A day in the Whiteface Region means being busy with outdoor adventure. Everything from skiing at Whiteface Mountain, hiking on a beautiful wintry trail, to snowshoeing or cross-country skiing in the woods. Busy, cold days make warm aprés a must. You need to thaw out and where you do this is an important decision. If you are like me, you will be looking for a warm, cozy environment. What does that mean to you? Well, to me it means candles, a fireplace, maybe a couch to chill out and warm up on, warm service, and, of course, drinks. I am on a quest to find this for you. Now that we know exactly what we are looking for, let's find the places that meet our standards. Cozy aprés on the way.
The Mountain Lodge:
It is nearly impossible to come to the Whiteface Region and not go to the base lodge of Whiteface Mountain for at least one drink. This newly renovated ski lodge is complete with fireplaces and couches inside to rest your tired ski bums (check, check). Outside on the huge deck there are fire pits to warm up by as you watch the snow fall.
The windows in the lodge are the only decoration needed when the setting outside is as stunning as Whiteface Mountain. The views of the skiers and boarders heading down the mountain, the gondola heading up to the summit, and the gorgeous snow covering the trees make this lodge so inviting. Grab a seat on one of the couches and order a specialty Bloody Mary. This Whiteface Bloody Mary is award winning and named one of "Liftopia's 9 Ski Resort Bloody Marys to Try." The appetizing garnishes may be standard, but this bloody is crafted with a secret. Try to figure it out while you enjoy the view, the fireplace, and the warmth.
R.F. McDougall's Pub
Turn left after leaving Whiteface Mountain and head into McDougall's Pub. This pub has everything a good aprés should have. A large roaring fireplace, a really outgoing local bartender, great beer on tap, and a cozy environment ideal for warming up after a day of adventure. The nights are cold in the mountains and sometimes the only thing I want is a warm fire and a beverage. We definitely came to the right spot.
This pub was named one of "America's Top 10 Fishing Bars" by Outdoor Life Magazine. Well, everything that makes it a great fishing bar makes it a great aprés bar. The large stone fireplace used to be outside before the pub was built in the basement of the famous Hungry Trout Restaurant. In the 1930s and '40s the fishermen used to cook the trout they caught right threre at the fireplace. There is something very special as you sit staring at the flames warming you up.
We belly up to the 18-foot cherry bar and Judge, a well known bartender in the Adirondacks, makes me his specialty drink: The Chocolate Mogul. OMG, this was as good as any milkshake I have ever had. Made with Godiva Liqueur, and topped with whipped cream, this ice cream drink was so good to sip on and watch the wind whip the snow around outside. You might think an ice cream drink cannot warm you up, but think again. The fire kept me toasty, the drink filled me up, and the company of this professional bartender will keep me coming back.
Insider tip: You can eat from the pub menu or the Hungry Trout menu in the pub! Local bartenders Neil and Judge are full of great insider information about the region, so go say hello!
Pourman's Tap House:
OK, sometimes it's simply about the beer. With my date being a craft brewer and president of the New York State Brewer's Association, it was important that beer was on our list. Pourman's Tap House for the win with its selection of craft beer. There are twelve local and regional beers on tap. New York is well represented and the staff is very knowledgeable on the offerings.
The huge fireplace and a comfy couch in the side room make this aprés spot check all of our boxes. We ate homemade mozzarella sticks and sipped on local craft beer while chatting with the natives of the region. You really can learn so much by pulling up a bar stool and putting on a smile. Whiteface Region locals are very friendly and love seeing new faces. Warm service, cozy fire, and cold (the perfect temperature according to my brewer date) craft beer makes Pourman's Tap House a must stop after all outdoor adventures.
The Wilderness Inn:
If "cozy" opened a restaurant, this would be it. Coming in from the cold air, the warmth hits you instantly in this place. This is the kind of place you don't want to leave. Unexpectedly busy with the "in" crowd, the skiers and snowboarders were out and talking about their day on the mountain. Diners and drinkers sat together in one comfortable space, candles glowing and the wooded alpine setting was picture perfect for a wintry night indoors. The drinks? Well, you have come to the right place. Traditional to crafty, they get it right. There isn't a lot of fuss in the cocktails served here, the ingredients are all top shelf, the recipes classic, and the results are perfect. Come in out of the cold, to the coziest restuarant. I simply love it here.
Whiteface Region aprés has it all. The mountain town offers craft beers, cozy environments, and roaring fireplaces. This is all within a stone throw from the hightest vertical drop in the East. There is no need to venture outside of the area, so cozy up in the Whiteface Region with some fire and ice.