For my fiance's Grandmother's birthday, we went out to dinner at a little hidden treasure in the Adironacks near Cranberry Lake. This is a very unassuming restaurant, with a small bar in the front along with a pool table and alcove for a live band. They don't have a long wine list, but it's diverse with some good local (finger lakes) options. They also have some great draft beers on tap - we love blue moon and long trail (shout out to VT breweries). The service is friendly and efficient, and if you think it's taking awhile to get your read with dinner - don't fret because they're actually baking it to order! Can't beat that.
We shared an order of steamed clams - but wait, this wasn't your average plain steamed clams... this is more the clam version of steamed mussels with a wonderful white wine, herb and olive oil broth that you can dip the clams in. Sometimes when clams are steamed, they can be a bit chewy, but these were tender and super flavorful and moist. They were almost falling out of the shells. When we were done, we actually kept the bowl of left over broth to dip bread in. And then came out the bread - a little after the appetizers, but worth the wait as it was fresh out of the over. Crunch on the outside and soft on the inside it was very good bread. I did also get to taste the french onion soup. The soup was full of onions! Just packet! It was a bit salty, ut otherwise had good flavor.
I got the tilapia which came with a basil aioli. Now, normally I ask for sauces on the side since I think in general most dishes are over sauced, but I forgot today. The aioli added some creaminess of the fish. The tilapia was super moist and fresh with a very clean flavor. now tilapia is a fish easily dried out with cooking, so I was very impressed with that. I did think there was too much aioli, but that could be brushed to the side. This meal came with a side of carrots which were also well cooked - not mushy as carrots can be, but beautifully cooked with a little bit of butter and herbs. These hadn't been sitting there for hours and I bet were freshly cooked to order. The fish also came with a side of sweet potato fries - again obviously home made! And I can tell you this since sometimes I make sweet potato fries from scratch and sometimes from frozen - these were uneven just as they are when hand done, with the charbroiled taste of fries not fried! A definite winner.
I saved room for dessert - as I always try to do. There was something on their menu I've never seen before - fried dessert wantons. I was intrigued. They're almost like crab rangoons but sweet with a pear, pecan and red wine filling. Before you think aout that combination, let me tell you that they don't taste like alcohol from the wine, and the filling is thick and rich - almost like a preserve or compote. They aren't overly sweet, especially with the savory aspect of the wanton fried. One could actually do something similar as an appetizer with also a bit of brie in the center with the nut/fruit filling. There was a bit of a raspberry sauce drizzled over it, which did make it more sweet as a dessert, but I think it would have been even better with a pear sauce since that is the fruit in the wanton - it would have brought out the subtle pear flavor better.
Overall, a great little place in the mountains - excellent after a day on the water in summer or snowmobiling in winter.