A Shining Gem in the Catskills

| September 19, 2012

Located in Saugerties, New York, The Lazy Swan Golf and Country Club Village is a true oasis in a somewhat sleepy, upstate community. When you come upon this piece of land, you have to do a double-take as its regal beauty shines like a gem amidst the backdrop of the Catskill Mountains. This gorgeous piece of reclaimed property is treated organically, articulating the possibilities of a beautiful landscape without the use of nasty chemicals. Offering a high-end country club environment, which is opulent without being pretentious, we ventured in for what was to be an experience to remember.

At its center—The Clubhouse Grill is offering world-class fare that is being delivered by a well-seasoned chef and highlighting a menu rife with locally sourced produce, artisanal quality meats and a dedication to quality.

With a view of the beautiful pond and fountain set adjacent the 9th hole green, you realize that the Lazy Swan is indeed present—a perfect symbol of the relaxed environment that has been created by visionary owner Tony Bacchi.

Whether you choose to dine fireside in the elegant dining room, or enjoy the clean air of the Catskill Mountain range from the inviting blue-stone patio, this is an experience that is sure to have you coming back. Add to that an intimate piano lounge and the ClubHouse Grill Bar and you have a winner!

We started off with a masterfully created cocktail and the stress of the day quickly dissipated as the ease of this space washed over us. We initiated our feast with the Classic Shrimp Cocktail (poached in court bullion) and the Bufalo Mozzarella served with locally sourced red and yellow tomatoes. Seasonally correct and bright with fresh summer flavors, this was an excellent start. Next up was a wonderful interpretation of Spaghetti Carbonara (pancetta, apple smoked bacon, reduced cream, reggiano parmagiana and pecorino romano cheeses and an organic egg yolk). While savoring this classic, it occurred to me that quality abounds in every item on the menu and truly comes through on the palate.

The Colorado Lamb Chops (with Barolo red wine sauce) was executed to perfection and a delicious choice but it was the Maryland Jumbo Crab Cakes with hand shucked, fresh roasted corn and beet chips that truly blew our socks off! This is a dish that is so commonly mishandled and prepared poorly, that it is overlooked by many. Suffice it to say, this is the best that I have ever had—ever!

For dessert, we indulged in the housemade doughnuts which are served hot in a paper bag with a sugar–cinnamon mixture to be added and hand-shaken. This not only added a fun panache, but a delicious and homey ending to what was an extraordinary meal.

Le Cordon Bleu trained Executive Chef Steven Haverson certainly takes this restaurant to elevated heights with his delicate hand, creative visions and expert execution. If you are anywhere within striking distance, this is a must try!