Friday, Jun 23, 2017

Category: Dining

Winchester Inn Restaurant

The Winchester Inn is one of our favorite dining places. The food is innovative, local, seasonal, and prepared with tremendous care. The wine list is superb, full of affordable greats as well as pie in the sky fabulousity, perfect for a range of events. If I were hosting a dinner party, this would be one of my first choices for a venue.

We started by sharing the Mini Wild Mushroom, Bacon, and Filet Mignon Wellingtons – moist chunks of tenderloin spread with mushroom duxelles and encased in a delicate pastry crust. Finished with a port wide reduction, cauliflower and baby pea pods, this is a delicious starter, one of my favorites.


Amuse

One of Ashland’s fine dining options, Amuse is also one of our favorite places for a special occasion meal. The ambiance is elegantly simple, with clean lines and surprisingly comfortable seating. The menu is, of course, seasonal and local, with a few items persisting through the year.


Larks Restaurant

My partner and I have eaten at Lark’s many times over the years, most recently we had lunch with a new friend, Jeff King (currently playing  XX in The Imaginary Invalid).

First off, I appreciate the fact that they offer non-Coke/Pepsi sodas, so you can actually have sugar instead of man-made chemicals in your drink. Then, they do an excellent job of providing a menu made from locally sourced and organic providers.

I had the house salad. This is a large plate of field greens (which vary by season) with goat cheese, candied hazelnuts, aged rosemary goat cheese and a marionberry balsamic vinaigrette. Served with a side of bread, this is a delicious salad that fills you up.

The boys had grilled cheese and soup. Half of a grilled Tillamook cheddar sandwich with tomato served alongside a cup of (that day) tomato-basil soup. The sandwich was golden on the outside and gooey on the inside and perfectly matched the sweet-sour tanginess of the tomato soup.

Service was a little odd; I think our server was in training. She did great, but the fact that her ‘work; was checked up on by another overly-inquisitive server was unsettling. Then again, it may be the fact that we were sitting with a celebrity. Three sodas and our meals came to less than $40 (not including our tip).

We often have a meal at Larks when we visit, and we think they are best at lunch and brunch. (Brunch is particularly fun as the menu changes based on what is available from local farmers, creameries, meat producers, and seafood providers.)


Greenleaf Restaurant

Greenleaf is a lot of fun, especially during the warmer months when you can sit outside along the river. We were there on a chilly fall morning, so we sat inside.

We had a fairly typical breakfast: French toast for me, a ‘full house’ for him (two eggs, meat, and a choice of toast, muffin, scone, or bagel). The orange juice was fresh squeezed, the apple juice top quality. I had the bacon as a side, and it was lovely to have that natural (no nitrates) taste alongside the sweetness of the syrup. All of the food was well-prepared and tasty.

Service was good – she came by enough so that our water glasses remained full and coffee (a friend sat with us) remained hot and plentiful. Our breakfast, including juice and sides, came to $31 (not including tip).

Serving breakfast until noon, Greenleaf is an excellent choice for a good meal and a good price.