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Jun 26, 2013 10:13 AM

My Lake Placid fine dining experiences

Spent a a few days in LP last week and ate in three so called fine dining restaurants. My reviews:

Brown Dog Cafe and Wine Bar - Recently relocated to this location. Atmosphere unimpressive except for view of the lake from the window front tables. No liquor, only beer and wine. Rather ordinary menu. In fact, saw the same entrees being offered in many restaurants - salmon, halibut, chicken, steak, lamb - all different preparations of course, but rather repetitive. Why no local fish?? Anyway, I found the food here to be very uninteresting and the service just adequate. All in all a big yawn. This was my least favorite.

The View - in the Mirror Lake Inn - lovely rather formal dining room with crisp white tablecloths, candles and flowers with a lake view. Very professional and obviously well trained staff. Nice choice of delicious breads (I liked the rosemary best). Okay selection of entrees with some very creative preparations. I had a nightly special of roasted chicken on a bed of Swiss chard, with bacon and figs. It was delicious. Husband had the halibut in a light tomato broth that was beautifully seasoned. No room for dessert, but the table next to us raved about what looked like tiramisu or maybe creme brûlée. I would recommend The View if you are looking for a more formal dining experience.

The Interlaken Inn- saving the best til last, our meal here was wonderful. The Inn is charming and if you visit be sure to see the pub/bar room which was recently renovated with tin ceiling, copper top bar and exquisite hand sculpted art on the walls. We were offered a pub menu as well as a dining room menu and told we could mix and match, and we did. Seemed like a huge selection and I' sure there is something for everyone here. From appetizers through coffee, the food was outstanding. Especially considering there was a party occupying the whole dining room and we were served on the porch with one other table. Nice wine list too. The one negative was our waiter (David) who was actually downright rude at one point. Although we didn't take it personally because I saw him being rude to a co -worker earlier. I suspect he was frazzled over having a large party in the dining room and some customers on the porch as well. Really no excuse for his behavior but I didn't want him to spoil an otherwise perfect dinner. I would definitely recommend a dinner here. Try to avoid David and enjoy the ambiance and the excellent food.

Sorry so long winded, but before our trip I was unable to find much current or detailed info. Just trying to help as I have benefitted from others input many times.

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  1. David has been rude and arrogant for years but they still keep him employed.
    Most regulars have come to accept this.
    The food is outstanding; David is just part of the "ambiance" of the place(LOL).

    1 Reply
    1. re: jackiew

      Oh thanks for the info. We finally concluded that he must be related to the owners - weird uncle David perhaps?

    2. Brown Dog in the old location was a long time favorite, but our visit recently was such a letdown. Completely ordinary, lacking the ambience and charm and nothing remarkable on the plate as in years past. Sad to say it, we won't be going back.

      Mirror Lake has always been mediocre enough that we've never even bothered trying it, based upon years of review history.

      We liked Interlaken, too, even the sligiht prickliness of our server.

      I'm surprised you weren't able to find the numerous LP threads, with a lot of restaurants better than those mentioned. Chair 6, for one, Cafe Rustica, Paradox Lodge...

      3 Replies
      1. re: mcf

        I found very little recent info. before our trip. I did see recs for Cafe Rustica, but we eat wonderful Italian often in our home area, therefore decided to skip it in LP. We really liked the area and will probably be back to try some new places next time.

        1. re: susieQ49

          Do make Chair 6 for both fabulous breakfasts and dinners, we've really grown to love it. Gracious, cozy, wonderful food. I seem to recall active threads early this year, or maybe last fall. Forgot to mention Kanu at the White Face lodge. Mucho dinero, but a wonderful ambience.

      2. SusieQ49, this post is very helpful. Not much came up when I did a search of this Board. I'll also take a look at mcf's suggestions.

        A friend asked us where to dine in Lake Placid.

        Any other suggestions?

        7 Replies
        1. re: financialdistrictresident

          I'd just repeat Chair 6 for breakfasts and dinner and our lovely and helpful server there said she goes to Casa Rustica the most. You could do Kanu at the Whiteface Lodge. Food is good, surroundings very rustic luxe.

          1. re: mcf

            It's been over a year since we've been back, but there are some new places in Saranac Lake that are not necessarily fine dining, but getting very favorable reviews.

            1. re: mcf

              Thanks, mcf.

              The Yelp perspective on Chair 6 (cafe, quirky, casual, seats approx. 15):


              I'm also looking on Artisans, Kanu, The View:




              Caffe Rustica looks good, not sure they want Italian:


              I hope the snowstorm doesn't impact their plans.

              I just cancelled a reservation. Even though I will reschedule, it doesn't make up for days like today and tomorrow. This Winter has been challenging for the restaurant industry.

              I bet Seamless restaurants are doing well, tough weather for their delivery people.

              1. re: financialdistrictresident

                Well, for really great food up there, which was a wasteland not too long ago, I'd go where it's good. If you like quirky and if they're still operating, Paradox Lodge is a unique experience from setting, to personnel. Much of the food is very fine, had only on jarring combination, but liked the evening.

                But Chair 6 feels like home to us. I would not really call it quirky, the dining room service is friendly and warm, but the setting, though small, and service is gracious, not quirky like some offbeat cafe.

                Now Paradox Lodge is Quirky.

                Kanu would be the perfect setting during a blizzard. :-)

                I liked Interlaken Inn a lot, many folks prefer sitting in the bar area to eat. Haven't been back in a couple of years.

                Mirror Lake Inn has had a big name and lousy food reviews for so many years, and with other choices, I wouldn't chance it. Haven't tried View, may be good or better than it was years back.

                We skipped Artisans last time, It seemed to have a lot of folks calling it over rated, but things change. Like our former fave, The Brown Dog.

                I never use Open Table reviews, they're always crap, IME. Some of the very worst places in my area, the ones who always have tables open at every hour when everyone good has been booked for weeks, get top notch reviews. Something is afoot there.

                CH is about all I trust at this point, not TA, YELP nor OT, never.

                1. re: mcf

                  Thanks, mcf.

                  A Yelp post called Chair 6 "quirky." "Quirky" like many other atmosphere descriptions is often in the eye of the beholder.

                  I wonder if Artisans has changed? Any other hounds been? Or have recent experiences for the others mentioned?

                  I agree regarding OpenTable (though availability of tables can be good indicator) and Yelp reviews. Also, MenuPages. That said, when there's nothing (or only older posts) on CH or if a restaurant is newer I read the Yelp perspective and whatever else I can find.

                  CH is my trusted source for candid recs and reviews. Most Boards have long time posters that you can trust (e.g. Kathryn, RGR, etc. on the Manhattan Board).

                  1. re: financialdistrictresident

                    I think I confused Artisans with Liquids and Solids, so blow that one off with my apologies.

          2. re: financialdistrictresident

            We were in Placid three weeks ago and Chair 6 was not open. I believe they were on vacation, otherwise we would have made an effort to try them.

            While we were staying at the Whiteface Lodge, we didn't eat at Kanu other than the breakfast buffet, which was good. Service at the Lodge was well above average no matter where you were in their complex.

            For us, a stop at the birthplace of Ubu Ale is a mandatory requirement. The Lake Placid Pub and Brewery is undergoing some rehab on the second floor, but the first and third floors were available to enjoy. My comments and pictures are available on Yelp.


            We also planned a pre-dinner stop at the Great Adirondack Steak & Seafood to sample some of their excellent home brews. But then we were off to Liquids & Solids (at the Handlebar) for dinner. If I'm looking for a place to call "Quirky," IMO this is the place. I can see it being a regular stop for us in the future. My Yelp comments are here.