Middlebury, VT, Ticonderoga (RT. 9N)and the Sagamore
I just returned to L.A. after a trip through these places and wanted to add some tips to the Chowhound boards, as prior to the trip I had trouble finding good recommendations on the site. Spent 4 days at the Sagamore Resort in Lake George, NY and really enjoyed it. www.thesagamore.com. The grounds were beautifully landscaped, rooms nice and the service excellent all around. There were tons of guys on the dock helping us rent boats for waterskiing, tubing etc, but more important the food at the hotel was great. The Veranda is the bar overlooking the lake and they had raw bar and sushi with the drinks as well as bento box snacks that were creative and delicious. Mr. Brown's Pub is the casual restaurant and was just ok-but supposedly Rachael Ray got her start there. The fancy restaurants, Trillium and The Club Grill at the Golf Course (you take a 5 minute shuttle ride up the hill) were terrific, with fresh ingredients well prepared. The Trillium was more foodie/fancy, but good and the chef came from the Vermont Culinary Institute (which has an associated hotel called Inn at Essex which we also recommend.) The Club Grill was more of a chop house and we loved it. I was desperately searching for a place to stop on Route 9N on my way to Middlebury, but found no recs. Fortunately, we happened upon the town of Ticonderoga, a historic town as well as home of the famous pencil. We didn't have time to tour, but it looked like it could be pretty interesting. We found a little place called the Olde Mill Cafe, which featured home made breads and delicious sandwiches. The tuna melt with roasted red pepper spread was great and they had sweet potato fries and home made potato chips. My husband, who isn't a sandwich lover had venison chili which was great. They also had home brewed peach iced tea--better than Snapple.
Now to MIddlebury. Why hasn't anyone posted about American Flatbread? This place rocks!! A big warehousey space with a giant wood burning oven where they make 10 or so different flatbreads, a few fresh salads and service great wines. We had a special salad with fresh green beand and local crumbles blue cheese as well as a special pizza with pesto. We loved it! This is a totally "houndy" place--delicious and reasonably priced. We also liked Storm Cafe and Tully and Maries in Middlebury. All were members of something called the Vermont Fresh Network which links local farmers with restaurants. Anyway, hope someone else enjoys this beautiful area.
Hounds do post about Flatbread.... the thing is there are flatbreads in Middlebury, Waitsfield, Burlington, Portland, Maine, California, Virginia.... Flatbread is great but they are fairly accessible, especially if you include the fact that their pizzas can be found in grocery stores all across the country.
I was lucky enough to go to a business event at the Sagamore last year, and must concur that the food there is amazing -- inventive and well-prepared, even for business catering.
WRT Flatbread, they are a chain restaurant, but they don't feel like one. The different locations I've been to feel like part of their respective neighborhoods, are very family-friendly, and serve food with integrity and and an emphasis on local ingredients. Those piling on must be looking for something earthshattering -- Flatbread isn't earthshattering, it's just reliably good, thin-crust, wood-fired pizza served in a welcoming space that doesn't condescend or pander to the lowest common denominator.