I don’t know about you, but we all want to shoot that Groundhog in the head. I know we didn’t get it as bad as the folks in Boston, but here in Balmore hon, we light weight, and we hate winter.
So we decided to give you some comic relief.
Back in late October 2014, I received a magazine at home that I am not subscribed to; called something like Coastal Style Magazine or something like that. While flipping through the pages, an ad caught my attention: there was an article about a Bed & Breakfast Restaurant in Easton called Bartlett Pear Inn, which was apparently Zagat Rated and in the Washingtonian Magazine as one of the top 25 restaurants.
Well damn, I don’t pretend to know every restaurants out there, but how come I have never heard of this place?? I immediately called my partner in crime and shared with Sherry my discovery. She never heard of it either! It screamed road trip right there! We have been passing through Easton many times over while going downy Ocean Hon, it really never occurred to us to swing by Historic Easton.
God Bless Open Table, we made a reservation for Friday November the 14th.
Needless to say that from October till that date, we were counting the days. We have been on their website on numerous occasions, and drooled many times over the menu items. That is what we call foreplay.
The day arrived, it was cold and rainy, we were so anxious to get there that we got there a little too early. Our reservations were at 8pm, we go there around 7pm. The obvious thing to do was to have a cocktail somewhere else and we chose the Tide Water Inn.
First of all, let us begin by saying that we are actually not sure if it was a November Easton thing, or just an Easton thing, but apparently pears are everywhere, in the drinks, in the food, we are still not quite sure what that is all about. But since pears were the theme, it was obvious that we should choose a pear drink, I got the Pear of the Dog (Pear vodka, St Germain, white cranberry juice), Sherry had the Barry French Martini (Gin, raspberry puree, fresh lemon and sparkling wine). Okay, you guys are probably asking yourselves, why is the French one not getting the French drink? Well duh, I am French, I don’t need to get a French drink, however, my drink did contain St. Germain which is a French liquor, so there. We both agreed that my drink was better anyway.
Satiated, we decided it was time to venture out and reach our final destination.
Don’t they say that first impressions count? Well, let me tell you, as soon as you enter the Bartlett Pear Inn, beautiful old house, there is a cozy bar with a fire-place on the left hand side, very inviting, and the dining room on the right hand side. Once we announced ourselves (we were still early) and were given the choice to wait a bit at the bar, they didn’t have to ask twice.
We sat right at the bar, near the fireplace, Eric was the bartender.
He was making some kind of concoction with warm pear compote looking texture and was adding that to a drink. I honestly don’t remember what the drink was, but it smelled so good that the entire room was filled with that scent. We were presented with the wine list right away, and the first thing that caught my eye was a 2006 Saint Emilion Grand Cru. Well hell. We are way beyond the foreplay now. That was sex in a bottle (Sherry’s words) 69 shades of ruby.
We get escorted to our table by the lovely Lauren:
I honestly think that we got the best table of the entire room. It looked like a Victorian turret, very intimate.
We noticed that the ceiling had this sound proof tiles (it is a bed and breakfast after all, people might try to get some sleep upstairs), there was lovely jazzy music playing.
We, of course, introduced ourselves to Lauren as the Hungry Women, she gave us a little history of the place, and then she brought us butter.
She brought us BUTTER with Hawaiian sea salt on top.
Let me repeat one more time: she brought us THE BUTTER.
After tasting that butter (in the meantime we did get introduced to our waitress named Kelsey, but they brought us THE BUTTER), we kind of threw away the bread (which was a really good baguette), and proceeded to eat THE BUTTER by itself with that damn Hawaiian salt.
Please meet Kelsey by the way (sorry Kelsey, you brought us BUTTER):
When Kelsey came back and asked us how we were doing, we told her that we wanted to meet the cow that produced THE BUTTER and kiss her on the lips (or on the udders) and wanted to know where we could buy THE BUTTER. She went back to the kitchen and asked the question, came back and told us that it was shipped directly from NYC. Well hell, it looks like we needed to make a trip to NYC just for THE BUTTER, but we couldn’t possibly wait that long, so we asked if they had extra of THE BUTTER in their kitchen and we could buy some from them. She came back from the kitchen with a pound of THE BUTTER. We proudly put the BUTTER in our purse. And we didn’t even start dinner yet!
We decided on the Chef Tasting Menu, which was a really good deal: $65 a piece for 5 courses.
Kelsey brought us the first dish: Octopus Garden: Grilled baby Sepia with curry-kaffir lime ice cream, Rigleigh Gardens mixed greens, squid ink tuile.
If you are like me, you probably already read this description at least 3 times, and it still doesn’t make sense. I know that Tuile in French means Tile, and that is all I could make out of the description besides the curry and the mixed greens. Well don’t sweat it and take our word for it, it is divine, unusual, very creative and absolutely delicious.
Next course was the provident Farms Butternut Squash Soup: spice Pecans, Cinnamon Chantilly Cream, Maple Glazed Carrots.
Okay: for all those who knows me, the C word is in there, well I didn’t even taste it. I am not going to elaborate on the dish and only show you what this dish did to Sherry, which is the highest culinary praise in her world:
The Third Course was The Burgundy Truffle Mushroom Pappardelle: Truffle Shavings, Chapel Country Creamery “Talbot Reserve” Mushroom Fricasse.
Since we talking about 69 shades of ruby, let’s get a step further and say that we both orgasmed as the same time. I think that there was not enough shades out there to be able to count them all. Do you know that 1 truffle cost $100 a piece? They shaved the fresh truffle right on top of the parpadelle. Now, that is the best food porn ever.
Kelsey comes back and announce that she is going to bring us a palate cleanser which is not on the menu. She brings an Apple Sauce Gelato with Meringue and Crushed Almonds.
Girl, you can come and clean my palate anytime you’d like.
The 4th course was The Pan Seared Rhode Island Sea Scallops: Fried Panisse (don’t let your mind go in the gutter, because if I actually say that word, that would be how it would sound coming from me); which is a chickpea flour cake from the South of France (no freaking idea what that is), Chesapeake Organics Parsnip Puree, Provident Farms Pan Seared Brussel Sprouts, Cranberry Reduction.
It is so pretty, so good, and we are officially out of shades.
And they had to finish us off with the Jurgielewicz (can’t pronounce it sorry) Duck Breast Cassoulet: Duck Confit, Stonehouse Farm Braised Pork Belly, Inn Cured Guanciale Great Northern Bean Ragout, Mirepoix Vegetables.
I don’t know what to say. We are known as being afflicted with CanardVinitis (see previous blog) needing a support group. If there is duck, there is life or hope or something but you can be sure that the hungry women will have the duck. And we had it in all of its splendor.
By the time all was said and done (and eaten), with butter still packed in our purses, we did get introduced to all the staff members including the Chefs because we realized that we actually closed the joint!
The coolest story ever was the staff gets fed every day around 5pm to experience the menu that will be served! Now I want to work there!
Overall. This was a phenomenal experience, we bragged about it ever since to everyone we know but never got to actually write this blog until now.
We decided to go back towards the end of January and take our friend Brenda there for her anniversary weekend. To our disappointment, the second experience wasn’t nearly as good as the first one. We always look for consistency when we blog about our culinary experiences, Granted we shared our experience with the staff, they apologized and did try to make up for it but it really didn’t come close to the November visit. If they are Zagat rated and listed in the Washingtonian Magazine, we have to believe that they deserve another chance. We would be willing to try it again.
So the question is, which one of you readers would like to come with the Hungry Women for our next Easton visit?
As always, Stay Hungry and until next time!
Aida and Sherry