Disclosure: The room and food were provided by River Spring Lodge for this post.
There’s something special about taking a short drive outside of Rochester and entering that completely different world where the city melts away and you’re right in the heart of upstate New York. Late last year I had the privilege of getting invited to stay at the River Spring Lodge just west of Rochester.
Despite being only a short drive from Rochester, it felt more like a country oasis after having not been outside the city fora while. Located in Darien Center, we took the non-highway routes out there which was a great excuse to get more immersed in the more country like atmosphere on the way. Pulling off of the main road through the extended forest driveway, we emerged to a beautiful view of the Lodge and the pond out front. We were greeted by the owners, Chef Dave and Caroyln Hamer, who are veterans of the lodge game and that experience really came through with the entire presentation.
The room we stayed in at the River Spring Lodge was welcoming including an updated design with a huge, comfortable bed and a bathroom that was completely on point. This is the kind of bathroom that people talk about on HGTV with a combination of contemporary and rustic elements, heated floors and an open shower. We set ourselves up in the room and then went to sit outside by the pond until dinner started.
Dinner consisted of a four course meal with options for each course and we took full advantage of that by splitting each of the courses to increase our variety.
What impressed me most was the attention to detail that each dish brought to the table. It was an interesting cross between the intimate feel of a dinner party with some more restaurant like touches. The menu is very approachable featuring solidly executed comfort foods. with some twists along the way. Both my wife’s crab bisque and my French onion style soup hit the spot after a long day which got us ramped up for our main courses. Chef Dave didn’t mess around with portions both with the lamb chops my wife enjoyed and the pork shank that was on my plate. This is not the kind of dinner where people walk away hungry. What might’ve been the most impressive aspect of our entire meal was the house made creamed corn served with the pork shank. This is typically a throwaway side but in Chef Dave’s capable hands this turned into an absolute highlight.
Dessert wasn’t an afterthought either. My crème brûlée popped on the plate with three different brightly colored fruit sauces and my wife’s chocolate and raspberry cake made her quite happy.
Based on the prices for the dinner it was definitely a good value and, with the personal attention, one I won’t forget anytime soon. I had to leave early the next morning to head to work, but my wife was able to enjoy breakfast before heading out so don’t miss out on that if you’re staying over.
If you’re looking for a quick getaway from Rochester and want something a little bit different, I’d recommend giving River Spring Lodge a shot to enjoy some classic lodge-style hospitality.
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