageous when you play as badly as we do. However, when it looked as though we were not going to play given the 50.00 nine-hole cost, they agreed to let us play 9 holes for $30.00 because it probably was better to get some money (given that there was practically no one on the course) than none. It was a very challenging course but Bob was playing pretty well hitting his shots amazingly straight. No comment on my game….Again, though, the fall colors were magnificent but the views, though pretty, were not as lovely as in Watkins Glen.
After we returned, we showered (thankfully) and got ready for dinner at Artisans Restaurant in the Lake Placid Lodge. There is an $80.00 prix fixe, four course meal but we ordered a la carte. Next time, though, we will get the prix fixe meal because this was an absolutely incredible meal from start to finish and actually worth the price. A word about the Lake Placid Lodge itself first. If you have been to the Ahwahnee (Yosemite) or El Tovar(Grand Canyon) or one of the other national park restaurants so famous for their décor, this lodge is every bit as beautiful and in my opinion, actually more beautiful. Put it this way, I took a picture of the ladies room, it was so beautifully done. The restaurant and hotel are done in the Adironack style with birch bark trimmed furniture, stuffed deer over the mantels, blanket print upholstery and other “woodsy” touches. There was a lovely fire place in the lounge area and a wonderful bar. The restaurant had outdoor seating on a porch that surrounded the building. Because it was cool, in the 50’s, the clear vinyl shades had been lowered for the most part but there were some left open so that I could take some photos of the late afternoon/early evening view across Lake Placid. We had a table next to a window and the service was absolutely impeccable with an affable, knowledgeable waiter and an incredible meal. There were not a lot of choices on the menu but it was a wonderful selection. Both Bob and I ordered Lobster Bisque for the first course which included poached lobster, sherry cream, brioche crisp and herb oil. Before this was served, the waiter brought over a small expresso sized cup of the chef’s “gift” of vichysoisse. It was the most yummy soup I have ever eaten. What made it so good aside from the overall taste was that you could taste the individual ingredients. It seemed as though each ingredient “appeared” as you tasted each spoonful. You could taste celery, potatos and other spices and flavors individually and was absolutely yummy. The lobster bisque was also unbelievably delicious. Its texture was velvety and melted in your mouth. For the main course, I ordered Black Truffle Risotto made with Italian Arborio rice, garden herbs, aged parmesan and macadamia nut oil not to mention the black truffle mushrooms. Again, incredibly good. I ordered the “second course” size and the smaller size was just perfect. Bob ordered filet mignon with French beans, sautéed mushrooms, Portobello cream potato confit and a red wine sauce. The beef was tender and perfectly done medium rare. Delicious! For dessert, we ordered one Lemon and Vanilla Crepaze, two wedges of a cake made with layers of crepes served with pineapple jus, pineapple sorbet (amazing!) and a blueberry compote. Not too sweet and altogether yummy. We were not feeling overfed by the end; just right! A word about my pre-dinner cocktail; it was also yummy. It was a huckleberry lemon martini served with shaved ice so that it remained ice cold but not slushy. So, from start to finish, in every aspect, this was a meal worth the price. Would definitely go again and would recommend this restaurant to anyone who is going to Lake Placid and looking for a wonderful, romantic meal. It would be an awesome place to stay as well. Of course, only I would take a photo of the Ladies Room but seriously, it was so beautifully done in keeping with the decor of the entire place. Those of you who have traveled with me know that I have been known to take bathroom photos at various resorts so, this should not be a surprise.
What a nice evening!