Color Palate: Brightly hued tropical fruit salsa and crispy tortilla strips offer a nice contrast to pan-seared scallops, an appetizer special served at the Lakeview House
Photographs by Jennifer May
On the waterfront (counter-clockwise, from left): The serene view of Orange Lake is enhanced by the large windows in one of the Lakeview House’s newly renovated dining rooms
Lakeview House owners Tori and James Carter. James is also the restaurant’s chef
Filet mignon, lamb chops, and jumbo shrimp — each accompanied by a different sauce — make up the restaurant’s mixed grill entrée
Shrimp Lamaize, an appetizer, was four big, butterflied shrimp, lightly stuffed with horseradish, then wrapped in bacon and baked. They came with a dipping sauce — the Lamaize component, which is sometimes spelled Lamaze and made with a mayonnaise base. Here, it’s a peppy concoction of sour cream, brandy, shallots, cocktail sauce, and a hint of horseradish for extra tang. My spouse chose Johnny’s Famous Ribs, and whoever Johnny may be, his marinated, meaty, baby-back ribs are justifiably famous, and lived up to all the clichés with succulent, falling-off-the-bone meat made even more satisfying by a sticky, flavorful sauce.
The mixed grill entrée was less successful. A pair of delicate lamb chops in a minty brown sauce were flanked by two rounds of filet mignon in a green peppercorn sauce, and three jumbo shrimp atop a lemony one. The meats were cooked as requested, but the chef is overgenerous with sauces, and — although each one tasted fine — the flavors seemed incompatible.
On the other hand, butternut squash ravioli in an Asian sauce, a special that evening, was a terrific dish that married the richness of butternut squash with some zesty flavors. It included both shrimp and chicken, which was gilding the lily, but perhaps a bow to diners who want protein in their main course. Again there was a lot of sauce (someone get this chef a smaller ladle!), but it was nicely balanced, with flecks of cilantro, red peppers, and scallions in a creamy base, and a dash of hot Thai Sriacha sauce adding a kick. Even leftovers eaten straight from the fridge next day were good.
Vegetables — bright steamed broccoli and baby carrots — were served on the side, and I indulged in scalloped potatoes: a velvety, cheesy, enjoyable lashing of comfort food. We finished up with the homemade apple crumb pie, which had a tender crust and a nice, fresh-baked flavor. Our server ran back and forth with refills on coffee.
How the cookie crumbles: Warm vanilla Oreo bread pudding is plated with a crème anglaise and caramel sauce
Excuse me while I rhapsodize for a minute about the sunset over that lovely lake. It was the usual gaudy excess, all pink and golden streaks against a powder-blue sky — the kind of glorious sight that looks hokey in a painting. As the sky and the lake turned inky, a sliver of crescent moon grew bright and hung over the cottages on the opposite bank, whose lights were reflected in the dappled water. It was so romantic and corny, my hubby and I were moved to hold hands between courses, even though we’ve been together for years.
Some waterfront restaurateurs get away with mediocrity because a beautiful setting is such a powerful draw. That’s not the case here. The chef and the polite staff, who seem to genuinely enjoy their jobs, are all trying hard to please, which goes a long way toward doing just that. The food is hearty, with some definite high notes. The occasional three-course specials are a true bargain. And that view is a lulu. Go in summer, and you may forget you’re anywhere near downtown Newburgh. Go at sunset, and you surely will.