By: Hope Hefright
Sitting on the Holiday Harbor Marina in Celoron, NY, The Main Landing has just started running year round, and is doing so with great casual dining and friendly service. Their seafood is hailed as a specialty, and, of the 120 people that recommend them on Facebook, the most talked about dishes are corn beef and cabbage, lobster cream sauce, and chicken piccata. The restaurant features a warm, but chic decor inside and a pleasant outdoor eating area. Sitting on the deck, you can overlook the water and look at the ducks or a stunning sunset while you enjoy a meal served hot and delicious.
I’ve been to the restaurant before, but I was craving seafood so I took a trip down to The Main Landing and talked to the owner, Donna Germain (hence the restaurant’s name) about her establishment and food philosophies. While devouring a side salad served with some delicious homemade raspberry dressing, I asked Donna about the restaurant’s start.
What one must understand about Donna is that she is a very lively and easy to talk to woman, so much so that she answered some of my questions before they were even asked. A visitor to the restaurant could probably expect a quick visit from her just checking in on the food or making the patrons feel welcome, which even in a small town is eerily not done enough.
Donna explained that The Main Landing opened in September of 2014, and before that she worked as a banker and also had a real estate license. She claimed that opening a restaurant “was never really a dream or a plan; it just happened.” However, she was determined to make it the best it could be. Donna was sick of bad food and bad service (as many can probably relate to) so when she moved to Jamestown and met a man who owned the marina, she decided her next endeavor was to be creating a place she could entertain and give people a great food experience. She was always the party thrower, so it was important to her that it was a sociable, fun place. According to Donna, the very first menu she sat down to write five years ago is basically the same today.
She had observed that their most popular dishes were the seafood stuffed haddock and their fresh hand-cut steaks. My usual order at The Main Landing, the seafood stuffed haddock, is delicious, and the steak is loved by many Yelp reviewers. The prices aren’t especially low, but I’d say they’re worth it for whatever you order, considering the quality of the meals.
This time, I ordered the shrimp scampi pasta. The shrimp wasn’t fishy, the pasta had just enough butter and garlic, and the meal is served in a really big bowl, which I don’t really understand but enjoy. I would give the meal an 8/10, and definitely would order again.
I continued by inquiring about Donna’s own food tastes. When I asked what Donna’s favorite dish at her restaurant was, she says she didn’t have one and was more likely to eat ramen noodles! Although, one of her favorite restaurants is the Fuji Sushi and Steakhouse in Lakewood, because she likes sushi. She explained that during the summer, The Main Landing will sometimes hold specials like sushi, but just for small period of time. Not putting limited-time items like that on the regular menu ensures that they stay fresh, which is huge for Donna. She is a self-described fanatic about the quality of her restaurant’s food. One of her mottos is “If you wouldn’t eat it, don’t serve it.” The Main Landing’s indoor/outdoor environment comes with a few downfalls, like the increase in mosquitoes outside during the buggiest part of summer. However, if you want to avoid the swampy season, indoor dining is sure to provide you with an air conditioned alternative. This charming establishment is a great place to get homemade food with quality ingredients. Whether you’re on Chautauqua Lake or driving through Lakewood, don’t forget about this gem on the water.