Let's Eat - al Fresco

Tuesday, August 19, 2014
As most of you know, we've been pretty busy this summer checking out some fun venues around Upstate NY.  When one is traipsing all over exploring, one gets mighty hungry and in calming our growly  tummies we found some great places that offered not only great food but wonderful atmosphere.  I thought I'd share them with you today!

The first eatery is by far no secret to most - even though it was our first visit.  Anybody who has spent a day or more in Cooperstown is familiar with the famous Otesaga Resort. "A member of the prestigious Historic Hotels of America by the National Trust for Historic Preservation, The Otesaga is reminiscent of a more genteel era when a gracious welcome was the standard." (from the Otesaga website)  If you hadn't done your homework, you might actually just drive past the Otesaga assuming your wallet is not equipped enough to afford such a place.  That is so not true.  In fact, the Otesaga offers more than one dining option.  Since it was a beautiful day, (and our budget is limited) we opted for the Hawkeye Bar & Grill.  Reservations are a good idea, but note that reservations guarantee you a table, but not necessarily a table outside as those are first come, first serve.  We got lucky and got to eat outside and enjoy the amazing view of Lake Otsego, or Glimmerglass as it was nicknamed by James Fenimore Cooper. Words are unnecessary in describing the ambiance and view, only to be surpassed by the delicious food and superior service.  While the menu prices were similar to those found at your local sit-down chain, the food, attention to detail and high-end service made you feel your check could be much more expensive.  Our meals were "good to the last bite", even my mojito which put me in dreamland, and were $12 and $13 each.  If you're in Cooperstown, this is one to check out.

Ommegan Fish & Chips (coleslaw under the fish)

My Burger and fresh fruit - Yum!!

Our next adventure took us to Hildene in Manchester, VT.  By the time we toured Robert Todd Lincoln's Estate, Pullman car and Rowland Agricultural Center, we were starving.  We asked the workers in the museum shop for recommendations and one of their suggestions was Seasons, right on the main drag in the village of Manchester.

 It was quickly apparent why Season's was one of the places they recommended!  Oh my my.....let me just say, I can't wait to go back.  I ordered the Hummus Veggie Wrap which was hummus, assorted veggies and balsamic vinegarette in a whole wheat wrap with potato salad and it was so fresh, so light, so perfectly "hit the spot" for $9.95. 
 John ordered one of the daily specials - a 1/2 of a ham & cheese panini, with a small salad and a cup of the soup of the day (some sort of white bean and escarole), also for about $9.95.  Both of our meals were delicious and the service was great. 

 Sitting outside at Seasons was just where we wanted to be on this sunny and warm day. The seating is bordered in flowers - all behind a white picket fence that effectively makes you forget you are sitting on a busy main drag. Next time you're in Manchester, be sure to visit Hildene and stop by Seasons for some great eats!

The third and final al fresco eatery in today's blog post takes us north to Glen Lake.  Just minutes off Exit 20 of I-87 sits a little, unassuming place known to many - the Docksider.

Seated on the shores of Glen Lake, the Docksider is open year round and features an outdoor, covered and heated patio overlooking what might be one of the prettiest lakes around.  Our visit was prompted by a friend who suggested it as a wonderful place with a spectacular view and great food.   She was right on the money!  Not only are you able to enjoy the view during your meal, when you're finished you are able to sit back in one of the adirondack chairs or picnic tables and relax a while longer.  Judging from the crowd that day, I might be the only person to be in the dark about the Docksider.
We opted for fish baskets at my friend's suggestion.  I went with the combo basket of fried scallops and coconut shrimp with fries and John went with the fish & chips.  Both were quite tasty but next time I think I'd try their famous pizza & wings.  Whatever you decide to eat, you can't go wrong eating al fresco at the Docksider.  You might even be lucky enough to see a sea plane while you're there!!

Hungry yet?   There's still some nice weather left, so get out there and enjoy it - hopefully at one of these fine eateries!  Bon Appetit!

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