June 18, 2022
We rented out the beach house last week and headed up to Claverack. From there we set out Saturday morning, driving out along beautiful Route 20. Around noon we stopped off in Cazenovia for lunch, where we waited for traffic to move while a gay pride parade went through, for about 15 minutes.
Continuing on Route 20 we arrived in Skaneateles at 2:30, where we checked into the charming Sherwood Inn, which was recommended to me by my cousin Karen, who lives in nearby Marcellus where we would be visiting the next day. She also provided lots of advice on restaurants and sightseeing. The inn is on the main street facing the lake.
We got settled in our room before heading to Auburn, a few miles away, to visit a couple of historic sites. First, we drove through Fort Hill Cemetery, where many prominent people are buried, including William Seward, who was Secretary of State under Lincoln. Then we visited the Seward house museum. Here are some photos:
We started with a shared appetizer of duck croquettes, which were delicious. Stanley had steak, which was fine, but my porchetta was exceptional. The sauces and accompaniments were excellent. For dessert we shared a chocolate tart. Perfect. The wine I wanted, a Bandol for $50, was out of stock, so the sommelier proposed a 2016 Haut Medoc which was impressive. The markups on wine are very reasonable here, and though most on the list are in the hundreds of dollars, there are enough at the lower end that are worthwhile and priced very well.
Service was excellent. The only problem was an error on the bill, so if you come here be sure to check it carefully (as I always recommend everywhere; mistakes happen).
Sunday began with a boat tour on Skaneateles Lake. The landscape and the grand houses along the shore are worth your time. The captain tells all about the lake and the histories and owners, past and present.
Determined to find ice wine to buy, we tried another vineyard up the road, Boundary Breaks, which is a smaller and less-known operation that I thought might be more likely to have some. Sure enough, they did, and after taking a taste we bought a couple of bottles. At around $70 for a half-bottle, it’s probably the most expensive wine in the region. Ice wine is so expensive because it is labor-intensive and in limited production.
Next on our trip was a visit to my cousin Karen, whom I hadn’t seen in many years, at her wonderful house in Marcellus. It was really nice to get reacquainted. We had some wine and snacks and then she treated us to dinner at Rosalie’s Cucina in Skaneateles, where I had the best carpaccio ever. The veal Marsala and bracciole were great too.
It was a lovely night on the patio, chilly but heated by a fireplace and gas heaters, which made it completely comfortable.
On Monday morning, we left to go back to Claverack, stopping in Cooperstown for lunch at the Otesaga, overlooking Otsego Lake. The buffet was pretty good and the view idyllic.