Eat and soak in the beauty like you live here: the Finger Lakes’ Snug Harbor

Do you ever travel somewhere and quietly start asking locals where they’re going for dinner this week? If a restaurant is tucked away a bit, it survives by being genuine and emphasizing quality. No gimmicks or crazy fads. Keuka Lake in New York’s Finger Lakes is dotted with elegant communities, including Hammondsport. Right on the lake is Snug Harbor, a restaurant with a lot going for it, including al fresco dining. I was happy to be hosted to experience it!

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Because they’re in a vacation area on a lake, they do have a “season” — so call ahead. But don’t get the wrong idea about “vacation” area: this is a part of the world where families have their getaway places for generations. Here, summer is a time for reunion of friends and kin. If you’re on a boat — they’ve got 10 slips here — or renting a cottage, it might be a little more fuss than fun to fix dinner for the whole gang. But if you did, you’d want your summer picnic favorites done perfectly. Simple, nostalgic, tasty. That’s what the folks like here and you will, too.

Think deviled eggs with bacon. Cheddar horseradish dip with butter crackers and sweet pickles. Like many places in the Finger Lakes, they also do St. Louis style pork ribs. Don’t ask, it’s just some Finger Lakes thing! If you order a steak, it comes simply seasoned and cooked absolutely perfectly. Finish with some house-made cheesecake.

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There’s a special hideaway suite if you want to stay overnight . . . how romantic!

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