As I mentioned in my last Lake Placid restaurant review, the second part of our honeymoon was less about eating out and more about staying in. We’d had a pretty intense almost-fortnight of eating around Disney, so we planned a couple of restaurants and lunches we wanted to try, then ate in the rest of the time.
This review focuses on one that I’d picked out months in advance: Smoke Signals. In fact, it was on our wedding gift list and we had a couple of people purchase towards it – thank you, wedding guests, for buying this meal for us! I’d read some very good reviews online (in fact, it’s number 3 out of 78 restaurants in Lake Placid on Trip Advisor) and the rustic BBQ theme really appealed to us.
See more of our Lake Placid, NY honeymoon posts here:
Smoke Signals is located right in the centre of Lake Placid’s main street, meaning it was within easy walking distance from our accommodation at Lake Placid Club Lodges. The exterior has an almost alpine chalet look about it which seems a little odd in the late summer or early fall, but makes sense when you realise that Lake Placid and Whiteface Mountain are primarily ski resorts during the long winter months.
It seemed busy on arrival and we were told there was a 20-30 minute wait for a table. Always a good sign in my opinion! We gave our mobile number and wandered the town while we waited. We’d bought an American SIM with this as one big reason – a lot of restaurants do this nowadays rather than give you a buzzer that needs to remain in the vicinity of the restaurant.
We were asked if we’d prefer to be seated indoors or outdoors, and since it was a mild evening, we said we didn’t mind either way. By the time it came for us to return – about 15 minutes later – we were allocated a table on the edge of an outdoor rooftop patio overlooking Mirror Lake. Even though it did get a little chillier towards the end of the night when the sun had set, this was a gorgeous view. There were also patio heaters dotted around which were slowly switched on during the evening as needed, and I can see this being a lovely place to sit outside during ski season with those, especially since there was an outdoor bar area too. This wasn’t really being used while we were there, but I bet it has a fantastic atmosphere.
Onto the main event: the food! Smoke Signals have a seasonal menu with everything made in house from scratch, combining traditional barbecue with new innovative techniques using smoke to flavour and cook their dishes.
We don’t often choose an appetizer when dining out in the US – unless we’re on the Disney Dining Plan and can swap a dessert for one! – simply because we find the portion sizes to be too big. However we had to make an exception here! We’ve seen fried pickles on several BBQ restaurant menus over the years but never tried them. Considering pickles are supposed to be a pregnancy craving, plus the fact that they just sound so interesting, we chose these.
We received a dish absolutely packed full with dill pickles spears in a beautifully seasoned and slightly spicy crisp batter, served with a ranch and blue cheese dip. OH. MY. GOODNESS. How have I lived my life without fried pickles until now?! This isn’t a thing in the UK, so I’m doubtful I’ll find them here, but I’m planning to try to create my own. Even though they sound slightly odd to the British palate, the batter remains crunchy and the pickle inside is still crisp and juicy. We had to stop ourselves eating every last one before the main course arrived though as there were just too many!
For mains, we chose the Signals Sampler for Two so that we could try the various kinds of meat they specialised in. After seeing another table receive this, I’d suggested to Ben we just get the Signals Sampler for one at $29, but he thought we should go for the one for two at $44. I have to say, on this occasion I was probably right – the platter for one would have been plenty!
The Signals Sampler for Two included ribs, brisket, pulled pork, cornbread and a choice of two sides – we picked the fries and sauteed brussels sprouts. Again, this was SO tasty and was an excellent way to get a taste for what Smoke Signals do best. My favourite part was the pulled pork, whereas I think Ben preferred the brisket, but the ribs were a very close second for me. There was nothing that wasn’t good!
In the end, we ended up taking home a big box of leftovers, including the fried pickles! It sounds weird, again, but the pickles actually reheated excellently in the oven the next day as a starter for our evening meal (which included the ribs), then the pulled pork and brisket worked perfectly for sandwiches at lunch. This one meal ended up lasting us across 3 meals!
All in all, a very high recommendation from us for Smoke Signals. I’d love to return and try one of their sandwiches such as the Smoked Reuben in future – of course, along with some more of those fried pickles. New favourite food? Maybe! I’ll just have to book another trip to Lake Placid!
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