Sunset and super service at Sylvan Beach

Some of our most treasured moments are spent watching the sun set over Oneida Lake from the park or beach at Sylvan Beach. We love walking around this great old amusement park, too, and eating at a couple of the restaurants. This time of year, most of Sylvan Beach is closed up tight for the winter, but today it went into the 70’s so we thought we could catch one more sunset and have dinner, too.

When we got to Sylvan Beach, we found the Canal View restaurant still open, thank goodness. A walk along the beach first, to work up an appetite and watch the “red rubber ball” set over the lake, put us well in the mood for food. In the restaurant, we were seated where we could watch the afterglow.

The Canal View has a very complete menu that probably hasn’t changed a whole lot since the place opened 36 years ago. This is just fine with me. Any restaurant that has survived the economic ups and downs during all those years must have something to offer. The Canal View has the whole package: welcoming atmosphere, the right lighting, the right music, great service and tasty food.

Dave and I ended up wanting the same thing, one of their house specialties: fresh haddock broiled in in herbed garlic butter. Alas, I’m gluten-free and the server let us know that that dish came with bread crumbs. I opted instead for the Delmonico steak. A few minutes later, the cook came right out to our table and told us she could do the haddock gluten-free!  She knew what I needed, said she’d done it the week before for someone else (who loved it) and would be happy to do it for me. I could have kissed her. To get this level of attention for an issue that often just pisses off the kitchen was heart-warming and reassuring. I went for it.

Dave had the clam chowder which he pronounced “quite tasty” and I had the salad with oil and vinegar. While the salad was heavy on the iceberg, it had paper-thin slices of onions and a bit of tomato – just like the salads I used to eat in Spain. The big surprise was the fact that it was a good-tasting balsamic vinegar and a mild olive oil that came in the cruets, not the awful old cider vinegar many of these places have lounging about. With a salt grinder and a pepper grinder on the table, I was able to create just the salad I wanted.

We were both very happy with the haddock, baked in a casserole, swimming in its own juice and plenty of butter, thank you. A very – very – liberal dose of garlic covered large haddock pieces cooked to perfection. It was a good thing we both ordered the same thing, and that we absolutely adore vast quantities of garlic. We were in garlic heaven. We both had the hot, crisp French fries (the server let me know that the rice pilaf, alas, had gluten in it) which went exceedingly well with the fish.

We drank water and ordered no dessert, so this bill came to a mere $26, leaving us quite happy to leave a generous tip. On our way out we enjoyed looking at all the historic pictures of Sylvan Beach.  It was a lovely, romantic evening that was not marred by a single thing.  And that’s quite an accomplishment for any restaurant.


  1. Joe Crepin says

    I have dined there many times and have never been dissatisified. Food, service and atmopshpere are perfect.

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