“Never order the duck when it is a special, always try the duck when it is on the menu.” I forget if it was my wife’s father or her step-father who imparted this little bit of culinary opinion on me, but it has stuck. I do know that he uttered that phrase while enjoying the duck on the menu at Ye Olde Landmark Tavern one evening, while visiting from California.
With that in mind, I had the opportunity to have dinner at the Landmark on a recent Monday evening. I had a guest in town and it seemed like the perfect place to show off the great culinary experience we get to enjoy by living around here.
Ye Olde Landmark boasts that they provide “Colonial Hospitality at its Finest”, and walking in the front door transports you back to a time where the tavern was the center of activity in the town. The restaurant is decorated in a colonial theme, yet it is not campy. It really is a pleasant atmosphere for dining.
We started off our meal by enjoying fresh baked bread from the Heidelberg Baking Company, in Herkimer. Looking over the menu, my decision was very easy. I knew the minute I walked into the place I was having the duck. It was the first visit to the Landmark for my dining companion, so she took a little longer with the menu before settling on the shrimp.
This time of year we instinctively know that the opportunities to enjoy fresh, local salads are slipping away with the daylight hours, so I could not pass up the seasonal salad that was offered on the menu. This salad featured baby spinach, roasted pumpkin seeds, grapes and a raspberry vinaigrette. It really was the perfect salad for an October evening.
Shortly after finishing the salad, the entrees arrived. The duck was glazed with an orange rum glaze, and stuffed with and herb-sausage stuffing. The skin was wonderfully crisped and cooked just as I like it. The sausage stuffing added a nice, moist component to the dish, and when paired with the slightly dry duck meat, made a nice combination. The orange-rum glaze was drizzled onto the plate and added a nice flavor touch to not only the duck but the stuffing as well. The dish also came with rice-pilaf and winter squash on the side.
Shrimp was the other entree of the evening at the table and it was served over a crab-meat stuffing. Again the stuffing was very moist and the flavors of crab paired very well with the shrimp. The dish consisted of four large shrimp and each of the were “stuffed” over the stuffing. This dish also came with the rice-pilaf and the winter squash puree.
After enjoying our entrees, we decided to check out the dessert menu. The menu offered six or seven choices, but independently we both decided to cap off the evening with the New England Apple Crisp a la Mode. Now, here is my pet peeve, New York State is one of the leading apple producers in the nation, and the Landmark sits right next to the site of the original Mott’s Cider company, so why Chef Andrew Hengst is calling this a New England Apple Crisp is beyond me. Name of the dish aside, it was fantastic and was the perfect ending to a very autumnal dinner.
With drinks, entrees and desserts, tax and tip the evening cost $94.57. Dinner was a real treat, and my friend got a real look at why we think this area is such a great place to enjoy good food. As usual I was not disappointed with my trip to the Landmark, and can’t wait to go back again soon.