Ashfield Lake House: Like a Summer Vacation Getaway

I have been reading about Chris and Dre Rawlings’ purchase of the venerable Ashfield Lake House on Facebook for a few months. I’ve followed Dre’s reports of the sad state of the kitchen floorboards, and read many comments from people who have been coming in and raving about the place.  So on Saturday night, we decided that a paddle and a visit to the “NEW” Ashfield Lake House was in order.
The Ashfield Lake House has new owners and a new energy!
We rendezvoused with our friends Charlie and Jen and hit the beach at 5 for a leisurely paddle around the lake.  The only thing that caused a concern was the Canada goose turds that lined the beach.  Later we saw the six culprits–is there any worse scourge then these birds besides mosquitoes?  If I ran that lake, I’d put out poison for these big birds. We got out in the shallow lake and chatted as we paddled around the short perimeter.  When we got close to the Lake house, there up on the deck were familiar faces–WRSI’s Monte Belmonte and local musician John Allen.  I always love it when friends are already in the place we’re about to visit.  Monte had his son Pax in his arms and a big grin on his face.  Yep, as usual, the guy who is everywhere was exactly where we were going.

One thing that I had worried about was a bad review a friend of mine had posted to TripAdvisor.  While I know how some people are particular and tend to exaggerate problems in restaurants, I was almost scared off. But I am glad that we stuck with our plan, and truthfully, we had a completely different experience than he did.  You can read the bad and the good on TripAdvisor.  When we walked into the Lake House, the first thing we noticed was a familiar change. Like we did in our own house, they created large openings in the wall, so that the two seating areas of the restaurant now feel all combined into one. It make the Lake House feel much larger, and was a great improvement.

The menu at this point was still being written, so we tried a few basic items–some grilled cheese sandwiches with tomato and pesto, some of their hand cut french fries, and some drinks. They had Rolling Rock drafts for only 2 or 3 bucks, and the wine was also inexpensive. So far so good!   The grilled cheeses arrived promptly and Dre told us that they got their bread from Bread Euphoria in Williamsburg. YEAH!   Looking out the window we saw three sailboats docked right outside. It felt like we were on vacation in Maine, but we had only driven 30 minutes up Rte 116.  We wanted to try the grilled polenta with veggies but they weren’t ready. Oh well, next time for sure!

So far I’d say the new Lake House is off to a fantastic start. Can’t wait to come back for another paddle and dig into more of the menu.