Table Talk: Farmhouse at Top of the World
There’s so much more about dining out than just the food. Deciding on a restaurant is a journey down many roads at once, hopefully arriving at your expected destination with good service, great ambiance, a creative menu, good value and above all, a great night out.
Folks have been driving to Top of the World forever for the views. In the 30s Croswell Tuttle’s pavilion was a dancing spot, but much has changed since the Feeney family leased the property in 1992 and purchased it in 1997.
Some new homes dot the road up the mountain, Gillis chicken farm is gone, and now there’s an impressive gateway into a cluster of condos, a recreation hall and a beautiful 18-hole golf course. Jim Feeney and his family have given visitors and residents a lot of reasons to come here, including the Farmhouse Restaurant which also serves as the golf course’s clubhouse.
There is also a one-acre vegetable garden where Chef Kevin London and Kim Feeney grow over 15 varieties of vegetables and herbs. All these will eventually find their way to your table at the restaurant. Those they don’t grow will come from local farmers.
Arriving diners can enjoy a cocktail on the front lawn while sitting on Adirondack chairs and soaking in the great views of the lake and mountains. There is also a small screened-in-porch with a number of two-tops, leading to a cozy u-shaped bar.
One year ago, our foursome won a golf tourney here and collected a gift certificate for dinner as well. Tonight, we brought along the ladies and met in the bar hosted by Kathy Loughman. The Farmhouse has a great wine list and some craft draughts as well. They drew our attention for one at the bar.
Per usual Ms. Running Late was just that, and upon arrival Kim escorted us to a choice window table with Casey delivering menus and two carafes of water. The dining room tables are spaced nicely, fresh flowers sit atop a center divider and some windows have views of the lake in the distance. The room resembles a dining room you might find in a farmhouse.
Chef London’s menu is one page and changes about every two weeks to keep astride with the farmer’s options from around the region as well as his garden. There are snacks, or apps, smaller plates and larger plates, that’s it.
Tonight’s menu featured garlic fries, pickles, spinach, hummus, olives and an assortment of NY cheeses, as well as mussels.
Small plates included carrot soup, squid, duck, cherries anise and kale with lemon and anchovy.
The Farmhouse offers a cheeseburger, flounder, rib-eye steak and lamb as well as chicken offered on larger plates. While the number of choices is small and the descriptions brief, Casey can explain them all in detail, never missing a beat!
We passed around a hot tureen of six meatballs nicely herbed with a scent of fennel and a great combination of, I’ll guess, lamb, sausage and beef. A light tomato sauce kicked them up a notch.
The remainder of the table had a house salad of mesclun greens, on-the-stem cherries, and a garlicky light olive oil dressing.
Constant Companion, Mr. Visitor Center and Mr. Repossess all chose a bowl of lamb ragu, combined with spicy onion slices, a light wine sauce and fresh cavatelli pasta. They all declared it absolutely dee-licious!
Ms. Outlet and I opted for a wonderfully moist chicken, de-boned sans the leg portion, that came with tiny pearl onions, hakurei turnip and chevre cheese. This organic bird was crispy on the exterior but finger licking good, tender and absolutely the best I have enjoyed.
Ms. Running Late and Nurse Barb chose a plentiful bowl of risotto brassicas with goat cheese crumbles. Both took a portion home.
Now, Golf Nut came up with the night’s surprise, combining two small plates of fresh kale anointed with lemon and anchovy as well as slices of steak tartar with a soft boiled or poached egg on top. You’d have thought he scored a hole-in-one!
Three of our party went for a chocolate pot de crème that included a very rich chocolate cake anointed with some homemade vanilla ice cream. A couple of aperitifs of limoncello rounded out the finishing touches, as well as a cappuccino for Constant Companion.
By the time we finished dinner, the dining room was full. The Farmhouse staff never missed a beat and Casey delivered smooth, attentive and friendly service.
The Farmhouse promises farm to table, fresh local ingredients, and a creative menu. Chef London delivers on all counts!
Unequivocally, one of the area’s finest dining establishments.