Wednesday, June 26, 2013


They say that if you throw a stone into Montreal, you are sure to break a church window.  Throw one into the Adirondacks and it will drop into a lake.

It was the morning of June 7th, a rainy day…to be followed by several rainy days.  That did not stop me and Laurie Katz from doing a road trip to the Adirondacks in upstate New York where the first destination was Glens Falls and lunch at Celia’s Table at 18 Exchange Place.

This is a restaurant that epitomizes the word, “charming”.   There are two entrances, one of which is from their patio in the back.  Maureen Chase and Pam Bricoccoli are the owners and chefs.  I had heard about their famously delicious Chicken Pot Pie until I spooned into the Chicken Pot Pie Soup!  Same ingredients without the crust.  Sweet potatoes vs white and served Thanksgiving style, they add stuffing and cranberry compote atop.   I didn’t realize how filling the soup would be when I ordered a chicken salad with craisin sandwich and a side of broccoli with bacon as well as the bestest…yeah…bestest lemon bar I’ve tasted.  Like the part of the crumb cake you really want with a not as sugary-acidic lemon curd that I usually find.  Just right! 

Not too far away is the Hyde Collection an art museum and historic house located at 16 Warren Street.  Collection is of over 3,300 objects that span the history of Western art with photos, paintings and sculptures.  There is an outdoor garden and downstairs area used for their short movies as well as events such as a string quartet.  A few days later and we would have gotten to see their now present exhibit of Modern Nature Georgia O’Keeffe and Lake George.


The trip itinerary will be sending us to various cities and different stay-overs, the first of which is the luxurious The Copperfield Inn Resort, located on Main Street in the village of North Creek within this Adirondack Park.  We were greeted by one of the owners Michael Ellis and brought to our rooms.  My room was a King Suite.  Bedroom, living room-dining room with a wet bar, refrigerator and microwave.  Huge bathroom had a Jacuzzi.  Thank goodness there was also a walk-in shower.  Would have never been able to get in and out of the tub.  All of the rooms have down duvets, a pull-out sofa bed and high speed internet access. View was Main Street specifically where the North Creek railroad stop and Railroad Museum is located.

Copperfield sitting room is located just across from a small room that houses the continental breakfast of a few cake-like breads or danish, coffee and juice.  You can always get coffee and juice any time of the day.

There are two restaurants of which Lorenzo’s, the more formal one, is open in the summer.  Not being quite summer, we dined at their more pub-like venue, Trappers Tavern, home to a large moose head over the fireplace said to be shot by Teddy Roosevelt. 


My dinner commenced with a small order of mild chicken wings followed by a beet with goat cheese (local farm) salad.  I requested some EVOO.  It was from Chile and had a sell by date of 2015…looked at the bottle.  That was followed by a Rack of Lamb with mashed potatoes and a vegetable ragu.  It must have gotten out that it was my birthday as our waitperson Lindsey came out with a candle topped strawberry short cake dessert and singing waitstaff.   


June 8th, Day 2  Glass of milk and a piece of bread was enough to start my day with Lake George Village as the next destination.  It is the weekend of the Americade, a biker’s convention…two wheel, three wheel, four wheel.  Just in time for the parade of over 50,000 that we needed to avoid. 

How do you get around?  Adirondack Pedal Cab to the rescue!  Mike Smith, “Smitty” and Steve Tomb on the owners of this pedal cab service that is more like a bicycle attached to a carriage. Room for two grown-ups and an area to place things that you may be carrying.  With much uphill areas, these cabs have a special battery operated “assist” that make it easier to pedal.  We watched the ending of the parade and then pedaled along the main road for a quick tour then onto the beach area and docks.

It was there that we boarded the Lac du Saint Sacrament for a luncheon cruise.  This is one of a few other ships owned by the Lake George Steamboat Company.  The rain was on and off which kept me in the downstairs inside area and buffet.  The food is what I would term as “decent and tasty” although the “carving station” was no more than having someone carve what appeared and tasted like, “deli meat”.  

Entertainment just near our table. Billing themselves as “Spellbound” were Robert Noah and Cyndie Wade who also had a side line of a company called Custom Creations making unique hand painted gifts like a sort of cartoonish picture of you on a wine glass.  Cyndie has a great sense of humor.  During the cruise you would hear a tour of the lake coming from the pilot’s house.  Otherwise, Cyndie might mention a few things in between songs such as pointing out a house that Barbra Streisand uses for a vacation…not really, but it’s interesting to see who is paying attention.

Docked, “Smitty” picked us up for a continuation of the tour that took us to Adirondack Winery, located at 285 Canada Street (the main street).  This is a combo winery-tasting room. The company buys the grapes from US vineyards to produce their own wines of which many are created for sipping vs pairing with food.  

I did the proverbial tasting with a little swish in the mouth and spitting in a pitcher.  For me this allows just enough of the wine to get around my palate and just a small amount going down the throat.  Dry, sweet, acidic, fruity…and basically, what tastes the best to me.  I love white wines and found that none of the ones I tasted were “not for me”.  I chose two to take home with me: Semillion, a rich, dry wine with a golden hue and slightly lemon aroma and flavor; and Strawsling, a semi-sweet with the aroma of strawberries mixed with honey and tropical fruit. ,  
“Smitty” meeting us in front of a Dilligaf store.  In case you’ve ever wondered what it means…Do I Look Like I Give A F*^k.   

A few more spots around Lake George and then back to their store. Cost to take this pedal cab is “whatever you choose to tip the driver”.  Take a tour or just have them pick you up wherever you are in town to another place in town. 

On our way back to Copperfield, along route 28, is where we encountered Barkeater Chocolates.  Although there was a sign stating that their grand opening was on the 15th, they were open for business.  Deb Morris and her husband, Jim are the owners of this gourmet chocolate delight.  Truffles and chocolate bars are their thing.  They create the goodies here at what is classified as “an outlet”.  I asked which bulk chocolate is used so I know (and taste) the quality.  There is a company that makes a combo of peanut butter with chocolate (it’s sold here).  Take this and create a “Reeses cup” using dark chocolate for your fix.


Relax a bit and time for dinner as we’re back on Route 28 to Basil and Wicks.  Decor is much wood like a ski lodge.  I had an appetizer called Ahi Tuna Log.  The tuna, sweet peppers and scallions are wrapped in nori wrappers, dipped in house made tempura, deep fried and served over a soba noodle salad with Asian dressing then finished with a wasabi and sweet Thai chili dressing.  St. Louis Ribs was my entrée, which were accompanied by veggies of squash and haricot vert. Great atmosphere, murals and food.  

Back to Copperfield for dessert and drinks at Trappers Tavern.  I had a piece of flourless chocolate cake and herbal tea. Entertainment was singer Mikki Bakken playing her guitar.  Love her voice and choice of songs.  I got that all that were there enjoyed it as well.



June 9th, Day 3. Morning clouds. I think we may escape a day of rain. Seemed as if the itinerary gave us a bit of extra time as we headed for Gore Mountain Farm to see some overly cute alpacas.  I never realized that these animals could be described as “unicorns without horns”, but I guess it is so. Barry Finer and Virginia French are the owners of the farm.  Sheared like sheep, the wool produces a much warmer and “non-itchy” piece of clothing that feels more like cashmere.  A tour will have you feeding them with Barry obtaining a particular hay that beckons them.  These alpacas are more intelligent than may appear.

There is no charge for the tour and the gift shop is a must.  Have them describe the wares. I bought a pair of socks that are a combo of fabrics with mostly alpaca wool as I tend to wear my sandals all year round.  Check out the hats and blankets.  They are certainly worth the price when you live in areas where the temperature goes down to a below zero double digit!
Nearby Gore Mountain is next on the list. Located at 793 Peaceful Valley Road, in North Creek, we arrive and board a gondola…the kind that is taken up a mountain vs the one that floats a canal.  I can deal with the height as it is enclosed. Cannot say the same for a ski lift! We are taken to a high place but not to the top. This site allows one to choose from various ski slopes each with its own lift.  During the non-ski season, just the view alone is worth the trip.  Hiking and biking trails are all around the mountain.  There is a café at the bottom as well as a play area for the young-uns. I noticed a pre-bungee ride and new mini-golf course.

This brings us to lunch back on Main Street at Café Sarah and Bakery. The décor echoes “coffee house” with odd tables and chairs plus a couch and “couchy chairs”. Food is more of the “sandwich” ilk.  I had a wrap of mozzarella, tomato and pesto.  Then there was the gazpacho that I couldn’t resist. Loved it!  Being that this place is also a bakery, I could not miss having a piece of flourless chocolate cake, accompanied by a latte. Weather permitting, you can eat outside.

Continuing north to the town of Speculator and Lake Pleasant, where Lake Pleasant Lodge is located on the main road.  Michael Welch is the manager who lives on the property.  More than a motel looking venue with clean and comfy rooms each having a frig and microwave.  Who wants to spend much time hanging in your room when Lake Pleasant is just out your door?  Take out the canoe or rent a kayak nearby.  It’s all about relaxation, so take the time to sit in the gazebo or spend a cool evening around the fire pit. We did both.  Finally a clear night and all of the constellations eye popping.

Dinner was at Inn At Speculator, located a short distance away on Route 8.  Casual dining and friendly atmosphere.  I had a few appetizers and one entrée as I was in the mood for chicken and seafood.  Chickens wings hit the spot and so did the coconut shrimp.  Entrée was a broiled seafood platter of shrimp, scallops and haddock.  Got to chat with the owner, Neil McGovern as he is also the town supervisor. Looks like “camps” are the thing for families with leaving less accommodations for tourists.  Sort of like the kids moving back home, or perhaps never leaving.