Sunday, September 20, 2015

Fun Playing with Food (and friends) at Lake House Restaurant in Lakewood

September 19 is "Talk Like A Pirate Day." My Mensa friends, who love a good joke, pun or excuse to be a little silly, set up a lunch by the water (Lake Erie) to celebrate. I'd never heard of Lake House Restaurant in Lakewood before, but it was a "fun to play with" discovery yesterday! Sadly, I didn't get any photos of the attendees, some of whom sported their Pirate finest, but ARGGHH did we have a great, inexpensive meal accompanied by a four star lake view despite the gloomy weather! The restaurant is a physically old, old-school diner-like space in a mid-rise residential building, with close, free parking, that serves up classic (and a little newer school) comfort food and diner grub, with beer if desired, six days a week. 

I loved that so much of the food was made from scratch (or nearly so), though my first taste, of a Guinness Pretzel Bite served with a cheddar cheese dipping sauce ordered by a table-mate, definitely felt Sysco-y (though warm and tasty).

But it was mostly uphill from there. 

House-made Clam Chowder
Our group numbered over a dozen, so I can't really fault them for serving this lovely soup a little to the cold side. But the microwave would have rubberized the beautifully tender clam meat, so we enjoyed it as served. Nicely done.

Cajun Pasta
Bob just had four teeth extracted, and so was limited to mushy food. Lake House Restaurant offers several pasta dishes that come by default with meat and/or seafood, but which can also be ordered "plain" - this option served Bob well: penne pasta tossed with a cajun spiced alfredo sauce and tomatoes. Topped with parmesan cheese, it tasted creamy with a little bite, and "gave" nicely without being mushy. I enjoyed my bite even without the chicken that normally accompanies it.

I took a flyer on the signature dish - Fresh Lake Erie Perch: Lightly breaded and fried, served with sautéed onions & parmesan topped pierogies, and coleslaw. Experience has taught that a dish like this would either be very good or very bad. Happy to report the former!

House made cole slaw
What a difference fresh-made makes! Creamy, clean and crisp. Half came home for dinner.

Fried Perch, Pierogies, Tarter

Another perspective

Half of this portion came home for dinner; it was a lovely value at $16 plus $2 for the cup of soup. The fish glistened with freshness under it's hot, crispy coat, cleverly plated over iceberg lettuce strips to keep it from getting soggy on the plate. I didn't get to learn if the pierogies are made in house or sourced, but they were fresh not frozen and the sauteed (not deeply fried) dough had a delightful pillowy lightness, encasing freshly mashed potatoes. The onion topping was nicely caramelized and accented with grated cheese and parsley. I would return for this meal again and again if I lived nearby!

Other diners in our party sampled various diner-style comfort foods, including patty melts served with house-made chips, wraps, salads, and one peanut-butter cup encrusted dessert that looked lovely. Service was exuberant and attentive, another reason to return for more. 

Lake House Restaurant is open for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Tuesday-Saturday, and Breakfast and Lunch only on Sunday. A great little fun place to play with your food with a view!