Saranac Lake--Real French (Seriously)
I recently had lunch at the Left Bank Cafe on Broadway in "downtown" Saranac Lake. The Cafe is charming, with great care in its decor; it has a terrace on the Saranac River where you can eat in the sun andd enjoy a delightful meal.
For lunch we had had tartines (a kind of bruschetta--supposedly very hot now in Paris) and savory crepes. Excellent--fine, fresh ingredients perfectly prepared. Service was friendly and good. It was so good we came back for dinner.
Dinner was even better. The specialties were onion soup and beef burgundy. They were excellent; perfectly prepared and presented. An artichoke and trout salad was also beautifully done. Desserts (Peach Melba and a just-out-of-the-oven apple tart ) were even better.
The food was not expensive, especially given the quality, and it was very fresh--the chef had great produce and wonderful bread from a French bakery in Ticonderoga. Good, short wine list and excellent non-alcoholic drinks. A real plus was service--our dinner server was a Professor at the Hotel School at Paul Smith's College, and she was friendly and really knowlegeable.
The owners are partially French (I heard Leonard Cohen on the fine sound track and thought Quebec, but I was wrong), and it shows.
There are only a couple of remarkable restaurants in the North Country and the Left Bank is right at the top of the list. It is not Jean Georges or even a one-star, but it is a lovely place to eat--a really enjoyable experience. I recommend it very highly.
Left Bank Cafe
34 Broadway St, Saranac Lake, NY 12983
After learning about this place last year we finally got to stop in for breakfast in August. My wife had an excellent almond croissant and I had a crepe with eggs, ham and gruyere. it was simple but delicious. Perfectly done crepe. We both had cafe au lait which was served in what appeared to be handle-less soup bowls requiring two hands. One hand was possible with some practice though. Odd to us but maybe that's what they do in France? We sat outside on the balcony over the river with our dog who was served fresh water. It was an absolutely delightful experience. Geez, I don't talk this way normally but can't think of another way to say it. I can't wait to go back.