Last Friday night I had one of the most intriguing entrees that I’ve ever eaten. Â You remember that BG whisked me away for my 35th birthday, right? Â As part off our reservations at the Mast Farm Inn, we were scheduled to have dinner there on Saturday night, leaving Friday’s dinner up for grabs. Â Upon recommendation from the Inn Keeper we decided to try Crippen’s in the nearby mountain town of Blowing Rock.
The weather was perfect, so we opted to dine al fresco in the front garden.
We were warned, both by the Maitre’D and our server that a family of ducks lived there so that we wouldn’t be alarmed if they decided to come fuss at us for dining in their happy home. Â Fortunately they did not decide to fuss, but I was at least hoping to catch a glimpse of them.
I have to say, for a “country inn restaurant” in a relatively small town, this place had quite an eclectic menu and a wine list to match. Â For apps we enjoyed Popcorn Dusted Sea Scallops with Bacon Creamed Corn.
Yes, that’s actual crumbled popcorn on the top. Â We also had a little bread with our choice of three dipping or spreading options: Â homemade butter, white bean hummus, or olive oil infused with a Scotch Bonnet pepper.
Let me tell you, that last one had a kick! Â Of course, no lovely dinner out is complete without a nice bottle of wine. Â Our server told us that all the wines in the list had been hand picked by the chef to compliment the current menu, so anything we chose would be complimentary to our meal. Â We decided to go with an Australian Shiraz.
Of course, I’ve got to do my thing.
It was nice, but given the richness of my entree I think I would have preferred a full-bodied Cab. Â And speaking of entrees…
That’s what this whole post is boiling down to. Â BG ordered a Juniper Marinated Venison Tenderloin.
Oh, and FYI – it was floating in a Blueberry Sauce with Truffle Goat Cheese Mashed Potatoes on the side. Â I just want to make sure y’all got all that –
TRUFFLE GOAT CHEESE MASHED POTATOES!!!
The only thing I can manage to say about that is – DDDAAAAMMMMNNN! Â Truth be told, even though they came with BG’s entree, I ate about half of them. 🙂
As awesome as those potatoes were, I have to admit that they were not the star of the show. Â That, instead, would be my entree – the Bittersweet Chocolate Infused Espresso Crusted Beef Tenderloin with Irish Cream Sauce and White Cheddar Potato Au Gratin.
Now, the concept of cocoa, coffee, and steak was not new to me. Â While on our 10th anniversary trip to the Russian River Valley, I enjoyed an Espresso Crusted Filet in a Cocoa Cabernet Sauce at Mosaic in Forestville, CA. Â Let me tell you, that was out of this world! Â Needless to say, I was expecting something similar this time around. Â But what I got…
was chocolate OOZING out of my steak as I cut into it. Â Seriously. Â No, SERIOUSLY!! Â Check out that pick again. Â Please note the oozing!
According to our server, it is prepared by slicing the tenderloin and having a bittersweet chocolate square placed inside before it is then rolled in crushed espresso beans and cooked. Â It sounds weird but it was INCREDIBLE. Â I, of course, let BG have a bite of this unique dish. Â He agreed with me, but stated “It’s hard to tell whether that is dinner or dessert.”
I didn’t care, though. Â How many times in her life does a girl get to say she had CHOCOLATE STEAK for dinner?