GLENS FALLS — When you visit Morgan & Co. restaurant in Glens Falls, you get more than an amazing dining experience.
You get a bit of Adirondack history.
Glens Falls lumber baron William McEchron built the 2 1/2-story house where the restaurant is now located on the corner of Ridge and Maple streets in 1891, modeling it after Queen Anne and Romanesque Revival designs and using sandstone to construct the first story and the two stone arches.
The restaurant, located across from Glens Falls City Park, features an Adirondack wrap-around porch and courtyard that give one the feel of the city’s rich lumbering history.
After William, and later his daughter, passed away in the early part of the 20th century, the home—which is on the National Register of Historic Places—eventually ended up in the hands of the city of Glens Falls. For many years, it was used as a county health center and the headquarters for a number of charitable organizations.
Falling into disrepair over the years and deemed too expensive to renovate, the city had planned to raze it to make room for a parking lot. Instead, it was rescued and converted into the Morgan & Co. restaurant, which opened in 2014.
Glens Falls native Rebecca Newell-Butters, who owns the restaurant with her husband, Steve Butters, joked that some of her customers will tell her they remember getting their shots there, to which she replies, “Well, you still can”—at the restaurant’s bar.
Morgan & Co. Restaurant co-owners Steve Butters and Rebecca Newell-Butters
“It’s got a nice feel,” she says of this historic building and late-19th-century architecture. “People can experience Adirondack history on the original porch and the courtyard.”
The restaurant offers much more than atmosphere and childhood memories of medical procedures, though.
Newell-Butters and her husband are both chefs.
Rebecca, who graduated from Glens Falls High School, has traveled the world sampling native cuisine.
She attended New England Culinary Institute in Burlington, Vermont, and eventually moved to Boston, where she worked at the Union Bar and Grille, Coriander Bistro, Aquitaine Bis, The Beehive and The Beat Hotel. In 2009, she appeared on and won the Food Network’s reality show “Chopped,” according to the restaurant website.
Her husband, Stephen, whom she met while both were working in Boston, attended the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts and also honed his craft in the famous Boston restaurant scene.
Like his wife, Steve also appeared on the Food Network, on the program “Sweet Genius,” which features chefs competing against one another using unusual ingredients to make desserts.
The couple moved back to Glens Falls and eventually started the restaurant. Rebecca says Steve, an avid hunter and fisherman, enjoys the area perhaps more than she does.
She said the best part about operating a restaurant in Glens Falls is meeting the people, many of whom are transplants like her husband.
“It’s a fantastic group. ... Every day, I’m glad to be here. It’s a good place to live,” she says, noting how nice it is to smell the sweet air when she’s outside walking her dog.
Rebecca says she’s a firm believer in sustainable agriculture. She says they populate the menu with what’s in season in order to provide the freshest ingredients.
That’s reflected on the restaurant’s extensive menu, which includes freshly caught local trout and steak from grass-fed cattle. The restaurant also offers a variety of appetizers, desserts (naturally) and a children’s menu.
Among the popular items are the candied garlic spare ribs, the Charleston she-crab soup, and the meat and fish items, including char-grilled filet mignon, Swordfish Milanese, salmon and barbecued oysters. The carving station features roast beef tenderloin, roast New York strip, turkey, maple bone-in ham and roast leg of lamb, served with au jus, horseradish cream sauce, popovers and scalloped potatoes. Morgan & Co. also offers a pasta station and a New England clam bake.
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The restaurant offers catering and room for parties of 30 to 300. Two private event spaces can hold 30 to 40 guests each, and the combined lounge and private dining areas can accommodate up to 150. The warmer months allow visitors to dine in the outdoor courtyard, giving the restaurant a capacity of 200-300.