Canal Side Inn – Dinner for Two

Canal-Side-Inn | Little Falls NY | Mohawk Valley Today

It had been a long hectic week, and it was still Wednesday. Appointments, meetings and other distractions seemed to have taken over. 

After leaving a meeting at Canal Place in Little Falls, we climbed in our car and let out a long exhaled breath to help unwind before we began moving again. Another long day and the time was approaching 7:00pm. 

Starting the car we thought about what to do for dinner. Looking out the windshield the welcoming green window canopies and the words, “Canal Side Inn” caught our attention.

We shut off the car and walked across the street to get some dinner. We just wanted to be still for a little while before heading home. And we were so glad that the Canal Side Inn caught our attention!

The Canal Side Inn in historic Canal Place, Little Falls, NY, is a warm, inviting, and welcoming place that is great for special occasions, celebrations, events, or just to stop by mid-week for a great meal.

Once we arrived we immediately felt at home as we settled in, looking forward to a nice meal and good company. Everything was superb. 

Chef John Luciano at the Canal Side Inn Little Falls NY | Mohawk Valley Today

Chef John had recently updated the menu and the options all looked so good and tempting it was hard to decide. We recommend you stop by and take a peek yourself and see what you find most appealing.

We opted to start with the Maryland Bleu Crabe Gâteau as a starter. For the main course we each tried something different.  The Poulet Croquettes and the Not Your Average Meatloaf were both exceptionally satisfying. We really enjoyed our meal savoring each bite as we explored the flavors, seasoning, and textures of these wonderfully crafted dishes.

Getting back in the car and heading home we felt renewed, energized and fulfilled.

Our stop at the Canal Side Inn was just the break we needed.

We were able to take some time for ourselves and have a nice meal together in a relaxing and enjoyable atmosphere. Thanks so much to Chef John and all of the staff!

Restaurant Week | Little Falls NY | Mohawk Valley Today

You can find the Canal Side Inn at 395 Canal Place, Little Falls, NY. For reservations, or to inquire about holding your event or special occasion at the Canal Side Inn please call  (315) 823-1170. You can also check out their website at

But above all, be sure to stop by and enjoy a great meal yourself. You’ll be very glad you did!

The Pleasant Lake Inn then and now

Our family truly enjoys living in the Mohawk Valley. This beautiful region is great place to live work and play. We feel very lucky to be able to call this area home!

Traveling throughout the valley and surrounding areas is something we do a lot. We love to see what is over the next rise and discover new and interesting places along the way. 

One of our favorite places to go to enjoy some delicious food and create lasting family memories is The Pleasant Lake Inn in Stratford, NY.

The Pleasant Lake Inn’s story

The Pleasant Lake Inn was original built in in the 1930’s just a short distance from Pleasant Lake. The Inn served the local folks who had camps on the lake providing home cooked meals and a small bar to wet your whistle. The location takes advantage of the east-west route of NYS-29A, the proximity to Pleasant Lake, and the attraction of outdoor activities such as hunting, fishing and snowmobiling in the area.

The Inn had a few rooms upstairs they rented out during the different seasons for local travelers, etc. They did a thriving business during hunting season and then later as snowmobiles grew in popularity. Hunters from far and wide knew of The Pleasant Lake Inn, the great food offered, and excellent hunting available nearby.

The Pleasant Lake Inn in the 1970s.

These qualities, and the good times enjoyed there is what drew my father to “The Inn.”

Back when I was just a lad, my father traveled upstate to enjoy hunting season and often stayed at the Inn. Traveling with his friends, they’d caravan together as they took the 5-hour journey. He enjoyed his time so much that in 1969 he bought The Pleasant lake Inn as he took his young family upstate.

When I think of where I would call home when I was young, I think of living at the Pleasant Lake Inn. Living there was a unique experience and I have many good memories of being there with family, friends, and growing up there.

Remembering growing up at the Pleasant Lake Inn.

It was here that I learned to hunt with my father and learned to cook with my mother. Our cooking, however, was for the large groups of snowmobilers and other groups when they arrived. Not surprisingly, I also learned how to entertain myself living in a neighborhood with few other kids to play with.

Hunting, fishing, swimming, snowmobiling, building tree houses, and camping in the woods were typical activities growing up. Winters were always fun! I remember winters with so much snow! I enjoyed learning to ski and helping my parents groom the local snowmobile trails. The trail grooming made it easier for snowmobilers to make their way to The Inn.  

As a family business, my brothers and I balanced our fun with helping out where we could. Cleaning the bar and refilling the coolers each morning before the school bus arrived was our morning routine. Winters were cold – so there was plenty of wood to split, stack and carry. 

Pleasant Lake Inn on NYS 29A during snowmobile season.

The Pleasant Lake Inn today

These days, the Pleasant Lake Inn is a warm, welcoming place offering great food, good cheer, and friendly staff who make you feel right at home! The location takes advantage of proximity to Pleasant Lake, and the attraction of outdoor activities such as snowmobiling, hunting, and fishing.

Warm and welcoming dining experience in the Adirondacks.

With each visit to the Pleasant Lake Inn we feel welcomed, renewed, and at home. When you visit, be sure to say “Hi!” to Gail and Nate. Over the past few years they have worked hard making many improvements to the building. They offer great food for you to enjoy, and have established a great place to be to make lasting memories with family and friends!

The food is wonderful and everything is an excellent choice. If you enjoy having a burger, than the PLI Burger would be a great place to start!

Enjoy a signature PLI burger at The Inn.

Wilde Rep Theatre’s Music and Entertainment in January

The Wilde Rep Theatre in New Hartford is excited about their upcoming shows and entertainment in January.

First, on January 18 at 7:30pm, enjoy the CNY Magic Show’s Ryan Bliss.

Get ready to “Unexpect the Expected” with an evening full of surprises. Treat yourself, or go with a crowd and have fun with Ryan’s unique brand of off-kilter magic and comedy. You’ll never know what to expect, so “unexpect” and enjoy the spectacle! Tickets start at just $10 for members and $15 for general admission!

Ryan Bliss: Unexpect the Expected

Another awesome night of local music at The Wilde!

Then the Wilde Rep’s doors open on January 24th at 7:30pm for the triple headliner music event starting at 8:00pm.

Hometown musical heroes Zachary Robison, Ophelia’s Looking Glass featuring Jessica and Jennifer Lawrence, and Shane Archer Reed perform live!

Tickets are sure to go fast at only $5 for members and students, and only $10 for general admission! Additionally, with three different musical styles, there’s something for everyone.

Zach Robison, Ophelia's Looking Glass and Shane Archer Reed in Concert

Zachary Robison grew up in Whitesboro and currently lives in Oswego.
He’s been performing for years, and is studying with Doctor Todd Graber at SUNY Oswego.

Ophelia’s Looking Glass is an identical twin sister duo of ethereal Gothic music. The band formed because they wanted to create a fresh and unique sound together.

Shane Archer Reed combines powerful alternative and pop rock melodies. His musical theatre background allows him to create a sound and style all his own.

Mohawk Valley Center for the Arts | Mohawk Valley Today

Faculty Student Art Show

January 4, 2020
Mohawk Valley Center for the Arts
401 Gallery 401 Canal Place,
Little Falls, NY

The Mohawk Valley Center for the Arts Faculty Student Art show’s final day is today, January 4, 2020 at 401 Canal Place Little Falls, NY.

Please join us as we celebrate the accomplished Faculty and Student Art Show artists of the Mohawk Valley Center for the Arts. The show ends January 4th. Many pieces will be for sale!

Faculty Student Art Show | Little Falls NY | Mohawk Valley Today
The Faculty Student Art Sow runs through January 4, 2020.

MVCA proudly features the creative works of our own students and faculty members. Come meet our artists and learn about their artwork and classroom experiences. Many pieces are still for sale.

Free & Open to the Public the show ends Saturday, Jan. 4, 2020 with hours from 2 PM – 4 PM
For questions and more information please call (315) 823-0808.

Mohawk Valley Center for the Arts
Mohawk Valley Center for the Arts, Inc. is a non-profit organization that promotes and facilitates the arts for residents of the Mohawk Valley. Our vision is to enhance the quality of life by creating opportunities for learning, personal creativity, and artistic expression. Since 1982, Mohawk Valley Center for the Arts (“MVCA”) has worked to be a leader and advocate for these arts through education and promotion of interest and understanding of the arts, thereby advancing appreciation of the arts.

You can find more events near you at Mohawk Valley Today!

The Ultimate Christmas Show | New Hartford, NY | Mohawk Valley Today

December’s festive holiday events

A number of festive Mohawk Valley events are happening this coming week. Make the time and venture out to enjoy the holiday season with friends and family.

The Ultimate Christmas Show

The Ultimate Christmas Show | New Hartford, NY | Mohawk Valley Today
The Ultimate Christmas Show Abridged at the Wilde Rep Theater in New Hartford

Beginning on December 12th, the Wilde Rep Theater will present its production of “The Ultimate Christmas Show Abridged“. Located at 12 Genesee Street in New Hartford, this funny and irreverent show is fun for all. Have fun tapping out tunes and singing along with the cast, Jim Drake, Emily Inman and Natalie Nolan. Most of all, this production has a little something for everyone and is sure to have you laughing in spite of yourself.

After that and across the river in Rome, you can visit the Annual Arts Legacy Exhibition on Friday. This exhibit is located at the Reach Center on 205 W. Dominick Street. Enjoy the historic and current works of local artists who have played important roles in shaping the Mohawk Valley arts community. Also, the exhibition is free and open to the public.

Christmas in Little Falls

Treat yourself and loved ones to the 12th Annual Christmas in Little Falls Celebration on Saturday, December 14th. Christmas in Little Falls is a city-wide event set in the beautifully historic downtown. Enjoy many FREE events in a family-friendly environment. There’s certainly plenty of shopping, dining alone with a spectacular indoor farmers’ market and craft fair. Christmas in Little Falls is the perfect way to get in the holiday spirit!

Main Street, Little Falls, NY | Mohawk Valley Today
Christmas in Little Falls, Little Falls, NY

Also visit the historic Stone Mill Inn at Canal Place in Little Falls for their Holiday Open House. First, try some of the complimentary light refreshments. Then visit the inviting accommodations and relaxing light-touch studio. Be sure to check out the specials and free drawing.

Enjoy the Sounds of the Season at the Herkimer Holiday Concert

The String Orchestra of NYC will perform their Holiday Concert on Friday, December 13, 2019 from 7:00 to 9:00pm at the Robert McLaughlin College Center Sarkus-Busch Theater. This concert is part of the Robert H. Wood Great Artists Series. It is free and open to the public, on behalf of the Herkimer County College Foundation.

Ilion Holiday Hoopla

On Friday, December 13th, gather in the village of Illion for the Annunciation tree lightening at 5:30pm followed by a Winter Wonderland Dance from 6-9pm. Then on Saturday, December 14, the Ilion Holiday Hoopla begins at 9 AM throughout the village. Have fun at the activities, performances, crafts, food, specials, and more.

This is just a taste of the many events happening this holiday season. Be sure to check out the Mohawk Valley Today Events page to find more seasonal events near you.

The Garden Bug Holiday Open House | Amsterdam, NY | Mohawk Valley Today

The Garden Bug’s Holiday Open House kicks off new hours now until Christmas

On November, 8, we visited The Garden Bug in Amsterdam, NY, for their Holiday Open House . The entire shop was beautifully decorated and offered a warm welcome on a chilly evening. As soon as you walk in the door, the wonderful spices draw you in while the staff offer friendly greetings.

The Garden Bug | Amsterdam, NY | Mohawk Valley Today
The main entrance to The Garden Bug in Amsterdam, NY.

The entire shop is ready for visitors and holiday shoppers alike. Each room showcases a wide variety of holiday decoration items, home goods, furniture and warm fuzzy blankets. You’ll also find fresh-baked pies, locally produced NY State Maple syrup, and an assortment of sweet treats that certainly tempt all who pass by.

The Garden Bug Holiday Open House | Amsterdam, NY | Mohawk Valley Today
Wreaths, pictures, garlands, candles, trees, ornaments, every day items, primitive and country Christmas items, snowmen – and there were lots of ’em!

Be sure to go all the way to the back room where you’ll find a relaxing place to sit and a warm fire in the stove. During the Open House, we enjoyed live holiday music, hot cocoa and cake that truly hit the spot. The folks at the Garden Bug really did help make us feel welcome and at home!

The Garden Bug Holiday Open House | Amsterdam, NY | Mohawk Valley Today

If you missed the Holiday Open House at the Garden Bug – not to worry! The Garden Bug is now open every day until Christmas! Be sure to stop in and see what they have for you this year! 

The Garden Bug | Amsterdam, NY | Mohawk Valley Today -1

If you have a special event at your locally owned business in the Mohawk Valley, let us know.

Stuff the Bus Toy Drive at Wakefield Furniture | Herkimer NY | Mohawk Valley Today

Stuff the Bus Toy Drive at Wakefield Furniture in Herkimer

The 12th Annual Fidelis Care Stuff the Bus Toy Drive is kicking off the events this year on Saturday, November 16, at Wakefield Furniture on 138 North Main Street in Herkimer. This annual toy drive has collected over 100,000 toys over the past 10 years to give to local charities. Each year, the collected toys are then given out to kids throughout the Mohawk Valley by the local charities. This annual toy drive has collected over 100,000 toys over the past 10 years! Each year, the collected toys are given out to children throughout the Mohawk Valley by the local charities.

Wakefield Furniture sponsors Stuff the Bus

During a recent stop at Wakefield Furniture, we were happy to talk with John about the Stuff the Bus drive. He told us that he’d just received the Stuff the Bus toy collection box that they had in front of their counter. John told us how happy he was that they were involved in the drive to collect toys for local children.

Stuff the Bus Toy Drive at Wakefield Furniture | Herkimer NY | Mohawk Valley Today
Stuff the Bus Toy Drive collect box.

Order furniture online, get delivery throughout the Mohawk Valley.

While talking with John, we took a few minutes to find out more about their online ordering and delivery. We were excited to hear about their new online ordering feature on their website. In addition to online ordering, Wakefield Furniture offers free delivery for folks that live within 50 miles of Herkimer.

Wakefield Furniture | Herkimer, NY | Mohawk Valley Today

We’ve ordered from Wakefield a number of times, and have always been happy with the furniture, delivery and service. In addition to online ordering, they have a showroom with a variety of furniture on the floor. If you don’t see what you’re looking for in the showroom, ask to see their catalogs and you’ll be sure to find what you need.

If you haven’t been to Wakefield Furniture, stop by with a toy to donate to Stuff the Bus and get to know the folks there.

Wakefield Furniture | Herkimer, NY | Mohawk Valley Today
Wakefield Furniture showroom

Herkimer Diamonds are easy to find at Fall Hill Bead and Gem

Recently, I had an opportunity to talk with Kim about their new Herkimer Diamond jewelry. I got to browse the many gems, glass beads, and jewelry. What’s great is that Fall Hill Bead and Gem offers so much to Mohawk Valley residents and visitors alike.

Herkimer diamonds jewelry

Fall Hill Bead and Gem has a truly beautiful selection of Herkimer diamond jewelry. Browse the simple wire wraps, Herkimer diamonds set in sterling silver rings, pendants and earrings. In addition, you’ll find expertly crafted one-of-a-kind designs by Adam. It’s easy to get lost in the faceted Herkimer Diamond jewelry, featuring stones cut from their own stock. Their jewelry is made in house in the jewelry studio.

Fall Hill Bead and Gem | Herkimer Diamonds, Gem, Beads| Little Falls, NY | Mohawk Valley Today

Fall Hill Bead and Gem opened in 2008. Drawn to the area in search of Herkimer Diamonds, Kim and Adam fell in love with Little Falls, NY, moved to the area from Pittsburgh, and decided to open a shop. In order to ensure the best selection, Kim and Adam travel to the Tucson gem show every year. As a result, they bring back handpicked unique crystal and the most beautiful tumbled precious and semi-precious gemstones available.

Create your own jewelry with the Herkimer Diamond beads drilled in-house in the jewelry studio.

Choose from a variety of loose beads like Czech glass, precious gemstones, bone, wood and other natural materials. Most importantly ask Kim about their bead strands and other jewelry making supplies. In addition, you’ll find hemp, leather, satin, elastic cording, as well as finished chains and chain by the foot. Be sure to visit their website at

Fall Hill Bead and Gem | Herkimer Diamonds, Gem, Beads| Little Falls, NY | Mohawk Valley Today

While I have a long list of favorite locally owned shops and restaurants throughout the Mohawk Valley, Fall Hill Bead and Gem on West Main Street in Little Falls, NY, is a frequent stop for me. It’s located right next to That Little Place on Main where we love to get a bite to eat, and across the street from Paca Gardens, where I can get what I need to bundle up for the coming winter.

Mohawk Valley Through the Lens Exhibit at Herkimer College | Mohawk Valley Today

This week has been all about the arts

What a great week we’ve had appreciating the art and talent throughout the Mohawk Valley.

Mohawk Valley Through The Lens

Mohawk Valley Through The Lens Opening had its opening reception in the Cogar Gallery at Herkimer College. It was wonderful to meet Gabe, Cliff and Todd. All of the artists have a talent for capturing the beauty of the Mohawk Valley in their own unique way, showing us all how fortunate we are to be in this place we call home!

Mohawk Valley Through The Lens at the Cogar Gallery, Herkimer College
Oscar Stivala Evolving Exhibit Mohawk Valley Center for the Arts | Mohawk Valley Today

Oscar Stivala’s “Evolving”

In Little Falls, Oscar Stivala’s “Evolving” opened a gallery exhibit at the Mohawk Valley Center for the Arts. As a local artist, he works in a variety of media including acrylics, mixed media, wood, and more. There’s so much that we loved about Stivala’s work including the wonderfully creative use of media and color. What a treat!

Mohawk Valley at Canajoharie by Edward Gay 1876, Oil on Canvas (Detail) Arkell Museum Canajoharie NY | Mohawk Valley Today

Arkell Museum

On Thursday, we visited the Arkell Museum which was a perfect way to slow down on an otherwise busy day. The Arkell Museum‘s galleries are home to a wonderful collection including John Singer Sargent, Windslow Homer, Edward Gay, Edmund Tarbell, and so much more.

The Table at Fort Plain | Mohawk Valley Today

The Table at Fort Plain celebrates seven years in the Mohawk Valley

Recently, we had an opportunity to sit with Chef Aaron and learn more about The Table at Fort Plain and how he got started.

Chef Aaron at The Table at Fort Plain | Mohawk Valley Today

Chef Aaron graduated high school in Fort Plain and went on to study culinary arts at Johnson & Wales University in Providence, RI, before moving on to restaurant operations at Cornell University in Ithaca, NY.

Whenever Aaron came back to the area, he found himself traveling to either Albany or Utica for dinners. He also visited a lot of the Amish auctions and found great produce. Out of that, he saw an opportunity to create a casual dining experience midway between Albany and Utica. Aaron then went to work creating a destination in the Mohawk Valley.

A dining destination from Albany to Utica and everywhere in between

The Table at Fort Plain offers a menu that draws dinner guests from Albany, Schenectady, Cooperstown, Utica and beyond. Using the best locally sourced ingredients in the Mohawk Valley, The Table has a reputation for a wonderfully varied menu in a casual dining experience.

Chef Aaron at The Table at Fort Plain | Mohawk Valley Today

“We only buy choice meat and have a lot of interesting fish, especially in the summer. People come back to The Table as a destination, which has worked out really well for us.”

“It’s a nice drive for a lot of people it’s just beautiful when you come down. Another thing, is about once or twice a month we’ll get, ‘I’m from Albany and my sister or friend is from Utica and The Table is the perfect location for us to meet,’ which is great.”

Each time we have visited The Table at Fort Plain, our dining experience has exceeded expectations.

The menu is always creative and offers opportunities for us to enjoy produce from throughout the Mohawk Valley. The Table’s staff are friendly, experienced and absolutely excellent at what they do. Each menu item offers a chance to experience the food of the valley in a very comfortable setting. Chef Aaron and his team create a menu and place for you so that you can enjoy your dining experience every time you sit down at The Table. Read more about The Table in The Daily Gazette’s recently published article highlighting this great Mohawk Valley restaurant.

The Table at Fort Plain | Mohawk Valley Today
Sautéed Chicken, parrpadelle pasta with Grilled ramp and Beer Battered Haddock over Pommes Gaufrette

The Table at Fort Plain is open Wednesday through Saturday, 5pm to closing. Chef Aaron is offering a special Mother’s Day dinner and menu, so be sure to call during regular business hours (518) 993-8065 and reserve a table.

The Table at Fort Plain | Mohawk Valley Today
Make your Mother’s Day reservations at The Table at Fort Plain.