Grist Mill Restaurant
100 River Street
Warrensburg, NY 12885
Winter Hours: Dinner from 5 PM, Thursday through Sunday
The Grist Mill has long been one of the Lake George region’s most popular dinner destinations. The restaurant opened forty years ago this summer, in a repurposed mill that had been built one hundred fifty years before that. In 2015, new owners, Ash and Jaime Anand took over the reins, but the most noticeable change to date has just been the restaurants calendar, which stayed open through the winter Thursday through Sunday. They kept the restaurant’s chef, Colin Chase, who had apprenticed with the Grist Mill’s former chef / owner Chris Lambeth.
In days of yore, we called the dining experience at The Grist Mill “continental”, and in my house, it was a fine dining experience that was usually saved for your parents’ anniversary or some other special occasion. You will probably recognize most of the dishes on the menu – steaks and chops and seafood traditionally prepared with little ethnic influence. The focus is on protein, as it always was before vegetables starting getting enough attention to outgrow their “sides” label. The menu, and the dining room, are torn from the pages of a bygone era.
One of the Grist Mill’s most attractive features is the setting – part museum, part roadhouse, perched on the banks of the Schroon River which powered the millworks. The building has the look of an old stage coach stop, complete with a basement tavern that looks like it was moved from Frontier Town. The tavern is most definitely the place to start your evening, ideally with a cocktail or a glass of wine near the fireplace. The wine list offers a selection of California stalwarts: Sterling, Stags Leap, Silver Oak and Cakebread Cellars. Last week the bar was pouring Louis Jadot Chardonnay or Beaujolais by the glass for $7.00, for those of us looking for an Old World alternative. While you are here take a moment to look around at the historical displays. Many of the old grist mill’s mechanicals are preserved and displayed throughout the building.
The dining room is one of the prettiest in the region, adorned with crisp white linens set on colonial style wood furniture. If the Grist Mill had been serving dinner in the eighteenth century, it would have looked exactly as it does today, which, of course, is part of the charm of the place.
The menu offers a selection of first course options – soups, salads, small plates and “shareables”. An order of caesar salad brought wedges of romaine, dressed with a creamy caesar style dressing. It was accompanied by a large basket of miniature baguettes. They were warm and crusty, and disappeared before they should have, but were quickly replaced by our sympathetic waitress.
An order of crispy confit of frog legs was a delicious piled high stack, plated with a spicy ancho chile sauce and a side of slaw that was in dire need of some dressing. The jumpers made up for the slaw, tender, succulent, and nicely fried in a light crispy batter. The menu also offers some local cheeses on a charcuterie board, with selections from Thurman’s Nettle Meadow Farm, Adirondack Black Wax Cheddar, along with a spread of salumi and cured meats.
Entree choices include a lump crabmeat mac & cheese, a daily house made ravioli special, a roasted stuffed pepper, or pan roasted halibut. I opted for a coffee-rubbed venison loin, served a perfect medium rare pink, as ordered, plated with mashed potato and a side of al dente green beans. Very nicely done. You can view the entire Grist Mill menu here.
The rumor mill suggests that the new ownership has some tweaking in store for the summer season, including the addition of some outdoor riverside seating, and giving the menu a refresh with a few new additions. For the moment, the restaurant offers something that 90% of Adirondack restaurants do not offer in winter – they’re open. Three cheers for that.