Tuesday, January 09, 2007

The Inn at Irish Hollow

Kurt and I had a great weekend in Galena, IL. It's a historic 1800's circa town, most of which is on the historic registry. Money was made from steamboats and lead mines. Kurt got a "night on the town" cash bonus from work so we used it to treat ourselves to something we wouldn't otherwise be willing to spend our own money. I did some internet research (remember how you used to have to write away for information or get a Frommer's guide?) and found an inn out in the hinterlands of Galena which offered a 2 night package that included 2 "lavish" country breakfasts and a 7 course meal on Saturday night.

www.irishhollow.com is where we ended up. It's down a long, winding road (especially long in the dark) outside of Galena. The innkeeper said the area was named because it reminded the settlers of Ireland. The inn is in an Old General store and attached house. They also have 3 or 4 guest cottages. We stayed in the main inn.

Our room was upstairs. We had a sitting room with a fireplace, a private bath, and a bedroom with a four poster bed with lots and lots of down pillows and duvets. I ordered foam for Kurt's side of the bed.

Friday night we drove back into town and had dinner at Vinny Vanucchi's www.vinnyvanucchis.com ( I should really figure out how to hyperlink). It's up a couple of flights of stairs and takes up a few floors. We had some fried ravioli with a spicy mariara sauce and a bottle of Asti. Kurt had a seafood linguini dish and I had chicken piccata. Both were yummy. We each got some (terrible) cheesecake to go. We took a short (less treachorous) cut back to the inn where we curled up by the fire and had some quiet time.

Food was a big theme of the weekend. I'm still pretty full! Breakfast was served between 9 and 10 am. I was hoping for bacon....boy was I ever wrong! It was 3 courses
  1. Fresh pineapple 1/4 with bits of pomegranite, peach, pear, and apple.
  2. A warm taffy apple bread with a caramel ginger sauce
  3. A chorizo, green and red pepper, and cheese quesillida with a tarragon hollandaise with poached eggs.

It took an hour to eat. Then we had a nap. Then we waddled into town where we walked and shopped. We also toured President Grant's home. I had been there when I was a little kid. It seemed pretty much the same to me. Suggested donation for admission was $3. We had our own personal tour guide who answered lots of questions for us.

I'm not much of a shopper anymore. After a few hours I was ready to head back to the inn. The drive is gorgeous in the daylight. We saw a home we could buy for 1.75 million that had a fanatastic view, but needed a lot of work. We read, played scrabble and had a nap. Dinner was to be served at 7 o'clock.

We traipsed downstairs for dinner. Each table had candles and a bottle of wine. A different innkeeper (there a three of them) served us dinner. He was very nice and informative. All of their ingrediants are fresh and many of them are organic. They are self taught cooks. Dinner was a production. The food just kept coming!

  1. Cheese and tarragon stuffed portabello mushroom cap
  2. Roasted Apple and Butternut squash bisque with creme fraiche
  3. Stilton cheese tart with a cranberry conserve
  4. Kiwi lime sorbet
  5. Mixed greens salad with spiced pumpkin seeds, kumquat, shaved paremesan and pear wedges with a pomegranite, balsamic vinegar, honey, and olive oil dressing
  6. Damison (spelling) cherry glazed tenderloin of beef with roasted vegetables (potatos, sweet potatos, garlic, beets, and brussel sprouts) and corn pudding
  7. Peppermint cheesecake with chocolate ganache

And a bottle of 2004Cabarenet Sauvignon and Rosemary bread with rosemary infused butter.

NOW those of you that know me are probably laughing. I tried everything. The beef was fantastic so was the salad. Kurt made a terrible face with the bisque. As we got further into the meal, I asked what he liked the best. He replied, "The bisque". It ended up being the corn pudding (which is something I make). Two and a half hours later we waddled upstairs for more scrabble and antacids. I don't know how people eat like that. We are not haute or nouvelle cuisine kind of people. I think a fancy or a Food Network chef's restaurant would be wasted on me. Having a predeteremined menu required I be adventurous. I've had this gagging problem for a while. So I got a visit of that when we got upstairs, too.

Kurt finally managed to beat me at scrabble. He got ticked off at losing 7 games in a row and played for blood. He "pasted my ass" in his words 309 to 240.

Sunday morning soon arrived and it was once again time to eat. I didn't want to think about it, but downstairs we went. We paced ourselves.

  1. Brown sugar grilled grapefruit half
  2. Bread pudding with a pure maple cream sauce
  3. Ham (i think) and roasted red pepper stuffed croissant with a red pepper cream sauce and herb scrambled eggs.

Overall, the weekend was very relaxing. Kurt was shocked at the lack of internet, tv, phone, and radio. I relaxed right away and he was just getting into it when it was time to leave. It was nice to getaway. Now we need to plan our anniversary destination!


Marnie said...

I want to go there! It sounds fabulous. Todd would never eat that stuff though. How was the Stilton tart?

Heather said...

It was good, but I could only eat about half of it. The berries helped cut the cheese lol. Maybe we should do a girls weekend!

Rachel said...

Your weekend sounds fantastic! I would never get Eric to eat any of that, but a girls weekend would be fun! I am glad you were able to relax.

Kurt said...

The Stilton was a bit strong but it was an interesting experience. I really liked the corn pudding. Next time we travel I'm going to read the website a little more closely. But I finally won at Scrabble.