Ashland, June 13, 2010

We all slept in (it was a vacation after all!) and then we headed down the hill for brunch at Larks in the Ashland Springs Hotel. S. enjoyed his bloody mary and crab benedict (Dungeness Crab Benedict On Grilled Rosemary Bread With Vine-ripened Tomato, Spinach, Basted Egg & A Lemon-caper Hollandaise Served With Rosemary Potatoes). J. enjoyed her pancakes and scrambled eggs, J. enjoyed his meatloaf sandwich (Warm Meatloaf Sandwich On Sourdough With Housemade Ketchup, Mayonnaise, Cheddar Cheese, Onion, Tomato & Lettuce Served With Kettle Chips), and I loved my berry French toast (Grand Marnier Custard French Toast With Berry Compote & Whipped Cream).

The service was good, and we were delighted to see a table full of OSF actors hanging out. (It’s a commonplace in Ashland that the actors are people too, and you see them all over town.)

We saw Hamlet (I’ll post a detailed review soon), which was wonderful. Then we went our separate ways for a bit, and met again for dinner at Liquid Assets Wine Bar.

We started with a cheese plate comprised of three cheeses: Cayhill’s Porter Cheddar (Firm, Cow’s Milk Cheddar with Porter, New Castle West, Ireland), Carr Valley Mobay (Semi-Firm, Goat and Sheep’s milk, Carr Valley Cheese Company, Wisconsin)         and the Iberico Curado (Firm, Raw Cow, Goat, and Sheep’s Milk, Spain). We also had the Spanish Marcona Almonds. This was a great combination with our various drinks and absolutely whetted our appetite for dinner.

For dinner S. had the Porcini Mushroom Carbonara (Sautéed Fresh Local Porcinis, Spring Peas, Applewood Smoked Bacon, Linguini); J. and I. had the Lobster Risotto (Sautéed Lobster, Parmesan Cheese, White Truffle Oil), and J. had the Braised Beef Short Ribs (Roasted Red Pepper Mashed Potatoes, Asparagus, Demi-Glace).

S. enjoyed his carbonara. The risotto was fabulous: creamy, with just the right amount of ‘bite’ in the grains. The pieces of lobster were hearty and generous. The short ribs were utterly delicious: rich with a deep flavor enhanced by the potatoes and asparagus. We were very happy people.

Which was good, because The Merchant of Venice is not a happy play.

When we went home, we opened a bottle of a Spanish red and brought out a wedge of manchengo cheese and fresh bread. We were up until almost 2am drinking and talking about the plays, life, and everything. A lovely, if late, end to our weekend.

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