Welcome to our list of favorite dining destinations in New York's Hudson Valley and Adirondack regions. We visit restaurants, wineries, barbecues, and a smattering of off the beaten path culinary destinations like maple sugar shacks and fromageries. My friends and I have been dining out together weekly for over twenty years. The locations we write about are our favorite destinations. We are not claiming they are the best, just our favorites. The posts are not "reviews" in the classic sense. - we offer only our picks, not pans. We will leave the criticism to others. We are a happy blog. We much prefer a good bistro to "haute cuisine", especially if they also have a nice bar. We prefer a crock of cassoulet and a bottle of Beaujolais to just about anything else. If you enjoy simple home style rustic cooking with a decent (but not too expensive) bottle of wine, then pull up a chair and join us.

This Month's "Well Said!"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

Ferran Andria

Saturday, September 24, 2011

The Lakeview House Restaurant Orange Lake, Newburgh, NY

343 Lakeside Road
Newburgh, NY 12550
Closed Tuesdays

The Lakeview House Restaurant sits on the eastern shore of Orange Lake, a 400 acre lake just west of Newburgh, NY, off of Route 52.  It is a picturesque setting; it reminds me of many of the waterfront eateries I frequented growing up on Long Island, especially if you could throw in some salt spray and a few seagulls.  There is a wonderful sense of history here, starting with the lake itself, which was quite the resort destination a century ago. The Great Depression saw the end of the amusement park that was located here, but the Lakeview House lives on.

There is quite a bit of local restaurant lore here too.  You can sense it as soon as you pull up a stool at the bar.  A beauty of a bar it is, with a carved golden oak back bar sporting a framed liquor license dated 1899 - 1900, the very first issued in the county. There's even more history in the kitchen.  The chef is one James Carter, who runs the place with his wife Tori.  I have been a fan of Chef Carter since his days in the kitchen at Ward's Bridge Inn in Montgomery, NY in the 1980's.  Ward's Bridge Inn, long shuttered,  still remains atop my list of all time favorite local restaurants.  Jim also spent time with Paul Benson, of Benson's Ireland Corners' fame, before buying the Lakeview House.  When we stopped in for dinner a few weeks ago, he was assisted in the kitchen by none other than Urs Reist, who owned the Swiss Country Inn in Gardiner, another one of our favorite Wednesday night haunts from years gone by.

The Lakeview House is very much a "local" destination.  The rest of the crowd at the bar were obviously regulars, all on a first name basis with our new favorite bartender, Sonia, who is also a Benson's alum.  Jim's wife Tori runs the dining room, and greeted her own share of locals as the dinner crowd arrived, all with their own regular tables at the windows overlooking the lake.  Interlopers that we were, we were relegated to a second row four-top in the front dining room.  (We had also neglected to make a reservation for dinner, duh.)  Some renovations since our last visit were in evidence in the dining room, which sported new floor to ceiling picture windows overlooking the water, and a new covered outdoor dining patio.

The menu at Lakeview House adds a few new twists to old standards.  There are lots of steaks and chops and pastas. Roast Long Island duckling ($18.95) is offered with daily choices of fruit sauces; the requisite  salmon filet ($18.95) is finished with sesame and soy. The steaks are always solid - choices include an over-sized  filet mignon ($28.95) and three cuts of NY sirloin.  If you can't decide, there's a mixed grill ($31.95) which combines a filet, lamb chops and  grilled shrimp.  It is a classic meat and potatoes menu, with nary a salad offering to be found, save the dinner salad (tossed greens, cucumber slices, and grated carrots) that is included with your entree.

We started with apps, all of which were very nicely done.  My Shrimp Lamaize ($9.95), a holdover from Chef Carter's Ward's Bridge Inn days, wraps horseradish laced baked shrimp with bacon, and they are as tasty as ever.  The Oysters Rockefeller ($7.95) is another old standard, topped with sauteed spinach and gruyere cheese. Escargot au Provence ($8.95) tops the garlicky Pernot infused butter sauce with a very un-Provencal like pecorino sheep's milk cheese, with surprisingly good results for the snails.

Chicken Scarpariello is another dish that was lost in translation, but still turns out quite tasty.  Scarpariello or "shoemaker's pasta" traditionally uses a pan sauce of garlic sausage, vinegar, and pickled hot cherry peppers.  The kitchen here adds hot sausage and broccoli rabe with delicious results.  The sauce is most worthy of mopping up with a small piece of crusty bread (shaped like a small shoe) - "fare la scarpetta" in Italian.  Buon appetito!
If you have not yet tried the Lakeview House Restaurant, it is well worth a visit; the place should not be left to be enjoyed just by the locals! The setting is most picturesque and the atmosphere comfortable and casual - you'll find more pick ups than BMW's in the parking lot.  The very capable kitchen has been playing the old standards for decades and they are still most enjoyable.

If you do stop in please let our other readers know about your visit in the comments section.

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1 comment:

Denise Moore said...

The Lakeview House Restaurant has an inviting setting overlooking Orange Lake. I was there Saturday night with my boyfriend for a special birthday dinner. We had a corner table by the window which was very nice. The Merlot was delicious, and so was the salad. The bread was very mediocre and bland. We had lobster cakes for an appetizer which were delicious served with a light creamy sauce. For my entree I ordered the Long Island duck which turned out to be a big disappointment. It was like fried rubber and mostly inedible. The fruit sauce served with it was good. I enjoyed the side of rice and peas, which I dipped in the sauce and ate so I would not leave hungry. My boyfriend had the pork chops which was one of the specials for the evening. They were rather dry. I would like to give the Lakeview House another try because of the ambiance and the waitress was very nice