Sunday, June 29, 2008

Our 5th Wedding Anniversary - Restaurant and Wine Review

Saturday was our 5th wedding anniversary. Where has the time gone? The past 5 years have been amazing, and I wouldn't trade them for anything. I'm so lucky...

We spent the day together - out to lunch, some shopping, and then dinner at the
Inn at Phillips Mill, and then came back to our home to enjoy a bottle of wine on our on the restaurant and wine follow.

The Inn at Phillips Mill is an old cottage and barn along the river. It has quaint little rooms for dining, and gardens for both dining and wandering. Walking into the restaurant felt like stepping back in time.

The menu at this BYOB restaurant features French cuisine and offers something for everyone - seafood, beef, chicken, duck, and lamb. Jon started with the crab salad over butterhead lettuce with caviar. It was our first time trying caviar and I don't think I need to eat it again, but I'm glad I tried it. Jon described it as eating the candy Pop Rocks without the fizz, and also like little BBs. The crab on the salad was very good. I enjoyed a poached leek salad with shallot vinaigrette that was delicious. We also enjoyed one of our favorite bottles of wine from our collection - a 2002 Ridge Lytton Springs.

For entrees we both had the filet mignon with a blue cheese butter that was so rich and delicious. Surprisingly, the meal came with a substantial amount of sides, not just a potato or two with a carrot or bean like you get at some restaurants. The dish featured mashed potatoes, carrots, sugar snap peas, and a beet.

Jon had the chocolate cake for dessert - I think it was called the chocolate obsession. VERY rich and not too sweet. Mmm. Our server, Ingrid, was soo sweet throughout the whole meal and she even put an anniversary candle in our cake.

The Inn is a very romantic restaurant with good food, and I would recommend it. I think our biggest complaint is about the wine glasses. Yes, it is a BYOB restaurant, but they should invest in really good wine glasses. Glasses DO make a difference. We love the Ridge wine, but it tasted different and not as good in these all purpose goblets that served as wine glasses.

When we got home we brought out the main event of the night - a bottle of 2004 Opus One. Jon has been dreaming about buying a bottle of this wine for years, and at $185 a bottle, celebrating an anniversary seemed like the perfect excuse.

I'll let Jon give the review...

The Opus One is a wine we've read quite a bit about, and with very few exceptions, each vintage has been very highly rated. A product of a unique collaboration between Robert Mondavi and Baron Philippe De Rothschild, this is definitely a legend in American wines. Even tasting immediately after opening, the wine was bright, smooth and fairly full, and proceeded to get better over the next hour.

Anyone who's read the earlier wine posts in this blog should be able to figure out that we like full, big, bold wines most of the time. This one didn't quite fit that bill, though. Yes, it's a blend of 86% Cabernet Sauvignon, 7% Merlot, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc and Malbec, but to us it lacked the body and richness of some of the other California wines we've had (see an earlier post for a description of the Eponymous Cabernet Sauvignon we had last week). This blend definitely had tastes of chocolate, blackberry and a nice, soft, feel, but it left us wanting a bit more.

Now, admittedly, a lot of true wine snobs would cringe at this description and review (as well as others previous and those to come), but this is not to diminish what is, in itself, a very good bottle of wine. In truth, this bottle should probably have been cellared for several more years to fully mature, but I lack patience when it comes to a good bottle of wine that's just waiting to be opened. For us, it was a mild disappointment, but only perhaps due to our tastes, and not necessarily worth the hefty price tag.

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  1. Happy anniversary! SOunds like a great dinner. I love BYOB restaurants, and it's nice that the one you went to was a french style one. In Chicago there are lots of BYOB places, but they are mostly cheaper ethnic places. Nothing wrong w/ BYOB thai, but I like when you find a nicer place where you can bring your own drinks.

    Cute dress, too :)