Lake Placid: Farm to Table

BTW, Lake Placid and the Cornell research site are in New York’s Adirondack State Park, a relatively undeveloped swath of land about the size of neighboring Vermont — a state already known for its syrup.

Exterior of the Generations restaurant, which is part of the Golden Arrow Lakeside Resort in Lake Placid, N.Y.

Exterior of the Generations restaurant, which is part of the Golden Arrow Lakeside Resort in Lake Placid, N.Y.

We sampled local produce and experienced Dave’s way with food at Generations. The Farm Tour Tasting Menu, designed for two to 12 diners, is occasionally on the menu.

The deal is that the chef comes to the guests’ table to discuss personal tastes and diet requirements, then he prepares a customized five-course dinner.

Ours included a salad of yellow beets, spinach, heirloom tomatoes, lemon cucumber and goat cheese, with a dressing featuring — what else? — maple syrup.

Salmon and shrimp cooked à table atop a hot slab of pink Himalayan salt, served as part of a customized Farm Tour Tasting Menu at the Generations restaurant, at the Golden Arrow Lakeside Resort in Lake Placid, N.Y.

Salmon and shrimp cooked à table atop a hot slab of pink Himalayan salt, served as part of a customized Farm Tour Tasting Menu at the Generations restaurant, at the Golden Arrow Lakeside Resort.

It is not possible for everything to be local. The centerpiece for our meal was salmon and shrimp cooked at the table atop a hot slab of pink Himalayan salt (which rested on a matching cold slab of salt). The seafood was perfectly cooked, but not salty.

Generations is always planning new experiential dining options; it also offers cooking demos and cooking classes.

 Golden Arrow

Facade of the Golden Arrow Lakeside Resort in Lake Placid, N.Y.

Facade of the Golden Arrow Lakeside Resort in Lake Placid, N.Y.

My sister and I also stayed a couple of nights at the Golden Arrow Lakeside Resort. The property faces the town of Lake Placid’s “other lake,” Mirror Lake.

Winfried and Stefanie Holderied purchased the Golden Arrow in 1974 when it had 36 rooms; the family still owns the property and daughter Jenn Holderied is the general manager. Also, after expansions over the years, the Golden Arrow has 166 units including 36 suites and specialty rooms.

The Golden Arrow Lakeside Resort and its Mirror Lake beach in the town of Lake Placid.

The Golden Arrow Lakeside Resort and its Mirror Lake beach.

Tourists generally come to Lake Placid, site of two Winter Olympics, for one of three reasons — to ski and generally enjoy winter sports, to admire autumn’s colors or to grab some summer playtime with the family.

When I asked, Jenn Holderied listed three reasons for choosing Golden Arrow over other resorts in town, and they are location, location — and one other thing.

She said it is the only hotel right on the water with its own beach (other properties have beach access, she said), and Golden Arrow is on Lake Placid’s main drag, allowing guests “to park the car and walk everywhere” in this town of only 3,000.

Holderied said further that Golden Arrow is the most committed to sustainability initiatives. It is one of six U.S. properties with the Platinum designation from Audubon International’s Green Lodging Program. (Two other properties also are in Adirondack State Park.)

Part of the lobby in the Golden Arrow Lakeside Resort in Lake Placid, N.Y.

Part of the lobby in the Golden Arrow Lakeside Resort.

Holderied said sustainability initiatives “must be transparent or an enhancement for guests” because they won’t pay just to be ecofriendly.

Unless told, guests won’t notice things like upholstery made with recycled plastic bottles.

But, I figure, they are very likely to recognize the farm-to-table ethos of the kitchen. The look of Generations — resembling a family dining hall — belies the menu that marries local sourcing and gourmet sensibilities.

This article and its photos are by Nadine Godwin, the author of Travia: The Ultimate Book of Travel Trivia, which was published by The Intrepid Traveler.

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