Tuesday, September 2, 2008

An Almost Perfect Meal

Hope everyone here in the U.S. had a great long weekend. To avoid spending three days driving 70 miles back and forth to see the horses, we booked a room at a bed and breakfast and enjoyed a little mini vacation.

The greatest thing about staying out in Vernon for the weekend is that we're close to the Iron Forge Inn. Have you all grown tired of my telling you how much I love the Iron Forge Inn? I'm sure that everyone in the blogsphere and on the foodie forums is tired of me saying how much I love the Iron Forge Inn, but I don't care. I would shout it from the moutaintop so the whole world could hear if I could. I love it that much and I want everyone to know about it.

This is the first time I ever went there with a camera, so now I'm not just going to treat you to a description of my meal, I'm giving you photos too.

Our meal was wonderful until the very end, so read on and find out why...

It's even adorable from the outside. It's set back on a lonely country road. I'm amazed people find it.

We arrived for our 7 PM reservation and were seated in the cozy Lincoln Room. I tend to prefer the porch, but I guess they feel the Lincoln Room is more romantic for two people. We had a nice table in the corner near the fireplace.

We really are in the corner here, but Kevin doesn't seem to mind.

Right from the beginning there is a lot to be happy about. We had nice fruity cocktails and warm, fresh bread. Kevin drank an apple martini. I had something with melon and raspberry. As the desinated driver, I was cut off after this.

Next they brought out our complimentary amusee` bouche. This was a potato croquette sitting on a bed of goat cheese and drizzled with truffle honey. It was very delicious.

But no matter how hard we tried, Kevin and I just couldn't photograph it properly.

For our first course Kevin opted for a mixed greens salad topped with candied walnuts. It is supposed to have gorgonzola on it, but Sir Pickypants asked for it to be left off. (I can't blame him as I don't like gorgonzola either.)

I had ricotta gnocchi that were sauteed and served over a beef ragout. The gnocchi had nice crisp brown spots on them. They were light and fluffy and probably the best gnocchi I have ever eaten. The beef has a sweet spice going on. I could taste hints of cinnamon and possibly star anise.

I never did figure out what the long green thing on top was though.

Kevin had a monkfish special for his entree. I opted for a duck breast. The duck was a wee bit tough, but perfectly cooked in a way that reminded me of a grilled steak. There was a really nice charred area on the outside that had just the right amount of sweetness.

The duck strips rested on two potato "pierogis" that reminded me of mini knishes. Beneath that were cider glazed carrots. All of that sat in a pool of pureed almonds.

This is when things went downhill a bit.

We had a 7PM reservation. We were finished with our entrees at 8:05 and were commenting on how quickly we had been served, but that we had never felt rushed. Our meal was very well timed. It seemed that we jinxed ourselves.

Our server, who was very nice as all IFI employees are, brought us our dessert menus and took our orders. Kevin ordered a glass of muscat, while I chose an espresso. Our after-dinner beverages arrived eventually, but we still so no sign of dessert. The waitress apologized when she brought our drinks and said our desserts were coming, but we still didn't see them.

We continued waiting. The waitress came again and apologized and assured us our desserts were on their way. At this point, 20 minutes have gone by. It was 8:25. We joked that the Bellvale Creamery closed at 9 and if we left quickly, we could take a short drive up the moutain and get some ice cream.

Finally desserts arrived. We have no clue what held them up.

For me, a trio of creme brulee. There was coffee, chocolate, and a raspberry-vanilla.

Kevin opted for a simple parfait of ice cream splashed with Frangelico.

Need I tell you the Bellavale Creamery supplies the ice cream for this restaurant? Of course I don't.

Another delicious meal at my favorite restaurant. The dessert glitch was annoying, but the desserts were delicious, the setting beautiful, the service friendly and the meal, as creative and satisfying as always.

I can't wait to come back here for Kevin's birthday in October.


Maria said...

Looks like a great meal!! Glad you had fun!

Sue said...

I love having a place that you know will always be good. I wonder what the hold-up was for dessert, but it all sounds wonderful.

StickyGooeyCreamyChewy said...

I'm so glad you had a wonderful time! The food looks to die for! I can see why you love the place.

noble pig said...

Those desserts were dang amazing! Worth the wait it seems.

Adam said...

All of the meals look really, really nice. I love the presentation on your duck with the carrots.

I think we've all been through dessert glitches, which is weird because you know most of the dessert is 'ready to go'. It's not like they make a pie from scratch when you first order it :)

You get to go again in October? I don't blame ya... if it's not broke, don't fix it :)

Emiline said...

Well, both desserts look magnificent. I think I would have picked the trio as well, but you have to admit the parfait looks really good.

They should have told you what was up with the desserts. Oh well, guess that's the restaurant business.

I actually like gorgonzola, but sometimes I forget how strong it is.

A_and_N said...

Hi! First time visitor :) Looks like one fab evening you had there :)

Darius T. Williams said...

The food looks mighty nice!!!


Bellini Valli said...

This sounds like my kind of mini vacation:D I love B & B's:D

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

Thanks all for your comments.

Em, Sue, Adam - I wish I had known what was up. I might have been a little more understanding. Kevin said the waitress might have been new.

NP - Yeah. After all of that, they were worth the wait. Heck, if we had decided to skip dessert and just drive up to the ice cream place, we would have waited longer!

fearlesschef said...

Did you taste the "long green thing"? I was wondering if it might be some sort of a scape. Like a garlic scape? But probably not given the season... just a thought