The inn is beautiful and very modern, compared to some other properties in the area. Just a different type of accommodation when comparing to a Bed and Breakfast, not necessarily better, just depends on your preference.
We arrived in the early afternoon and were met at the front desk by a very bubbly receptionist. They were very organized, our room was ready and we were shown our accommodations. The rooms were beautiful! Very inviting, warm feeling. Very nicely and tastefully decorated. I liked the touch of having a fireplace. Everything was as advertised.
|Patio Outside of Our Room|
The package we chose was the One Night Package with dinner, which would have included shuttle service to a nearby restaurant. Breakfast the following morning, on-site, was also included. On this particular evening, they were hosting a Winemaker's Dinner at the inn, so we opted for that instead.
The dinner was held on-site in a large room (doubles as a conference room) which seated about 28 people. The chef for the evening was Michael Hoy and the Huff Winemaker was Frederic Picard. They put together an excellent dinner and wine pairings.
Dinner was promptly at 6:30pm - which was a little early for me, but did allow us to enjoy some delightful wine before dinner. We were seated and found small menus at our place settings. (There was even a 'shrimp allergy' note on my card, which was a nice touch (kind friends remembering to mention this when they made the reservation) - why ruin a good evening with projectile vomiting? I digress...)
Each course was introduced by Mr. Picard. He described each wine that we were having and how it would pair with the course. He also took the time to stop by each table to chat, introduce himself, and to answer any questions we might have had about the wines. He was very personable and we appreciated him giving us his time.
Now, on with the food!
First Course: Gougeres with Dry-cured Ham and Gruyere - served with 2008 Cuvee Peter F Huff. The gougeres were fluffy on the inside and crispy on the outside. This is a feat in itself if you have every made gougeres and had to have them sit around. The filling was slightly salty, but a nice accompaniment to the wine. (Note: I didn't get a photo of the gougeres as I was too busy tracking the progress of the server's tray of them, to actually remember to take a picture. Focus!)
Second Course: Sweet Potato and Coconut Soup with Peanut, Tamarind, Kaffir Lime and Roasted Shallots - served with 2008 South Bay Vineyards Chardonnay. The soup was wonderful - the lime that came through was well balanced by the sweet potato and coconut combination. Again, a nice pairing and a delicious course.
Third Course: Beet-cured Salmon Maki Roll with Rocket, Orange and Sweet Onion Salad - served with 2008 Riesling Reserve. For me this was the only course that wasn't 'great'. I didn't get any of the beet cure flavour on the salmon, the maki roll had too much rice and, for me, begged for some light soy or pickled ginger (although it may not have been part of the Winemakers pairing vision). It tasted good, but I would have preferred a second bowl of that creamy delicious soup from the Second Course.
Fourth Course: Dry-aged Beef Tenderloin with Miso, Ginger, Garlic and Sesame Shiitake Mushrooms and Scallions - served with 2007 South Bay Vineyards Merlot-Cabernet. Although I have had beef tenderloin often, I have never had it with this flavour profile. It was absolutlely delectable. The earthiness of the shiitake mushroom paired with the garlic and ginger - wonderful and I must say, I need to try this fusion of flavours at home. Often, I find that beef tenderloin is bland, even when cooked to perfection. It doesn't really have that much flavour on its own, compared to a fattier cut - the exception this time, was that it was dry-aged. Made all the difference in the world.
Fifth Course: Bittersweet Chocolate Cake with Passion Fruit Cream and Macerated Raspberries - served with 2004 Ice Wine (which I understand they are no longer selling). The cake was light and the filling creamy and delicious. The Ice Wine did pair nicely - not a fan overall of ice wine, but a nice pairing nevertheless.
Overall Comments: The Inn at Huff is a beautiful property. I would definitely stay here again and have already recommended to a couple of friends and some family. Some people prefer the older charm of a Bed and Breakfast - but as a personal preference, I like the Inn. The staff there were efficient and friendly. I liked the added benefit of being able to make all your wine purchases at the front desk - instead of having go up to the winery. Not a long walk, but long enough with a box of wine in your arms.
Chef Michael Hoy did a commendable job on dinner - considering the space he had to work out of. There was not a full kitchen at the dinner venue, but the food was served hot and came out in a timely fashion. The servers were competent and knowledgeable.
See you next time Huff!
|Tastings at The Winery|