Thursday, November 16, 2006

Adirondack Restaurant Review: The Woods Inn

We were thrilled that the old Wood Hotel in Inlet was purchased and brought back to life a few years ago. The prospect of a real hotel being renovated and put into action was exciting. And Joedda McClain and Jay Latterman, owners of the new Woods Inn, did a lovely job with the renovation. But the restaurant has had serious problems from the first day. We dined at The Woods Inn about ten times over two years and never had a good experience. On one occasion, we felt ill after eating a bad sandwich. The last time we visited, following the addition of a well-respected chef, Derrick Feitleau, it was only marginally better. We still waited around for someone to seat us, then sat in the uncomfortable dining room under fluorescent light bulbs eating unremarkable fare. We want the Woods Inn to succeed but, at least on the food front, it looks like we are not going to get any satisfaction. A fish fry was bland and uninspired, served on a plain plate with no garnish. What seemed to be dinner rolls made by the Wonder Bread company were served in a paper napkin. The waitress conveniently wrote her name on the paper table cloth so we'd remember her name. These are all bad signs. When the dinner rolls showed up, I knew we were in trouble again. Chef Derrick sent out some nice complementary appetizers, including some mussels, which were good, but not great. But it spiraled down hill from there. The prime rib was tough and bland. And the service was like the kind you expect at Denny's. It's unfortunate that The Woods Inn restaurant has had such a tough time getting itself going. We gave it two years but have finally given up, which is sad since the need for good food really outweighs the need for somewhere to sleep in the Adirondacks.

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