Artisans at the Lake Placid Lodge

The ’05 fire that claimed the main building, its restaurant, bar, wine cellar and wine collection was a blow to all who had enjoyed this magnificent restaurant on the banks of Lake Placid. My wife and I got engaged here just two months before the fire, so it had special meaning to us.

How do you improve on something that was so good to begin with? You design a dining room that is cozier and more intimate than the original, making sure that maximum advantage is taken of the lake and mountain views and you call it Artisans. You add a much larger pub for pre and post dinner cocktails and you build stone terraces with outdoor fireplaces that allow for open air dining through October.

A wonderful environment only takes you so far and fortunately Executive Chef Derek Leinonen’s food takes you the rest of the way. Leinonen makes use of local ingredients, in fact, the restaurant is part of Adirondack Harvest, an organization that helps small farmers find larger local markets, and connects restaurants, grocery stores, and individuals with the fresh local produce, farm products, meat and poultry they want and need.

Here’s a sampling of the delicious menu: appetizers: Artisan’s Lobster Bisque, Maine lobster, creme fraiche foam, tarragon essence, Battenhill cream, Jumbo Lump Crab & Shrimp Cake, white shrimp. smoked tomato jam, wilted leeks, Champagne butter sauce. Entrees: Moulard Duck Breast, Juniper Hills farm sweet potato puree, pomegranate, exotic kale, autumn squash, Maple Lacquered Cedar Planked Halibut, leek risotto, Shisito peppers, pickled mustard seed. Desserts: Apple Tart A La Mode, cinnamon ice cream, maple crumble, cider reduction.

A quite incredible wine list with lots of “big guns” and their accompanying high prices, but there are also a lot of good choices under $100.

Maggie Pub, the more casual of the two restaurants, offers hummus and cheese platters, sandwiches, salads and burgers.

Sit outside, overlooking the lake, with a fire going couldn’t be more romantic