May 2019

To prepare for this issue of Strictly Business which focuses on area restaurants I did a little research. Here is some of what I found.

The first documented restaurant in the world opened in Paris in 1765. It served one dish: sheep’s feet in white sauce. (Be still my heart!) The Union Oyster House in Boston opened in 1826 and is the oldest restaurant in continuous service in the U.S. (FYI: My mother was a waitress at the Oyster House during the 1940s.)

Eating out in restaurants used to be something people did for a special occasion or when they were traveling. Today, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average American eats a commercially prepared meal four or five times a week and spends over $3,000 annually doing it.

And so, if you are like Mary and me, and like to enjoy a good meal that someone else prepares, here are a few places you might consider.

Montreal natives Tom and Elizabeth Brilotti offer authentic dishes using old family recipes at Casa Capitano, an aviation-themed, Italian restaurant located on the waterfront in Rouses Point. Tom spent 40 years as an airplane pilot and instructor; Elizabeth’s career was spent in the pharmaceutical industry, much of it at Pfizer. It is well worth a short trip to Rouses Point to meet this engaging couple and enjoy their wonderful food.

Farmhouse Pantry in Saranac started out as a bakery but has expanded to a full-service restaurant known for its farm to table cuisine. Josh and Sarah Vaillancourt are huge supporters of our regional farmers and the community and are eager to welcome you to their special place.

It has been seven years since David Allen put his eclectic background to work at his new restaurant Latitude 44 on U.S. Avenue in Plattsburgh. His offerings were an instant hit with diners and have continued to be. Visit Latitude to enjoy traditional favorites and their creative drink specials made with herbs from the restaurant’s own garden.

Don’t miss our heartwarming article about Grandma’s Spanish Kitchen and its owner Josue Chanduvi. Starting with recipes from his beloved grandmother as well as his father, Josue has attracted a clientele that enjoys his diverse menu which features Spanish favorites such as traditional, freshly made tacos

on Tuesdays to his “Trust Me” option, created for the diner who can’t decide just what to choose.

There are so many dining options in the Tri-lakes area we asked Essex County native and SB contributor Carol Blakeslee-Collin to pick one of her favorites. Her choice was Salt of the Earth in Lake Placid. Operated by friends Andrea Lautenschuetz and Liz Arnold, this small homey place offers a variety of menu options from the unusual to the traditional. Everything but the bread, gelato and sorbet is home made. Try it, you’ll love it.

And then we have this month’s Insight feature with John Redden, Commissioner of Social Services which serves nearly 25% of the population of Clinton County. Redden, a North Country native, explains how his agency practices “servant leadership and appreciative inquiry,” which he says means looking for the good in people and not focusing on the negative. An approach to be emulated.

Bonnie Black, director of Employees Assistance Services at Behavioral Health Services North, writes about mental health awareness and then Garry Douglas wraps up this issue with an invitation for all area business people to attend the Chamber of Commerce’s annual Business Expo on Thursday, June 6th. This year’s event will be the 31st Expo and each one seems to get better. There is no where you can find so much information and meet so many people. Don’t miss it!

One more statistic for you to ponder. Food and drinks sales of the restaurant industry in the United States reached more than $782 billion in 2016 (the last year for which I could find stats) — a long way from the $42.8 billion seen in 1970. More people are eating out, whether it is at a sit-down restaurant or fast-food place… and that’s good for business.