In the Adirondacks, The Farmhouse Restaurant Does It All
Of the many great restaurants we discovered in the Adirondacks last Summer, there was one that really impressed me. It’s owned by a husband/wife team with culinary backgrounds. They are fighting the odds against success in an off-the-beaten-track, five-year-old business. They strive to produce everything they serve, and when they cannot, they’re committed to working with local sources to serve the best regional food available.
As with most small businesses, this team struggles with unrealistic time constraints, weather, and the vagaries of the economy. In their success, they represent destination dining at its finest.
A Family Operation
The Farmhouse at Top of the World Resort is located 2.5 miles up Lockhart Mountain Road, high above the heavily populated tourist destination of Lake George Village. Kevin London’s and Kimberly Feeney’s restaurant is in the gracious old main house of what was once a thriving farm.
Condominiums, a small B&B, and an 18-hole golf course on site, as much as the tourists in the valley below, assure sufficient traffic for their survival, but the seasonal nature of the other businesses allows them to be open only a few months a year.
They’ve got the restaurant down pat, but how to support a family, a chemical-free farm, and a CSA on a seasonal income remains a constant question. Because it’s all a family operation (Kim’s side of the family owns and operates the other businesses) the dynamics of everyone’s needs play a role in their success.
The Farmhouse faces a situation unique to its location, but shares a common goal: to serve the best locally grown food possible.
A Country Commute
During our visit the young couple drove us the half-mile to the cultivated acreage of the old farm. This is where the golf carts come in handy.
It is a beautiful commute beyond the bordering trees, through several holes of the golf course, to their greenhouse, barn and future home in the original tenant house now under much-needed renovation. They have almost two acres under cultivation. Next year, they plan to add more for better crop rotation and winter cover crops.
I am amazed at all they’ve decided to tackle in such a short time. They seem to have an unlimited supply of energy, enthusiasm and optimism. On top of all his other chores, Kevin just built a new electrified fence around his chicken-run to protect the 40 new free-range birds from marauding vermin. So far, even the hawk that was responsible for the loss of several fowl a few weeks before hasn’t been back, so it seems to be working.
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