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8 Adirondack Restaurants with Waterside Dining

Big Moose Dinner

The deck at the Big Moose Inn, Eagle Bay. Photograph courtesy of Flickr user Carrie Eberhardt

The first few weeks of summer were a boon for people who love water—falling from the sky. In buckets. Now that the extended forecast looks a little drier, it’s time to enjoy the Adirondack waters in a more pleasant form. Here is a sampling of restaurants that offer alfresco dining by lakes, rivers and even waterfalls.

Bistro du Lac, Westport
Enjoy fine French dining on Lake Champlain at the Westport Yacht Club, where membership is not required but reservations are suggested. Chef-owner Bernard Perillat has been serving up classic Gallic dishes like soupe á l’oignon, moules marinière, and bouillabaisse since 1991. Dinner served from 5 to 9:30, seven days a week, through mid-September.

The Algonquin, Bolton Landing 
Television food personality Rachael Ray, who hails from these parts, gives props to the battered fish sandwich at this popular restaurant on Lake George. Other summer favorites include lobster rolls, burgers and wings. For dinner, there’s also a 22 oz. porterhouse, blackened salmon, and cioppino with angel hair pasta. Open for lunch and dinner seven days a week.

Upper Deck Restaurant, Willsboro
At Willsboro Bay Marina’s dinner-only restaurant you can admire the array of sparkling white sails on blue water as well as boullabaise, stuffed sole, good steaks and nightly specials. The service is good, the draft beers are cold, there’s a kids’ menu and prices reflect that this place has upscale aspirations. No reservations, open for dinner every day through Labor Day.

Moose Lodge Boathouse Restaurant, Lake Placid
The High Peaks view—and the succulent burgers—can’t be beat at this venerable boathouse on the edge of the Whiteface Club golf course. Open for lunch and dinner, the menu ranges from excellent salads and desserts to fine seafood, steaks and vegetarian entrees. You can arrive in your classic Chris Craft and eat on the deck or drive up and walk through lovely perennial gardens on your stroll to the dining room.

UpRiver Cafe, Lake Luzerne
Artist Betsy Brandt and her chef husband, Andrew Van Bourgondien,  have created a waterfront masterpiece near the site of a beloved ice-cream stand that was destroyed by fire. From UpRiver’s back deck you can see roaring Rockwell Falls on the Hudson and enjoy lunch or dinner. Customers rave about the salads and sandwiches, with hand-cut steaks, scallop and shrimp pasta, lobster macaroni and barbecued ribs dinner favorites. You can still get a superb scoop or sundae too.

Lanzi’s on the Lake, Mayfield
A huge deck—seating more than 100—offers an awesome vista of Great Sacandaga Lake. The dinner menu trends toward well-prepared Italian dishes such as eggplant Florentine and pastas. The Hawaiian-style grilled ahi tuna served over chilled soba noodles is refreshing and tasty on a hot summer night.

Big Moose Inn, Big Moose Lake
Don’t be surprised if a seaplane floats up to the dock in front of this classic Adirondack waterfront resort for dinner; the place is well known to amateur pilots all over northern New York. Apps include walnut-crusted mini lamb chops and mussels on the half shell, and entrees such as sesame-crusted tuna, basil-seasoned scallops and cedar plank salmon are greatly appreciated by those who skip red meat. There are big, juicy steaks, chops and prime rib too on the extensive menu.

Woods Inn, Inlet
This handsomely restored 99-year-old hotel has a huge porch overlooking Fourth Lake. Open for breakfast (the buffet is $6), lunch and dinner, the dining room offers food that is reasonably priced and delicious, with a wonderful beet salad, nightly risottos and Adirondack Field and Stream (venison and trout) as house specialties.

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