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Top of the Park

Top of the Park in Lake Placid hits all the marks.  This welcome new addition to the Lake Placid restaurant scene is located on the second floor of 2047 Main Street overlooking Mirror Lake.  Every detail is so well done.  Cherry woodwork, french doors opening onto a spectacular deck, even the lighting set the perfect stage for an incredible dining experience.

My companion and I were presented with two menus.  One of course was the food, but the other was a well chosen selection of wines, beer and inventive cocktails.

The menu is a true tapas menu.  All small plates, all meant for sharing.  We began our meal with  a fantastic cheese selection.  Artfully presented on a wooden slab, were three cheese selections accompanied by diced dried apricots, poached pear, dried cherries, candied nuts, balsamic reduction and a generous portion of thinly sliced baguette perfectly toasted.  I loved creating different combinations of flavors with the fruit and nut accouterments.   We also enjoyed the Almond Encrusted Chèvre Fondant.  The creamy goat cheese was rolled in almonds and served on top of a shallot marmalade.  I could have eaten either component alone and would have been content, but the two combined, finished with a thin slice of truffle and accented by a balsamic reduction, this dish was over the top.

Our second course was equally impressive.  We sampled the Roast Quail.  It was moist and flavorful, served with a mouthwatering mushroom ragout and a nutty wild rice.  I really loved the red wine reduction that delicately laced the plate and provided just the right finishing touch.  We also enjoyed one of the daily specials.  It was Wagyu Beef and Boursin Rangoon.  The beef and cheese were expertly blended and nestled in wonton wrappers and lightly fried.  The flavor of the rangoon was perfectly matched with a Sweet Thai Chili Sauce.

As amazing as everything was to this point, the winner of the night was dessert.  We ordered both the Poached Pear and the Aged Chocolate Balsamic Glazed Strawberry.  The poached pear had a great consistency, not mushy or grainy, served with a vanilla ice cream that you could see and taste the vanilla bean in it, plated with a thick caramel sauce that I could have eaten all by itself.  The absolute must have is the strawberry dish.  Sliced berries in a chocolate balsamic vinegar.  I am usually good about being able to predict a how something will taste by the description, but this exceeded all of my expectations.  I am a fan of pairing balsamic vinegar with fruit, but this chocolate balsamic opens up a whole new world.  It was served with the same vanilla ice cream as the poached pear, but I just couldn’t stop eating the strawberries.

Top of the Park has an impressive selection of Scotch and Bourbon.  On a previous visit for a Cigar Dinner, I sampled a few of the Bourbons and Scotch.  I was also impressed to find a decent selection of bitters.  My favorite night cap is a Bourbon on the the rocks with a few shakes of flavored bitters.  The combinations here between the bitters and the Bourbons is endless, so I know I will be back.

My experience at Top of the Park was flawless.  From the food to the service to the atmosphere and the view, there wasn’t a single thing I would change.