Thursday, September 10, 2009 by Jason Oliver Nixon.
If you read this blog religiously—and I certainly hope that all of you have bookmarked “Jet Set” and return daily—you know that I have a house up in the Catskills. My former schoolhouse-cum-retreat, Monkey Cottage, is the perfect base from which to set out and explore New York State—frankly some of the most beautiful geography I have ever encountered.
This past weekend, I set off for dinner in nearby Cooperstown, New York, a perfectly preserved and manicured small town perched at the edge of postcard-perfect Otsego Lake (the town allows no franchises within its confines, so don’t expect any McDonald’s or Friendly’s). The one-time stomping grounds of writer James Fenimore Cooper (hence the region’s Leatherstocking Region moniker), Cooperstown offers something for everyone—most especially for baseball aficionados as the town houses the National Baseball Hall of Fame and a seemingly endless array of shops pushing Louisville Sluggers and such. And although I have toured the Hall of Fame, I am more into tennis and croquet and theater, so I head for Cooperstown’s myriad other pleasures—among them the Glimmerglass Opera, the stunning Farmers’ Museum, the Fenimore Art Museum and the town’s stunning array of New England-styled homes.
An aerial shot of hyper-picturesque Cooperstown, New York, with its verdant baseball fields and the pristine waters of Otsego Lake.
This past weekend’s journey was all about fine dining, so off we went to the town’s sprawling, glorious Otesaga hotel.
The colonnaded façade of The Otesaga hotel, which celebrates its 100th birthday this year.
Celebrating 100 years, the brick-and-colonnaded hotel harkens back to more gracious, languid times and is a stunner with incredible vistas of the lake and the property’s sweeping lawns. There is nothing better than pulling up a rocking chair on the hotel’s veranda and watching the water play off the pristine lake—delicious!
Pull up a rocking chair and sip a cool martini as you take in the views of Otsego Lake.
We settled in for dinner alfresco at one end of the veranda and sampled chef Michael Gregory’s top-flight cooking, including a revved-up chicken piccata-style paired with a lemon-caper sauce, as the sun set in the distance.