Mountain-sized Flavor in Lake Placid: Five Foodie Destinations

Nestled in the Adirondack Mountains, Lake Placid has a mountain-town vibe with plenty of color. As a two-time Winter Olympic host city, you might expect adventure around every corner, but the village also features exceptional, adventurous food. Not just a sporting playground, this is a destination for chefs to play with flavor and an abundance of local ingredients.

Step into Salt of the Earth Bistro and you’ll feel like you’ve entered a restaurant run by the world’s most stylishly quirky grandmother. Food-shaped pillows abound, while cheese graters make an awesome chandelier, giving off a warm glow matched by lovingly-crafted food.

In the kitchen, chef Andrea Lautenschuetz loves to explore, focusing on fine dining that’s approachable and unique. Think wild boar Salisbury steak, or rabbit meatballs. Almost everything is made from scratch, from hamburger buns to pickles. Lautenschuetz sees her dishes as outside-the-box global comfort food, and matching that with a relaxing, fun place to eat at an affordable price is her mission.

At Liquids and Solids at the Handlebar, the kitchen is punk rock, the dining room is laid-back, and the food is top-notch. Here, diners will find an extensive beer list, ingenious cocktails, and a menu that is hard-core French with an Adirondack splash: imagine rabbit and apricot terrine, or warm chicken liver mousse served with an IPA mustard.

A James Beard Award semi-finalist, chef Tim Loomis works almost exclusively with seasonal produce, creating an ever-changing menu. Loomis’ ethos is that food should be fun and rambunctious, something to celebrate with friends; that shines in this relaxed, unpretentious spot. The beefcon burger — a blend of top-quality beef and bacon — is a must.

As views go, the deck at Top of the Park has one of the best in town, overlooking Mirror Lake with mountains in every direction. Chef Bill Bentz celebrates small plates and top-shelf spirits, with creativity at the forefront. At the cherry bar, patrons enjoy custom cocktails and sample uncommon bourbon and scotch.

The shareable dishes are simple and exceptionally crafted. Local ingredients — the chefs grow their own microgreens — are at the forefront of dishes such as wild mushroom toast, slow braised pork jowl, and duck-fat poached wings. The chocolate balsamic glazed strawberry dessert is legendary.

At Big Slide Brewery, the atmosphere is fun and comfortable, with a twist of friendly hipness. Known throughout the region for excellent brews, the restaurant also boasts an imaginative menu from chef Greg Sherman. Near the bar, a handcrafted map made by a local artist lists the numerous local producers Big Slide’s kitchen works with.

Dishes like Omelet You Finish and Falafel the Wagon aren’t just cleverly named, they’re downright delicious. At brunch, house-made cinnamon bread French toast isn’t topped with butter, it’s enhanced with bacon crème anglaise. A meal here ends with one thought: “When are we coming back?”

Tucked into a storefront on Main Street, Rob Borden’s Purple Saige Bistro has the look of a Parisian cafe with a French-Asian menu to match. Having worked with culinary superstars such as Daniel Boulud and Wylie Dufresne, Borden enjoys the creativity of crafting dishes that are slightly deconstructed and architecturally-inspired.

Borden loves to create dishes that encourage the diner to interact with the food, such as his crescent duck ragú, featuring a confit egg that diners mix with house-made pappardelle. Every day, he wants nothing more than to create food people will find joy in, with a range of dishes that includes lobster fondue and bison bolognese.

Come to Lake Placid. The food, topped with classic Adirondack hospitality, will delight you with its complexity and creativity.