Our car cuts through the mist that hides the tiny boats from our view. As pairs of fishermen appear on the lake, we locate the sign that guides us to Cordelia's, the fine dining restaurant at the Lake Blackshear Resort and Golf Club at the Georgia Veterans Memorial State Park.
Just outside of Cordele, an hour's drive south of Macon on Interstate 75, the resort has a lodge, villas and lakeside cottages available for anyone who wants a quick and easy get-away. You can also golf, boat or ski-do. But we just came for the food.
Decorated in blues, crimson and wood, the Cordelia's dining room is lovely and modern. The view, though, is the main attraction.
The huge windows allow diners to watch the placid lake attract cranes and egrets as the sun sets beyond.
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In warm weather, you can choose to sit on the wraparound porch and hear the sounds of the view.
We began our meal with a warm bowl of crab bisque, a generous portion considering the $6 price.
Also $6, our appetizer was a plate of Thai chili chicken fritters: the thai-chili glaze was good, but the chicken seemed to be no more than pre-fab chicken strips.
The “breadless salmon BLT” salad was exactly as described, with a plate of greens topped by a perfectly cooked filet of salmon and a pile of crispy bacon.
A citrus vinaigrette would have gone well with it, but the other dressings worked fine.
We also ordered the Club sandwich, made with layers of smoked turkey, ham, bacon and Swiss cheese on a fresh croissant.
Though the total for our elegant meal was a bit high for lunch, it was a wonderful escape from the everyday. Cordelia’s would be a welcome surprise for someone’s special occasion, as you surprise your loved one with a mysterious ride south on the interstate.
In fact, they are offering a special for Valentine’s Day that would be remembered for years to come. For $39.95 per person, you each get a four-course meal: an appetizer, salad, entrée and dessert. The appetizer choices are bacon-wrapped shrimp, the crab bisque or panko-crusted artichoke hearts in lemon garlic butter (the most romantic of the three, even with the garlic). Entrees include a black Angus Delmonico steak au poivre, pistachio–crusted chicken, Caribbean seafood brochettes and crabmeat-stuffed jumbo shrimp.
For dessert, you could go for the cheesecake, chocolate mousse torte or key lime pie, but there’s something about tiramisu that brings out the Valentine in everyone.
If you’ve been saving up for something special, Cordelia’s will be an elegant escape from the usual chain restaurant. You will not find a better view or a quieter atmosphere. Leave the children behind, put on your best duds, maybe even rent a private villa with a balcony to view the lake. Then take a stroll along the lake’s edge after dinner, listening to the crickets and frogs sing their lullabies and good nights as you relax and enjoy the rest of your evening.
Lake Blackshear Resort and Golf Club
2459 U.S. 280 West, Cordele
Payment: cash, credit card
Dress: resort casual
Children’s menu: yes
Vegetarian selections: yes
Wheelchair accessible: yes
Noise level: low
Health code: 100
Hours: 7-10:30 a.m. breakfast, 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m. lunch, 6-10 p.m. dinner Monday-Friday, plus 6-9 p.m. dinner only on Sundays
Price range: $15.95-20.95 for dinner entrees