Good food, great view: Carson’s patio a summer treat

“I feel like I’m on vacation,” said husband Eric, sipping an ice-cold martini while a gentle breeze cooled the deck overlooking lovely Saratoga Lake.

When the weather is good here in upstate New York, it’s really good — and you can take advantage of it at a restaurant like Carson’s, which has an awning-covered deck and umbrella tables on its patio. It’s where Cliff’s used to be, until he retired. Carson’s carried out extensive renovations and opened in March 2015.

The chairs are plastic, but they’re sturdy and roomy, and we got a table just one row away from the best view. Carson’s is a bit higher than the lake, affording a panoramic view. White boats bobbed. Blue mountains loomed in the distance.

The menu is mostly casual food, American-style and a little nicer than you’d see at the usual wing joint. There’s tuxedo shrimp, stuffed with horseradish and wrapped in bacon ($14.95), or mini crab cakes ($10.95) to start, then it moves on to salads, burgers (the Classic, with choice of fries, is $10.95), wraps and hot sandwiches like a blackened mahi-mahi BLT ($14.95). Entrees cover chicken, mac and cheese, steak frites, prime rib, fish and chips, steaks: something for everyone. Prices for entrees range from vegetable rice bowl at $11.25 to a slab of prime rib for $30.95.

The bar was efficient; our drinks came in just a few minutes. Eric’s martini was generous and chilly, my New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc was crisp and snappy, with a bit of grapefruit flavor. Their wines are a step up from the big bottles, and they have two kinds of sparkling wine splits at $8 each, which add to the festive air.

Eric enjoyed the grilled salmon with brown rice pilaf, spinach ($18.95) and a soft fresh-baked, thyme scented roll. The rice tasted so good Eric didn’t realize it was healthy. Nice job sneaking that in. “Delicious, the spinach is great and I like the garlic,” he said. The salmon was crispy on the outside, something else he liked,…

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