One of my Christmas presents was tickets to a nearby botanical garden.
Okay.....I can hear the sarcastic remarks already.
So a trip to a botanical garden may not delight a lot of folks.
I'm not one of them.
I like historic stuff.
So if some rich guy from the early 1900's takes the trouble to spend a piece of his family fortune, turn his property into a national treasure, and open it up to the public, I have to say "I'm in."
Especially if the place has a top flight restaurant in the middle of the grounds.
So today, Chris and I took a ride to lovely Kennett Square, PA. We spent the afternoon touring Longwood Gardens, located at "Longwood", the former estate of Pierre duPont.
The gardens cover a bit over 1,000 acres. That's a lot of turf to cover. Before undertaking that sort of sojourn, we'd need some energy food.
Seeing as how Longwood Gardens has The Terrace Restaurant, specifically a fine dining restaurant called "1906", we opted to make reservations for lunch.
From the moment we were greeted, I had a really good feeling about this place. The hostess looked up our reservation on the computer and promptly seated us. The first thing I look for whenever I'm seated for a meal is the cleanliness of the place settings.
You'd be surprised how many times I've sent back silverware or water glasses because they were not properly cleaned.
Our place settings were immaculate. Not so much as even one water spot on anything.
The busboy came right over with freshly baked brioche, butter, and a pitcher of water. The brioche was perfect. Warm, slightly sweet, light, and flaky. My impression of the place was improving every minute.
Chris and I ordered a couple champagne cocktails. She ordered a "Poinsettia" consisting of champagne, cranberry juice, and a couple raw cranberries. I ordered a "1906 Cocktail" consisting of champagne, creme de cassis, and Chambord.
Both were skillfully prepared.
A few moments after our cocktails arrived, our waitress was back to take our order. Prompt, but not pushy. I like that in servers.
Now here's where you'll only get half of the story.
Chris was taking pictures for one of her blogs.
I was taking pictures for mine.
Therefore, you get my side of the story.
I started off with a bowl of mushroom soup.
Kennett Square, PA is one of the largest mushroom producing areas in the nation.
To say it was magnificent is to underestimate it by a wide margin.
It was creamy, earthy, savory, and sweet. The crispy fried onions really set it off.
From there, it only got better.
I ordered a locally grown, cider brined, center cut pork chop. It was topped with a cubed apple relish, and served with Brussell sprouts sauteed in butter, bacon, and lemon juice, and a wild mushroom saute served over grits.
It looked something like this:
I selected a 2008 Sonoma-Cutrer Russian River Chardonnay to go with it. I love wines from the Russian River region. This one was no exception. It was mildly sweet, rich but not buttery, had great "legs", and cut through the richness of the mushroom/grits and the sprouts.
For dessert, we split a locally produced butter pecan ice cream. If my butterfat level was low, the ice cream took care of that.
Okay, I published this without finishing the blog.
Tomorrow, the pictures from the garden.
Until the next time, all y'all take care of yourselves.
Air Traffic Mike, ret.