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Dana’s Rusty Anchor

(Do North/Natasha Courter) Different sunset hues of oranges, pinks, and blues dance off Lake Champlain and frame the historic Valcour Lighthouse. Its sturdy and stark red brick, a bulwark jutting out of the verdant island forest that surrounds it. As the last sailboats tack past, seemingly close enough to touch. The spectacular view from the lakeside deck at Dana’s Rusty Anchor makes for more than a meal; it’s an event every spring and summer evening. The RustyAnchor, a seafood restaurant and bar, is the sort of place you can race past if you’re not looking, a fairly nondescript building on…

(Do North/Natasha Courter)

Different sunset hues of oranges, pinks, and blues dance off Lake Champlain and frame the historic Valcour Lighthouse. Its sturdy and stark red brick, a bulwark jutting out of the verdant island forest that surrounds it. As the last sailboats tack past, seemingly close enough to touch. The spectacular view from the lakeside deck at Dana’s Rusty Anchor makes for more than a meal; it’s an event every spring and summer evening.

The RustyAnchor, a seafood restaurant and bar, is the sort of place you can race past if you’re not looking, a fairly nondescript building on a spectacular stretch of Route 9 south of Plattsburgh. Slow down and take a look inside there’s plenty to lure you in, and keep you there. Local entertainment, fresh Boston seafood and that glorious view create a sense of discovery for visitors and locals alike.

“I consider it a hidden gem because people who lived here their whole lives have never heard of the place,” owner Dana Poland said.

“These damn chain restaurants that come in are taking over.” He’s joking. Sort of. Poland’s family has been in the seafood business since 1961, and he guarantees nothing but the freshest catch, shipped directly from Boston. The menu ranges from mussels and clams to much bigger catch such as salmon, haddock, and lobster. Dana’s lobster pie, composed of large chunks of lobster topped with the restaurant’s special crabmeat stuffing, is a highlight. Dana’s also offers steak, pasta, chicken and beverages to complement the menu. “We have pretty good high-end beer,” Poland says, as well as the restaurant’s own ‘ Rusty Anchor’ cocktail—Malibu Rum, cream de cocoa, and pineapple juice. Every Friday night, live entertainment ranging from pianists, singers, and comedians liven up the crowd. But what has patrons buzzing this year is Dana’s recent renovation. When Dana’s opened for the season in April (it stays open through October), new hardwood floors, carpets, and refurbished deck welcomed customers. Meanwhile, a new performance area allows for more dancing and a prominent space for performers. But one of those performers, Julie Canepa of the local duo Oh Betty, says the improved space isn’t the reason she returns to Dana’s all summer long. “The view is great, the atmosphere is great,” Canepa says, “and the food is a win-win.” Issue 1: Summer/Fall 2013

Dana's Rusty Anchor Dana's Rusty Anchor
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