I have enjoyed three delicious meals at Chez Lin & Rays (www.chezlinandraysllc.com) over the last two weeks. As always, the warm, welcoming service and the panoramic view Lake Champlain win me over the moment I step into the dining room. Again and again. But this summer I’ve been consistently and repeatedly impressed with the healthy creativity that Tristan has infused into the menu.
I recently caught up with Tristan Faville following yet another delicious dinner at Chez Lin & Rays. Obviously I thanked her, but a simple “Thank you!” doesn’t quite encompass the depth of gratitude (and pride) that many of us feel for the Faville family.
Everyone that I’ve spoken with is impressed with what Tristan and Linda and their dedicated staff have achieved over the last year. Personally I’m especially thrilled with the delicious, nutrition-minded focus that Tristan is bringing to the restaurant. Unfortunately my diet is constrained by gluten and dairy restrictions, but I can always count on a delicious, healthy meal at Chez Lin & Rays. With a stunning view!
If you haven’t already stopped in for Taco Tuesday, I strongly recommend it. I wanted to share a photograph of the most delicious shrimp tacos I’ve ever eaten. But I forgot and ate them undocumented. Sorry. They were sensational. No exaggeration.
Bear in mind that I eat amazing tacos in Santa Fe during much of the year, so it really surprised me to discover that Tristan could contend with the best Southwest taco gurus. Her shrimp tacos were served with orange barbecue, mango salsa, corn tortilla, and coconut curry rice.
I almost skipped the tacos. I love curry, but a curry-taco pairing seemed to stretch fusion cooking boundaries a fit too far. And I was flat wrong. Fortunately our charming server convinced me to give them a try, and — Oh, my! — was I grateful for the encouragement. Maybe if we all lobby Tristan she’ll serve them again?
I asked Tristan to explain a little bit about the taco night concept, and here’s what she had to say.
“Taco night was the result of a more general desire to express our creativity and to have fun, especially during those off-season weekday evenings when business can be a bit sluggish at times. Going back several years, my parents, my brother and I would all toss around grand ideas that seemed plausible at the time. Various theme nights, taco night, even a game show trivia night were all proposed. One year, a friend even special ordered a few chef aprons that read “Chez Bombay” in honor of our impending Indian theme night. (It of course never actually materialized…) It became a sort of little joke: during our first month open we all eagerly wanted to spice things up, bring more business in, but as soon as the season hit, and we were all so crazy busy, the topic of theme nights mysteriously disappeared from conversation. This year my mom and I decided to just do it, and taco night was the obvious first choice. We love tacos, and from past years’ experience, when my dad served up extremely popular fish tacos, we knew that people would enjoy them. So far we’ve had Cajun salmon tacos, shrimp tacos, and pulled pork tacos with various accompaniments. Going forward, we’ll do Taco Tuesday each week, with rotating taco specials as well as our full menu.” — Tristan Faville (June 15, 2018)
Many thanks for your taste-bud-tantalizing tacos, Tristan!
And lest you conclude that Chez Lin & Rays culinary creativity stops with Taco Tuesday, here are some more tasty (and beautiful) dishes I’ve enjoyed recently.
There’s praise a-plenty to lavish upon Chez Lin & Rays, but I’ll wrap up with Tristan’s response to my complements and — drumroll, please — an introduction to my new favorite summertime desert, Tristan’s absolutely addictive s’mores.
In her perennially understated manner Tristan downplayed my thanks graciously and expressed genuine pleasure that Chez Lin & Rays have been appreciating the new menu items. “I am grateful to have an outlet to create meals for people that can be both satisfying and nutritious,” she said. I assure you, Tristan, we are the winners in this equation. Thank you.
Now, for Tristan’s ultra decadent twist on a s’more.
It’s time to revisit this childhood summer staple, friends. The chocolate is homemade, dark, creamy, and flecked with subtle hints of crystalized ginger. Two s’mores that will leave you longing for more, more, more. And, if you happen to be gluten-free and/or dairy free, Tristan can accommodate you too. It is perfection.
Chez Lin & Rays
Here’s what you need to know so that you can reserve a prime spot for dinner.
- 2270 Lakeshore Road, Essex, NY 12936
- (518) 963-4024
- May: Wednesday – Sunday 5:00pm – 9:00pm
- June, September, October: Tuesday – Sunday 5:00pm – 9:00pm, Closed Mondays
- July & August: Monday – Sunday 5:00pm – 9:00pm
And here are a few last photos to tempt you further…