Sunday, April 18
Picture, Picture, Picture!
I am foodie first, blogger second. As much as I remind myself that I have to photograph the food that I've ordered to prepare for my weekly blog, when it arrives, the visual attraction usually triggers my Pavlovian response to consume the food, short circuiting the reminder in my brain to take the photograph first. Hence, if you were to scroll through all past photos on this blog that I have taken, you will notice upon careful inspection that at least one bite has already been taken. Thus, on our recent trip to Fearrington Village this past weekend to celebrate our 10th anniversary, after having forgotten to photograph my brunch of eggs benedict with smoked salmon washed down with mimosas, and high tea of fragrant Darjeeling tea with finger sandwiches, scones and carrot cake served on a tiered-plate stand, my husband and I were determined to remember to photograph first and eat second for dinner at the Fearrington House Restaurant.
If you have been to the Fearrington Village (http://www.fearrington.com/house/), you will know that it is one of North Carolina's best kept secrets. The hotel is top notch - spacious rooms set within the village, which itself is scattered with the best of English gardens. It was a visual treat, with tulips, pansies, and a host of other spring-time flowers. The dinner at the restaurant, a highlight during our stay, followed with the theme of visual beauty. As the first course of vanilla panacotta topped with elderflower jelly surrounded by beets and sweet onions arrived, my response to dig in was in full force as I cut into the smooth panacotta only to be stopped by my husband's cry of "picture, picture, picture!" Alas, it was too late.
My second course was house-smoked bacon served with vanilla creme fraiche and lobster. The bacon was something from heaven - crispy on the outside, and soft and creamy on the inside, very much like foie gras. Our German waiter from Detroit (who also fit in with the theme of visual beauty at the Fearrington, objectively speaking, of course) had very kindly pointed out that my choice of lobster for the third course would pair quite well with my second, and so, I had to have the lobster with a pepper cream sauce served with a potato dumpling. You will notice that all three courses were served with micro-herbs (has anyone heard of such a thing? I had not!) grown in their backyard.
I had refused to order the fourth course of dessert, and so felt obligated to my blog readers to try some of my husband's chocolate souffle, which was definitely the best of its kind.
We thoroughly enjoyed our stay at the Fearrington, thanks to our neighbors who had shared their secret with us. My husband and I informed our gentle waiter that it was the best meal we have had in 10 years, comparable only to dinner at Gaddi's at the Peninsula in Hong Kong.