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Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Traveling for Great Meals

My husband and I took off on Sunday for a much needed (and twice postponed) three night get-away. This time we managed to actually make it to our destination but we were called back after two nights - our daughter was sick, again...Nothing serious, but important that we make it back early.

Regardless of the disappointment at cutting our trip short, we had a wonderful time -we did exactly what we set out to do...relax and reconnect. We went to West Dover, VT. and stayed at a truly terrific inn - The Deerhill Inn. ( It was so beautiful and truly lived up to our expectations. We stayed in the Garden Suite - a two bedroom, one bathroom, space with a fireplace, a couch and cozy chairs and an over-sized whirlpool tub fit for two. The view of Mt. Snow (where I learned to ski, incidentally!) was unreal. We arrived after a quick four hour drive and relaxed with a complimentary bottle of champagne and Lake Champlain chocolates, as well as a lovely basket of water, fruit, and homemade cookies. Soon we were both refreshed and ready for dinner.

The innkeepers, Stan and Michael, were warm and accommodating. We enjoyed talking to them both and Michael is the Inn's chef. His creations were delicious. Sunday night we stumbled back to our room a little giddy with too much wine and very full.

Michael baked rolls that were so perfect I had to eat more than one. We started with a rabbit and pistachio terrine followed by our appetizers. I had an olive oil braised artichoke heart served with fresh tomato and mozzarella - it was delicious. My husband ate a crab cake that was so delicate and fresh we could barely believe it was actually crab! Then we each had a simple salad that we raved about - and my husband doesn't often rave about salad! It was Boston Bibb lettuce with shavings of Pecorino Romano, pieces of Ricotta Salata and pignoli nuts served with sea salt, fresh lemon juice and a drizzle of olive oil. Ohh man!

Next I had a breast of veal that was so unreal - but I could not eat the whole thing...I thought I was going to pop! My husband had lamb that was equally as delicious.

The next morning we were served breakfast in bed (when was the last time you did that???) The homemade muffins were perfect and still warm when we got them! I snagged the only chocolate chip one in the basket.

We explored the area, enjoyed lunch at a local sandwich shop in Manchester Village and then made our way back toward Brattleboro to scope out the Grafton Cheese Shop ( We watched them make cheddar from the viewing windows and we purchased gifts and cheese, of course! I'm anxious to eat it all tomorrow for dinner with a loaf of very crusty bread.

And our last night at the Inn was just as perfect as the first. As we ate, we sat overlooking the mountain and watched birds and little red squirrels playing on a tree. Our meal was a 6-course tasting menu that was included in the package we obtained from Luxury Link ( We had cream of cauliflower soup with chives, asparagus wrapped in prosciutto - roasted with a cream sauce, lamb carpaccio - unreal! - followed by another delicious salad of greens and goat cheese, walnuts, and a creamy vinaigrette. Next we had the best salmon I've ever had. It was wrapped in pancetta and roasted with a sherry-vinegar sauce and accompanied by roasted ribbons of yellow and green zucchini. It was out of this world - I asked for the "recipe" which I knew I was not likely to get but I did get a visit from the Chef who gave me a quick "how-to," which will have to suffice. Finally we finished our savory part of the meal with a Long Island duck in a cherry sauce, stuffed with portobello mushrooms and wrapped with chard and served over lentils. Very creative and the flavors were delightful together.

Desserts on both nights were elegant and delicious. The second night appealed to me more - it was mint ice cream! How could the chef have know how much I LOVE mint ice cream??

This was a very romantic inn with food and rooms that created just such an atmosphere. If you're searching for a hide-away, I would recommend the Deerhill Inn over and above any place we've stayed in a very long time.

Thanks Stan and Michael!

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