Category Archives: Chautauqua Lake Dining and Drinks

Where to Eat in Bemus Point: Fine and Casual Dining

June 16, 2020 by Beth Peyton

Where to Eat in Bemus Point

On the Waterfront in Bemus Point
(author photo)

Bemus Point is an easy boat ride or a quick car ride away from the Maple Springs Lake Side Inn.  Visitors will quickly see why it is one of the most popular places on the lake.  If you’re wondering where to eat in Bemus Point, you really can just pick a place and enjoy.  You can’t go wrong.

Where to Eat On the Water

Several places in Bemus provide lakeside dining, and some will even serve you in your boat.  If you’re looking for a good meal with a spectacular view, try these Bemus eateries. All of the restaurants listed are open for takeout, outside dining, and/or inside dining.

The Village Casino is located on the waters’ edge right on the point of Bemus Point.  Featuring an expansive menu, full bar and regular entertainment, The Casino, as it’s known, is famous for its wings.  And its famous for all the famous people who have entertained visitors and residents on the lake since the 1930s.  Ten Thousand Maniacs and Rusted Root played the Casino before making the big time, but the stars of yesteryear have left a big mark, too. When you can, take a tour inside to see the pictures, playbills and advertisements of Cab Calloway, Frank Sinatra, and countless others. Dine on the deck overlooking the water or stay in your boat. No gambling, though!  The Casino was named long ago, when the term also meant something more like “summerhouse.”

The Fish is located on the water, too, and you can’t miss its deep blue and orange façade whether you’re in your car or your boat.  Serving outdoors on a wide lawn, and on multiple decks, The Fish offers take-out service curbside or dockside.  The menu is broad and varied, with an emphasis on fish a seafood.  Specialty cocktails, too. Music happens here.

Where to Eat in Bemus Point

Ellicottville Brewing Company Brew
(photo with permission from EBC)

Ellicottville Brewing Company (EBC) is across the street from the lakefront, but the views are unsurpassed nonetheless.  Their specialty is their own craft beers; quite a selection and it’s good!  They also have a full bar. The menu is designed to pair well with the beer and, although the menu is not overly extensive, it is different and delicious. Don’t miss this place.

Where to Eat Down the Street

The See-Zurh House is located on the main drag of Bemus, across the street from Skillman’s.  Open year round, you can’t beat it for good food at a good price.  This is where the locals go, so expect to be entertained as well.  There is a large bar with seating as well as an even larger dining room.  Upstairs is a separate place called Shaggy’s that is generally open only for special events.  Menu items are plentiful but don’t forget to check out the specials board to find excellent dishes like seared tuna or prime rib. Specials include a large list of homemade desserts, too.  Try the peanut butter pie but ask for extra forks — you’ll want to share it.

Keep walking down the street and you will run into Coppola’s Pizza.  Right now, they are doing takeout, and they deliver.  A few tables will be available for inside dining soon.  Wired on Main is next. They serve an eclectic breakfast and lunch, great coffee and have some very interesting retail goods and gifts.

Where to Eat in Bemus Point

Fish and Chips at the Bemus Point Tap Room
(photo with permission)

The Bemus Point Golf Course and Tap House offers a great menu, local beers and handcrafted cocktails in a beautiful setting on a golf course.  Yes, you can golf!  There is plenty of outside seating, and live music some nights.  Come in to see your friends, or to make new ones.  Bryce, Rachel and their staff will make you feel like family.

The Bemus Point Inn is a favorite of locals and visitors for breakfast and lunch.  Famous for the world’s biggest sweet roll, and other items are good, too.  Watch the board for daily specials, and don’t resist the hashbrown casserole if it’s up there.  Salt rising bread, too.  Yummy.

 

 

 

Fun and Casual Dining Close to Home

June 5, 2020 by Beth Peyton

Fun and Casual Dining Close to Home

Dining on the Patio at Guppy’s

Several options for fun and casual dining are close to home when you’re at the Maple Springs Lake Side Inn. Several restaurants and taverns are within walking distance, or are just a short drive away.  Restaurants in the region are just now opening for outside dining in summer 2020, and many also offer takeout.

Drinks and Dinner

Guppy’s is a very popular restaurant with our guests and draws a big crowd from all around the lake.  It’s within walking distance from the Inn, but it’s up a pretty steep hill.  You’ll want to drive if you’re not used to walking (although the downhill side of the trip is a lot easier). Guppy’s has an extensive menu of entrees, appetizers, burgers, wings, pizza and sandwiches.  They run nightly and weekend specials as well, with seasonal specialties throughout the year.  A full bar offers traditional and creative cocktails.  A variety of local and other beers are on tap.  Make sure you ask the Innkeepers about Guppy’s beer tours. Guppy’s has a large outdoor seating area, too.

The Green Door Tavern, our local watering hole, is another short walk away.  The Tavern features a good bar menu with wings, pizza, burgers, chicken and other items.  Beer, wine and a full liquor bar, frequent live music, and a pool table provide a backdrop for the characters you’ll experience.  The Green Door Tavern has been serving takeout throughout the COVID restrictions and may serve meals on their covered deck.

Lunch, Too!

The Springs is another favorite of folks in the region who are seeking casual fun and casual dining close to home.  It is located across from Midway State Park and is within walking distance, although we recommend driving until you know your way around. The Springs has a full menu with an extensive list of daily specials.

Fun and Casual Dining Close to Home

Specials at The Springs

They serve alcohol, but food is the main attraction here, both lunch and dinner. They are serving take-out but have not announced if they will be serving meals on their enclosed deck.  Dan, the owner, will be busy cooking, but say hello to Sue when you’re there. She’s been at The Springs for some time now, and usually wins the Halloween contest at the Green Door Tavern.

The Best Breakfast

Ready About Sailing at Long Point State Park Marina serves burgers, hot dogs and snacks throughout the day, but the breakfast there is the reason to make it a destination.  Home to “Laura’s Green Chili,” it may be the only place around to find authentic southwestern green chili.  Get it in a breakfast burrito (and you can ask them to hold the tortilla) that is filled with everything but the kitchen sink.  Kids can have pancakes or French toast, bacon, eggs and other breakfast items.  Guests at the Inn will be able to visit this spot for “breakfast by boat.”  Meals can be eaten at picnic tables outside under shelter lakeside, or in the boat itself.  A few tables for inside dining will be available once restrictions lift. Enjoy the meal while you watch the boats go by.

 

 

 

 

Lake Erie Wine Trail Offers Fine Dining

May 24, 2020 by Beth Peyton

Lakeside Dining on the Lake Erie Wine Trail
Sunset at the North East Marina
(photo credit Jeff Hunter)

Located in the marina in North East Pennsylvania, about a half hour drive from the  Maple Springs Lake Side Inn along the Lake Erie Wine Trail, Noosa offers fine dining and handcrafted cocktails. Named after a beach in Australia, it is on the way from Pittsburgh, Cleveland or Erie. A scenic trip for a great meal enhances any vacation on Chautauqua Lake, and Noosa will not disappoint.

The scenic route takes you to Westfield, the original home of Welch’s, the grape juice company.  The road dips, weaves and steadily climbs until it drops after it crests the escarpment that separates the Allegheny Plateau from the Great Lakes Basin. Like a mini continental divide, water on one side flows into the St. Lawrence Seaway toward the Atlantic Ocean, while water on the other flows in another direction, into the Ohio River, then the Mississippi and ultimately into the Gulf of Mexico.

Westfield has a charming main street with cute shops, restaurants and antique stores.  The building facades are inviting, and the elegance of the Patterson Library remains unsurpassed.  Neatly pruned grapevines are in the vineyards along both sides of the road as you head southwest on Route 20.  You know you are in wine country, and in the fall, the air smells of grapes.

Noosa Offerings

The Lake Erie Wine Trail hugs the shore of Lake Erie along Route 5.  On a sunny day, the lake sparkles like diamonds.  Spectacular homes, gorgeous vineyards with emerging gardens and modern wine-tasting rooms line the road.  Some have fine restaurants as part of the experience.

Entering the building at the North East Marina takes you through a hallway where bulletin boards on the walls hold newsy marina items (Fishing Tournament!  Boat for Sale!).  Keep going until you find your way into Noosa. A small bar area holds a scattering of dining tables, with more tables on a lower level. A large deck features seating, heaters and a fireplace. After a warm greeting, and if the weather permits, take the outside table that is offered. Whether seated inside or out, you will have a terrific view of the marina and Lake Erie.

Lake Erie Wine Country

Enjoying the scene at Noosa

The menu is eclectic, embracing Noosa’s straightforward mission of “serving delicious, affordable handmade food in a clean, contemporary and beautiful atmosphere.” Lomo Saltado from Peru and Vietnamese Pork Shoulder Bahn Mi share the menu with New Orleans’ style Oyster Po’boys, poached salmon, and cheeseburgers.

The menu features local beer and Lake Erie wines and spirits.  Noosa offers a variety of coffee drinks, and original cocktails made with local ingredients.  The cocktails are inventive and delicious, enhanced by barware that makes the whole experience feel more special.

The menu is organized into small plates, salads, soups and vegetables, and main courses. The Peruvian ceviche is delicious and colorful.  In the States, we are perhaps most familiar with fish, shrimp, or conch ceviche served in coastal Mexico and the Caribbean, sometimes featured in Mexican restaurants.  The raw seafood is “cooked” in lime juice and mixed with onion, tomato, hot peppers and cilantro.  Peruvian ceviche is made with “tiger’s milk,” a mixture of lime juice, salt and chili paste.

At Noosa, the tiger’s milk is spicy, but does not overwhelm the taste of the shrimp, cilantro, or chunks of roasted sweet potato it is served on.  The sweet potatoes are a distinctly Peruvian addition.  They give the ceviche depth and turn this exotic dish into a sort of comfort food.

The Thai beef is bite-sized chunks of tender steak, marinated and cooked with onions and greens.  The beef is seared then cooked to a perfect medium rare. Crushed peanuts and herbs round out the flavors of this dish. Grilled vegetables – asparagus, broccolini and baby bok choy – are simply prepared with lemon, garlic, and just enough char to wow.

Trust the burger.  Even though substitutions aren’t allowed, you won’t need them.

Lake Erie Lakeshore

The sound of halyards and metal shackles slapping against the masts of sailboats swaying in their moorings sounds like music from a harmonium as you stroll around the marina after dinner.  Waves lap the shoreline as you watch birds circle, land and dive for fish. And the boats, they come and go.

At sunset, the road gently undulates on the drive back.  On the right night, the light shifts; trees and fields take on a golden hue as if lit from within.  Houses and fences turn pink, salmon and apricot.  The landscape glows and then fades again as the sun descends over Lake Erie. In the gloaming you’ll crest the ridge and see the glimmer of light that is Chautauqua Lake, and home.

 

 

 

 

 

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