Prospect Restaurant Scribner Hollow Lodge
Route 23A, Hunter,
263-4211. Serving dinner Sun-Thu 5-10, Fri-Sat 5-11. AE, D,
Notice the artwork. Thanks to the example set
by most hotels, you’ve probably learned to shield your eyes
from the atrocious mediocrities that adorn the walls. At Scribner
Hollow Lodge, care was taken to use the space indoors to complement
the natural beauty of nearby Hunter Mountain. And hotel founder
Guy Chirico also happens to be an artist so accomplished that
his work hangs in prestigious galleries around the world,
mostly in France, which has been a second home to him and
where his landscapes are particularly acclaimed.
Chirico’s son, Guy, now owns and runs the hotel, and has found
the secret to expand the appeal of the place beyond ski tourism.
He has turned the restaurant, the Prospect, into a fine-dining
destination with a special emphasis on New York wines. The
wine list is impressive, and the menu, which changes frequently
in summer to feature locally grown and produced items, highlights
the talents of Austrian-born chef Eduard Lanzinger.
He’s one of those kitchen masters who can be both true to
his heritage and also take any other culture’s cuisine and
make it his own. For a recent dinner celebrating a selection
of Italian wines, he came up with such items as rigatoni in
a white (veal-based) Bolognese sauce and a sautée of veal
scallopini with porcini mushrooms, prosciutto and garlic.
My family’s dinner visit, on a recent Monday, gave us the
dining room pretty much to ourselves, which meant that we
could edge toward the windows that afforded both a close-up
view of the mountainside with its bright green swaths of ski
slopes and a spectacular sunset just beyond it.
The view, the elegantly dressed tables, the quiet assurance
of our server—all of it conspired to provoke that sense of
well-being that defines a superior dining experience. To then
enjoy such a harmonious progression of food courses was, well,
the icing on the cake.
We started with cold stuff, more or less, fobbing off a cup
of chicken soup ($3) on our child. I suppose it’s pretentious
to impose some highfalutin’ moniker on soup, but something
more detailed is needed. You won’t find this in a can of Campbell’s.
Lanzinger puts together a chowder thick with potatoes and
carrots and chicken and beans, nicely seasoned.
Susan chose the Austrian summer salad ($9). Two homemade types
of sausage are featured, both light-colored and -flavored,
julienned and tossed in a lightly vinegared marinade, along
with fresh baby greens and garnished with pickles and slices
of red peppers and red onion.
I couldn’t resist the Platter of Early Summer Delights ($9)
just based on the name. But better still is the cheese that’s
featured—a sheep’s milk brie from the Old Chatham Sheepherding
Co. that brings back memories of a fine restaurant—and its
accompaniments of fresh strawberries, kalamata olives and
a summer sausage made with venison.
House salads are served with a restrained but just-right amount
of house vinaigrette; fresh cucumbers and tomatoes are among
the simple array.
Stuffed tenderloin of beef almost sounds like sacrilege, doesn’t
it? I usually regard sirloin and tenderloin as something you
might as well cook at home, placed on menus only to assuage
the faint of palate. But stuffed? I ordered it ($28).
There’s something of traditional roulade about this
dish, but because it’s using what’s already the most tender
portion of the roast, it needs far less cooking. Still, after
wrapping the meat around thin-sliced ham (very tasty stuff
from the Victory Pork Store) and spinach, it spends some time
in a marinade before hitting the oven. The result is as yielding
and flavorful a meat dish as you can imagine, with just the
right amount of vinegary flavor to complement the sweetness
of the meat. A mix of wild mushrooms (porcini, shiitake—you
know the ones) dominated the sauce, giving it an appropriately
Susan’s entrée, chicken ridge ($23), took a similar approach
to chicken breasts. Black Forest ham is rolled in the flattened
chicken, it’s seasoned with sage, and the baked result gets
a gorgonzola béchamel, which itself is flavor heaven. Rich?
Oh, you betcha.
Both entrée plates were garnished with roasted and sliced
potatoes and a medley of baby vegetables: sliced zucchini,
pattypan and carrots, as well as slices of grilled fennel.
This is what lifts a great entrée presentation into the realm
of the extraordinary: the sides and presentation. While the
latter opts for straightforward over fussy, the veggies and
starch have wonderfully cultivated flavors.
Guy Chirico (the younger) tells the story of when Lanzinger
was first hired. “I told him he didn’t have to bother with
desserts,” says Chirico, “and came in the next day to find
an array of desserts and pastries for me to try.” If the apple
strudel is any indication, it must be second nature to the
Susan and Lily dove into one of those chocolate-covered balls
of ice cream, a surefire crowd pleaser.
With the sky darkening gently, we finished with espresso (or
I did, at any rate), and took an evening walk around the grounds.
This is the time of year, before the nights get too short,
to drop down here for dinner. It’s only an hour away from
Thruway Exit 23, and you might also explore the overnight
Dinner for two, with tax and tip, a couple of glasses of wine
and dessert, was $130.
Hall (25 E. Main St., Cambridge) presents a Harvest Dinner
and Wine Auction on Saturday, Sept. 7, to benefit the
several arts programs of the organization. Hosted by Santé
magazine, the event takes place in the restored barns
of Oak Hill Hollow Farm in Cambridge. The multi-course meal,
catered by Food Glorious Food, will feature the produce of
local farmers, and entertainment will be provided throughout
dinner, which begins with a champagne/hors d’oeuvres reception
at 4 PM, and the auction at 5:30 and dinner at 7. Admission
is $75 per person, with advance reservations required, which
you can make by calling Hubbard Hall at 677-2495. . . . Jockey
Richard Migliore turns chef at the Springwater Bistro (139
Union Ave., Saratoga Springs) on Tuesday, July 30, when he
teams with the Springwater’s David Britton to offer a cooking
demo at 3:30 to preview the dishes they’ll serve during the
dinner to follow (5:30-10). At the demo, Migliore, who has
a professional stake in keeping the weight off, will discuss
cuisine minceur, developed in France by chef Michel
Guerard to get away from butter and cream and other fats.
For more info and reservations, call the restaurant at 584-6440.
. . . Remember to pass your scraps to Metroland.
fax info to 922-7090)