Looking for interesting lodging, good places to eat, and restaurants/bars that have a good beer list and a bartender who knows how to shake a cocktail. Any suggestions much obliged. :)
One One One in Greenwich meets your dining criteria, on the New York end of the Battenkill. The Vermont end of the Battenkill has to be discussed on the New England board, I think. Gordon Ramsay is Kitchen-Nightmaring the Cambridge Hotel, but I wouldn't eat there until he does so. Steininger's in Salem is a great lunch stop.
Three of us had lunch at the Cambridge Hotel today to see what could be expected after a visit from Gordon Ramsay's "Hotel Hell" make-over. We were promptly greeted and seated in the bar dining area. Approximately four or five other tables were already occupied meaning the dining area was about half full.
Our server, aware that we were waiting for the third person to arrive, offered to serve us drinks while we waited. I had seen 8 or 9 beer taps as we walked in and had already heard the server describing the beer list to another table, so I knew I would be ordering a Brown's Porter (16 oz. pint). The list of beers on the menu is actually deceptive. They are listed by brewery and not by style. So while Browns, from Troy, N.Y., is only listed once, they actually were serving four different brews from their brewery. The same situation existed for Davidson Brothers brews from Glens Falls, N.Y.
Upon the recommendation of one of my companions, we ordered the "Famous Cambridge Wings" ($9) in spite of the fact that he said he never eats them and only hears that they are very good. There were 8 or 9 very plump and meaty wings with the expected celery and carrot sticks. The Danish Blue cheese dip was thick, flavorful and chunky. The skin on the wings was crisp and rubbed with spices that had a hint of hotness. I thought the first wing I tried might have tasted a bit greasy, but I quickly ignored that factor as I ate my share of them.
Both of my companions ordered the "Cambridge Burger" ($12) which is made from locally raised, grass-fed beef from Clover Farms. However, neither of them seemed to be adventuress enough to have all the accoutrements offered in the kitchen's preparation (caramelized onions, McCadam white cheddar, tomato jam, lettuce, special sauce, Pucker's Pickles and fries) on a sesame bun; add Pork Belly ($4). The beef patty looks like at least a half-pounder. It had a nice crisp finish on the outside and some herbs mixed into the meat. It was very flavorful. We all were in agreement that grass-fed beef is more dense and comes out dryer the longer it is cooked. Both of these orders were properly cooked to the requested medium. I'd return and try one cooked rare with all the trimmings to see how the kitchen perceives it should be served.
My choice was the "Flying Pigs Pulled Pork" ($12) served with apple fennel slaw on what appeared to be an egg basted bun, Pucker's Pickles and fries. This was a hefty portion of very tasty pork with a brown sauce that may have been molasses based, yet not overly sweet. I ended up bringing half of it home. My wife said the pickles are the "really good kind."
Service was friendly and natural feeling. Don't expect great formalities, at least not for lunch. This is a laid-back, easy going lunch place that doesn't choose to rush your meals out of the kitchen. The compact fluorescent lighting might seem a bit harsh in the main dining room, but in the bar area it didn't seem to have a negative impact. The only mystery of our meal was where the haddock came from. The "Fish & Chips" is described as "Local Haddock." Somehow, the Battenkill does not seem like it would be teaming with this variety.
I'll go back to try some other items I saw on the menu. The Chicken Pot Pie ($16) I saw being served look really good. "Shepard's Pie" ($19) with 3 Corner Field Farm lamb sounds good, as does the "Mac & Cheese" ($12) with McCadam sharp cheddar, parmesan, bleu cheese and buttered bread crumbs.
4 W Main St, Cambridge, NY 12816