A fine meal with stunning lake views at Taughannock Farms Inn

May 7, 2013

This week, we're enjoying a lakeside dinner in Trumansburg, at Taughannock Farms Inn. Built 140 years ago as a private summer home, Taughannock Farms has spent about the last 75 years as a restaurant and inn, adjacent to the scenic state park. Dinner here has an elegant feel, and virtually every table enjoys a nice view of the park and the lake.

I'm a big fan of the old-fashioned dining approach, offering a complete dinner along with each entree, rather than going a la carte, which can add up fast. Dinner at Taughannock Farms includes a choice of appetizer, bread basket, a salad or sorbet, side dishes, and dessert. Drinks aren't included, but the wine list is surprisingly affordable.

Smoked sausage and cheese appetizer at Taughannock Farms Inn.Smoked sausage and cheese appetizer at Taughannock Farms Inn.My smoked sausage and cheese appetizer was a good way to start off the meal, just a few bites of tasty charcuterie and cheese, plus whole-grain mustard and crackers. I've also enjoyed the warmed brie with fruit compote, perfect on a cold evening, and my dining companions picked the tomato-basil soup of the day. Next time, I'll get back to the chilled strawberry soup, which I remember from the Taughannock Farms menu of days gone by.

Strip steak with shrimp.Strip steak with shrimp.The featured salad for our visit was Boston bibb lettuce with candied walnuts and feta, which led nicely into my roast duck breast entree, served with a tangy apricot-ginger glaze. A friend's steak and shrimp dinner featured a beautifully tender strip steak, though the salty and spicy mesquite rub was a bit too salty. And the pumpkin ravioli were a perfect fall dish, one of several vegetarian options on the menu, including a portobello mushroom Wellington.

A sweet dessert and a cup of coffee rounded out the evening perfectly. Each course was plentiful without being huge, so we left feeling well fed but not stuffed. We also felt well taken care of; our server was friendly and answered questions as they came up, always available without hovering.

Plan on spending $30-50 on dinner, more with wine or mixed drinks. You can find Taughannock Farms Inn on Route 89 about ten minutes from the Hangar Theatre, just before the entrance to Taughannock Falls State Park. They're open seasonally, roughly April through Thanksgiving, then available for holiday functions and a festive New Year's Eve dinner. Call 607-387-7711 or visit t-farms.com and tell them you heard about them here.

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