‘What A Great Spot!’
The Main Landing On Chautauqua Lake
“I love what I do. I live, eat and breathe it,” says Donna Germain, owner of The Main Landing, a restaurant located on Chautauqua Lake. “I never planned on opening a restaurant. It wasn’t like a dream. I honestly just dropped by and thought ‘what a great spot.'”
“My attitude is ‘just do it.'” she says. “When I first opened on Sept. 10, 2014, I didn’t know if anyone would come or how many would.”
Germain’s experiences of seeing overpriced food and bad service while traveling throughout the country have given her a drive toward excellency and a level of service people admire.
“Our motto is ‘Awesome food, excellent service and a beautiful view,'” she says. “Dining should be a pleasant experience. I am truly concerned about any little issue. I am open year-round, because I want the locals to come in and be able to enjoy the lake. This is why I keep my prices low. Our breakfasts are $3-$8. They couldn’t be more affordable.”
“Each week we have features such as Ahi Tuna, Osso Bucco and great seafood selections,” says the restaurateur. “Our broiled stuffed haddock is popular.”
“And it is delicious,” interjects Levi Swanson, a salesman representing a local distributor.
Germain tells how the pot roast is roasted for 14 hours. Pot Roast Bobbers, which consist of jalapeno potato bites topped with slow-roasted pot roast, cheddar cheese, shredded lettuce and tomatoes served with sour cream is The Main Landing’s version of nachos. Their fish fry is served with hand-cut French fries and homemade cole slaw.
“We customize meals to people’s needs. We can make anything people want on menu,” Germain says.
All of the meats are quality cuts as well.
“All of our chicken is fresh and hand-pounded. All steaks are hand-cut. All dressings are homemade. Everything is homemade,” she says with pride. “We try to use the freshest ingredients. We grow our own basil, dill, mint and parsley and lettuce, tomatoes and onions in season.”
According to Germain, the restaurant is now beginning to make its own ginger beer, which will be used to prepare Moscow Mules.
The restuarant has been known to attract people from all over.
“Carolyn Palmer of New York City, the world-renowned sculptor of the new less scary Lucy, held a party for her friends here after the unveiling,” Germain says. “She enjoyed it.”
Overlooking Chautauqua Lake, the restaurant has gotten many five star reviews. It is Germain’s vision to have others running the restaurant in three to five years.
“I will add to the menu and plan to remain hands-on until I die. My right hand person is Abbey Anderson. Despite her young children and family life, she’s sacrificed time from her family to help ensure the well-being of the restaurant.”
Germain does not consider herself to be like other restaurant owners, since she performs every task from prepping and cooking to bartending, serving and cleaning the restaurant and bathrooms.
“As much as I appreciate all of the help I have, I know I’ll never be stranded if I have to fill in in all aspects of the restaurant,” she says.
Most importantly, she is the chef and in charge of the kitchen, though she says she appreciates her “excellent kitchen staff,” Alan, Ali and Alex.
Although she has enjoyed cooking throughout the years, this is her first venture in the food service/hospitality field.
“I was a mortgage banker until the market turn-down. I want to do so many things. I’ve worked for Lancome doing make-up, for Chautauqua Opportunities as an asset development specialist and I have a realtor’s license.”
Germain says her love for cooking came from 4H, and winning second place in a cherry dessert contest when she was in fourth grade.
“I’ve always cooked, tried different recipes,” she says. “I was always the one doing the parties. I’ve always done graduation parties for friends and family. I would make the food when we had a class reunion.”
Germain resides in Bemus Point with her husband, Karl, who is employed by Chautauqua Brick Company. She is a member of Bemus Point United Methodist Church, but attends Church on the Rock with her daughter’s family. They have three children: Ashley Kaczar, who originally went into business with her mother, is now married, has three children and lives in Bemus Point; Aaron Germain is a server and bartender at his mother’s business, having recently left the Army and who will be continuing his education in Criminal Justice; and Austin Germain is a corporate recruiter living in Tampa, Florida.
The Main Landing is located at 142 Boulevard at Holiday Harbor Marina, a few blocks from the two Lucy statues in Celoron. Currently they are open Wednesday-Friday 4-9 p.m., Saturday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. for breakfast. Hours Memorial Day to Labor Day are Tuesday-Thursday 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
1/2 lb cooked fettuccine noodles
1/2 cup butter
1/3 cup heavy cream
2/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
Salt and Pepper to taste
While pasta is still hot, add butter, cream and cheese. Toss with forks to mix. Add salt and pepper. Serve immediately. Makes 2-3 servings.
1 1/2 lbs ground beef (80/20)
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 small green pepper, finely chopped
3 stalks celery, finely chopped
salt and pepper to taste
15 oz tomato sauce
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tsp dry mustard
1 T molasses
Brown meat with first 4 ingredients, cooking until the celery, onion and pepper are soft. Drain off excess fat. Return to pan and add the next 5 ingredients. Simmer about 1-1.5 hours.
Cream of Mushroom Soup
1 lb fresh mushrooms
1/2 cup butter
1 tsp lemon juice
1 small onion sliced
1/3 cup flour
3 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 cup heavy cream
Remove stems from mushrooms and set aside. Slice mushroom caps. In a 4 quart sauce pan, cook sliced mushrooms in butter and lemon juice until tender. Remove with slotted spoon. Add stems and onion and cook until tender. Stir in flour until well blended, stirring constantly. Gradually stir in broth and cook until thickened. Pour half mixture into blender and blend on high speed until smooth. Repeat with the other half. Return mixture to saucepan. Add mushroom slices and salt and pepper. Reheat until soup is just boiling.
Poppy Seed Dressing
11/2 cups sugar
2 tsp dry mustard
1 tsp salt
2/3 cup apple cider vinegar
2 cups vegetable oil
3 T poppy seeds
Combine sugar, mustard, salt and vinegar in blender. Slowly add oil, blending until thick. Stir in poppy seeds. Store in airtight container in refrigerator. Makes about 3 cups.
1/4 lb butter
1/4 cup honey
3 cups quick or regular rolled oats
1 cup flaked coconut
1 cup raw sunflower seeds
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup wheat germ
2/3 cup golden raisins
In a large baking pan, melt butter and stir in honey. Add oats, coconut, sunflower seeds and cinnamon. Stir together until coated. Bake at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes, stirring several times. Stir in wheat germ and bake an additional 10 minutes or longer until it is lightly browned. Remove from oven. Stir in raisins and cool completely before storing in airtight container. Makes about 6 cups.
Strawberry Pretzel Salad
2 cups crushed pretzels
3/4 cup melted butter
3 T sugar
8 oz cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
8 oz whipped topping
2-3 oz packages strawberry flavored gelatin
2 cups boiling water
2-10 oz packages frozen strawberries (keep frozen)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Stir together pretzels, butter and sugar; mix well and press into the bottom of a 9“x 13” baking dish. Bake 8-10 minutes or until set. Set aside to cool. In a large mixing bowl cream together cream cheese and sugar. Fold in whipped topping. Spread onto cooled crust. Refrigerate. Dissolve gelatin in boiling water. Stir in frozen strawberries and allow mixture to set a little. Pour and spread over cream cheese layer. Refrigerate until set.
1 lb fresh broccoli, steamed
1 cup sour cream
6 slices American cheese
round buttered-flavored cracker crumbs
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/2 cup cooking sherry
2-3 butterflied chicken breasts (partially cooked)
1 stack crackers (crushed)
1/2 cup melted butter
Preheat oven to 375. Arrange broccoli in a shallow buttered or sprayed 9“x 12” pan. Place chicken on top. Lay cheese over chicken. Mix soup, sour cream and sherry together and pour over top of cheese. Cover with crumbs. Bake for 30 minutes or until chicken is cooked and crumbs are golden brown.
5 cups sliced tart apples (about 5-6 medium)
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup quick oats
3/4 tsp cinnamon
3/4 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup softened butter
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Arrange apples in a greased 8“x 8” baking dish. Mix remaining ingredients; sprinkle over apples. Bake until apples are tender, about 30 minutes. Serve warm with whipped cream or ice cream.
2-3 boneless chicken breasts that have been butterflied and pounded.
6 T butter, divided
5-6 T extra virgin olive oil, divided
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup chicken stock or dry white wine
1/4 brined capers, rinsed
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley
Season chicken with salt & pepper and dredge in flour. Shake off the excess flour. Melt 2 T butter with 3 tbsp oil. Cook half of the chicken for 2-3 minutes on each side until light golden brown. Remove from pan. Add remaining butter and oil and cook remaining chicken. Remove from pan. Add lemon juice, stock and capers. Bring to a slow boil scraping brown bits from the pan. Return chicken to pan and simmer for about 5 minutes. Remove chicken from pan and whisk sauce. Serve over pasta or with your favorite vegetable.
Macaroni & Cheese
1/2 lb elbow macaroni or spirals, cooked
1 cup milk
1lb cheese (I use Velveeta and what ever I have in the fridge-American, Swiss, cheddar, etc.)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Heat milk in large sauce pan. Cut cheese into small pieces and add to hot milk, stirring until cheese melts. Add parmesan cheese. Add hot drained pasta to hot cheese sauce. Mix well and serve. You can add broccoli, lobster, imitation crab, ground beef or whatever you would like.