Wednesday, April 6, 2011

High Peaks Happy Hour: barVino in North Creek

It didn’t quite feel like spring when we left Warrensburg on what started as a breezy, sunny day, but it did hold promise that winter was loosening its grip. It seems whenever we mention our book project, barVino in North Creek is suggested. We were off to find out what all the buzz was about.

A visual sweep as we walked in immediately registered calm; high ceilings, clean simple lines, and a sense of order and unpretentious sophistication. In real life, Kim is a photographer so was naturally drawn to the framed black-and-white photographs hanging on the warm adobe-hued walls, this month’s gallery exhibit. barVino regularly graces its walls with local artists’ works, adding further classiness to the place. Pam’s attention was drawn to the craftsmanship of the decor, both modern and classic, with a concrete bar counter and sturdy barstools (all matching, of course) of wood and padded fabric seats.

The lighting was just right to show off the overall sleekness, eyes drawn upwards to the high ceiling and classic tin cornices, all painted green. The tin crown molding was the only hint that the building wasn’t new. There were several ceiling fans that were large but not gaudy. We could have been sitting in a trendy bistro on Boston’s Newbury Street.

The page-and-a-half-long beer menu boasted a nearly global selection of bottled and draft beers. Draft beer featured Guinness and an assortment of craft brews from Davidson Brothers, Adirondack Brewery, and Dogfish Head. The endless bottled list? Lagers and ales and wheats and belgians and stouts and porters, oh my! Kim ordered a Davidson’s Ctrl-Alt-Del. The color a warm reddish brown, the aroma a little wheaty, it had a slightly bitter flavor with a hint of nuttiness.

The bartender, Janelle, was helpful in suggesting a white wine from the specials board after I shared my preferences regarding sweetness and dryness with her. We were under the impression that it was strictly a wine bar, and stand corrected. Not to be outdone, and it is barVino after all, the five page wine list requires a passport. Selections from Italy, Spain, France, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, Chile and California in red (55 bottled; 16 by the glass), rose, port, white, dessert, and champagne by the glass or bottle. You can download PDF’s of barVino’s menus online.

A review isn’t complete without a trip to the restroom which divulged more surprises. In the hallway hung an eclectic collection of antique mirrors. The oak drysink in the ladies room held baskets of individual hand towels and a framed print on the wall depicted an old woman gathering wood.

barVino, North Creek, where local simplicity meets urban chic.

Kim and Pam Ladd’s book, Happy Hour in the High Peaks, is currently in the research stage. Together they visit pubs, bars and taverns with the goal of selecting the top 46 bars in the Adirondack Park. They regularly report their findings here at the Almanack and at their own blog.


Kim and Pam Ladd


Sisters Kim and Pam Ladd recently self-published Happy Hour in the High Peaks: An Adirondack Bar Guide and a companion Happy Hour Trail Passport. As they continue to market and distribute their current book, they also conduct research for their next project, Happy Hour at the 19th Hole. With the lofty goal of becoming the Adirondack Park's "Drinking Authority," Kim and Pam report on drinking-related topics and events inside the Blue Line here at the Almanack and at their own blog. You can also visit their website, follow them on Facebook, and Twitter.

The pair have spent most of their lives in Warren County. Pam has a degree in Computer Science, but her passion is mixology. She and her husband and daughter live in Warrensburg. Kim is a freelance photographer whose sports images regularly appear in the Adirondack Journal. She has a degree in Advertising Design and lives in Thurman with her family.





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