Whenever we're in or near my hometown, we try to have a meal at The Winds Cafe, our favorite restaurant. Since I was preaching the next morning at the local Presbyterian church, this past Saturday was a "Let's Eat At The Winds" night. We were all gussied up to attend the adult prom fundraiser, as well, Jeannene dashing in a tux and pink tie and vest and I in a favorite sundress and butterfly shawl---and, of course, one of my tiaras.
We started with cheese service and drinks, Clos Normand hard cider for me (my favorite hard cider) and a very nice saison for Jeannene, I think perhaps Duval from Napoleone. I couldn't tell you what the cheeses were, as our server didn't run through them for us. He was a really nice guy, but not terribly good about little details like that or letting us know what the day's tart, cheesecake, and ice cream were. I loved the cheeses Jeannene hated and she loved the ones I hated, a perfect situation. I know for certain that one of the great ones (in my mind) was Bucheron, one of my favorite French goat cheeses, and I really dug the blue cheese selection, so I wish I knew what it was. I should have paid more attention to the cheese menu. The ones Jeannene liked were, if I recall correctly, a very grassy Cheddar and one that tasted Swiss-y to me. We were both quite lukewarm about the brie which replaced the Belletoile after it ran out. Perhaps it hadn't been out of the fridge long enough? With our cheese, we enjoyed a basket of their terrific bread, along with a small dish of olives and another of salted Marcona almonds. We can never find Marconas that taste as good as theirs and had intended to pick up a tub of them the next day, along with some hummus and some sundries tomato dip from Current Cuisine, but we had errands to run and didn't make it back to town before heading home. A pity.
For our main courses, I chose the flatiron steak with Irish whiskey butter, with carrot mashed potatoes on the side (which is a stellar idea, by the way---I must make those at home!) and Jeannene had a truly fabulous sautéed wild-caught fish with spiced foamed butter, served on black coconut rice. I was, honestly, a bit jealous of her entree because it was so delicious, and if anyplace is safe for me to order fish and trust that I will love it, The Winds is safe. Oh, and Rue Dumaine in Centerville, Ohio. Man, Anne Kearney's scallops are the best!
Desserts are wonderful at The Winds, especially their chocolate mousse. I've never found chocolate mousse to rival it anywhere. In fact, I've given up trying because I am invariably disappointed. I wish I had their recipe. Amazing stuff. However, they always have it on the menu and I was curious to try the Black Forest Cake, which is not always on the menu. I am so glad I did. It was definitely the best Black Forest Cake I've ever had, light and delicate, but very flavorful. Yum yum!