Farm to Table Dinner

Farm to Table Dinner at the Essex Inn, featuring food from Essex Farm

Farm Fresh Garden Salad with our House Balsamic Vinaigrette
Organic Free Range Chicken Curry
with Farm Fresh Currants, Wilted Swiss Chard, and Brown Rice
NY Style Cheesecake made with Farm Fresh Eggs
drizzled with a Fresh Raspberry Melba Sauce
28 per person
*Includes coffee or tea, does not include taxes or gratuities
reservations required
518-963-4400

Midsummer Mixer at The Whallonsburg Grange Hall

Whallonsburgh Grange Hall (image courtesty adirondackalmanack.com)

Longtime Residents Recall Essex Inn Years Ago

Karen and Rick Dalton at the Essex Inn with longtime Essex residents

Karen and Rick Dalton with longtime Essex residents (photo courtesy of The Press Republican)

Last Sunday Alvin Reiner at the Press-Republican ran a fascinating story about the Essex Inn and the fusion of past and future in this historic landmark recently renovated by the Daltons and now open to the public.

Early on, Rick and Karen Dalton took down the fence between the Essex Inn here and the senior center behind the historic property.

“We told them (the seniors) would be the first guests to have lunch here,” said Rick, who with his wife bought the inn last year and had it renovated.

At that lunch, senior citizens reminisced about their memories of the inn; high-school students from Willsboro caught those stories for a video production on the history of Essex and its inn.

“This is a place to learn about local history, and for the students to develop a bond with senior citizens,” Rick said. (via Press-Republican)

It is this interplay of historic Essex and evolving, revitalized Essex that makes the Daltons’ renovation so exciting. On the one hand, they’ve restored a significant historic landmark that dates back to the founding of Essex. On the other hand, they’ve resuscitated and modernized the facilities to ensure that even the most discerning clientele will feel pampered and eager to return.

In addition to charming inn accommodations, a delicious restaurant (where my appetite’s been spoiled twice already and where I’ll be returning this evening), a handsome Adirondack rustic bar, and a garden oasis, the top-to-bottom renovation allowed the Daltons to include offices for College for Every Student (CFES). Their two decade old nonprofit “helps underserved students take steps to prepare for, gain access to, and succeed in college.” In short, CFES is an organization committed to the future of everyone they serve!

CFES currently works with 140 rural and urban schools and districts in 22 states and the District of Columbia. Each school works with more than 50 CFES Scholars (low-income youth), most of whom would be first in their family to pursue higher education, to help them get to college and succeed there. (via collegefes.org)

Dakoda Latford, Taylor Strong, John Fine-Lease and John Pollack, Willsboro students who are currently enrolled in the CFES program, are creating a multi-media presentation from the stories that the seniors recounted about the history of the Essex Inn as part of a service leadership project. According to Karen Dalton, these CFES students are building their own college futures while preserving the past.

“We are reaching out to bridge the gap, as there is often a lot of knowledge that gets lost,” she said. (via Press-Republican.)

Essex has long represented an important bridge back into history, but the Dalton’s Essex Inn revitalization is one of many new bridges forward toward a bright and shiny future.

Old Dock Opening July 1

The Old Dock Restaurant in Essex, NY undergoing renovations for the summer of 2011

The Old Dock Restaurant in Essex, NY undergoing renovations for the summer of 2011.

I stopped by The Old Dock Restaurant on Thursday to catch up with Steve McKenna who was pruning hedges and getting the parking lot ready for their July 1 opening date. Really? Really!

Despite totally record breaking Lake Champlain flooding, McKenna has worked around the clock for weeks to revitalize this Essex, NY landmark. I can’t begin to guess how many times I’ve been asked about the Old Dock this spring. It’s one of the iconic Essex buildings on the waterfront, and for many the images of the entire restaurant, parking lot and pier submerged for almost two months seemed an insurmountable challenge. And yet, miraculously, the Old Dock is back on her feet and promises to be better than ever.

I look forward to a frosty libation and a perfect sunset soon… Who’s coming?

The Old Dock Restaurant

The Old Dock Restaurant

The Old Dock Restaurant is a seasonal restaurant and bar located in the Historic Hamlet of Essex, New York. Guests arrive by automobile, private boat or on the Charlotte-Essex… Slips are available for our guests who arrive by boat. Passengers on the Charlotte-Essex ferry have the option to leave their automobiles in the free parking lot at Charlotte and when they arrive in Essex stroll a few feet to the Old Dock. Parking is available on site for those guests who arrive by automobile. (via The Old Dock Restaurant)

Essex Shipyard and Rudder Club

Essex Shipyard in Essex, NY

Essex Shipyard in Essex, NY

Come dine with us while taking in the spectacular views of Lake Champlain and Vermont landscape… Our Marina offers boaters a place to take occupancy for the summer, weekend or evening… Essex is a great place to enjoy the splendors of the boating on Lake Champlain with all of the Adirondack recreation you can take in. (via Essex Shipyard & Rudder Club.)