Sunday, 2 November 2008

Nice Jewish Girls Do Not Eat Bambi!!

Sometimes there are perks in being the wife of a whisky widow.  Since I have absolutely no use for the free booze that might come my way, nor have I seen the monetary fruits of the Husband's and his Twin Son's labours (yet!!), I must content myself with whatever meagre crumbs are dropped under the table.  So, it was with eager anticipation and a fair amount of goofy-grinning excitement, that the Husband, the Twin Son, his Better Half and yours truly headed out to the horse country of Ontario to a lovely little place called The Millcroft Inn and Spa. The gruesome twosome of the whisky world had been invited to show their wares at the Inn at a fancy schmancy whisky tasting and gourmet dinner.  As part of the experience and as a reward for shlepping the bottles, the boys were graced with complimentary rooms and meals for 4. (It was nice of them to invite their wives, wasn't it?) On a cool and crisp All Saints Day, we headed into an area of the province that is still worthy of the word quaint, and has yet to be invaded by strip malls and big-box stores.  If we had been two weeks earlier, we would have been blessed with the magnificent colours of autumn, but I have no complaints about the true beauty of this place. The rooms were beautiful, spacious and wonderfully appointed and the grounds, complete with the requisite waterfall, were truly stunning.  

After a trek around the grounds and the requisite nosh and drink before dinner, we made our way down into the bowels of the Inn to set up for the whisky tasting.  The guys came complete with 5 (yes that is 5) different scotches from 5 very different distilleries. (This is what they tell me.  Honestly- and I realize that this is somewhat blasphemous-it all tastes like paint thinner to me!) The idea for the evening was that the chef would pair each of his courses for the dinner with one of the whiskies.  Well, this disgustingly creative man, went one step further.  He actually used each scotch in the recipes for dinner.  

Now, before I venture further into this description, I should warn you all that I have the palate sophistication of a gnat.  I have various food sensitivities that have dulled my appreciation for fine dining, and I am truly hesitant to try new dishes simply because of my fear of bloating and other hidden adventures into a gastrointestinal wonderland.  In other words, the menu scared the shit out of me and I was extremely hesitant to venture forth and sample.  Not only that, but there was a great deal of treyf on this menu. You would have thought that with last names like ours, the kitchen staff might have discerned that Whisky Brined Pork Belly topped with Truffled Quail Egg and Frisee Salad was not in keeping with our ancestral heritage.  It didn't seem to matter one whit to the patrons who shelled out $150.00 a plate for dinner and scotch, and my three dinner companions were way more into the experience than was I. I give each of them huge props, because there was absolutely no way that I was going to venture forth and gnaw on Bambi's mom!! Yes, the main course was deer, otherwise known as venison. I think that they call it venison because if it was called deer, nobody would eat it!  The audacity of eating a cute and furry woodland creature straight out of a Disney movie was enormous. NOT HAPPENING ON MY PLATE!!!  I instantly and automatically became a vegetarian for the evening.  I made every attempt to smile and nod throughout the evening at the wonders of the culinary creations put before me, but I was truly thrilled with my tomato salad and my pearl barley entree.  The food was delicious and the reviews from all present were exceptional.  The chef did a masterful job pairing the courses with the spirit and dessert alone was worth the drive.  I should also note that the guys were really on their game.  They spoke with authority on their whiskies and they were smart and self-deprecating.  The diners were novices that were very interested in learning and most, if not all, wanted to buy something. (The holidays are coming-have you all checked out The staff was gracious and hopeful of another Premium Bottlers evening. I, on the other hand, was thrilled with the 24 hour hiatus.  I would gladly go back and pay for the privilege.  The spa looks glorious and if there was more time, I would have parked myself on the massage table.  My only caveat is that I really do not want to eat anything that I see on my walks around the grounds.

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