Friday, November 14, 2008

Murphin Ridge Inn

Do yourself a favor! If you live in the Cincinnati area, or even a hundred mile radius, hop in your car( gas is only $$1.80/gallon) and drive to the "Murphin Ridge Inn" in West Union, OH. It's a good idea to call first, 1-877-687-7446 and reserve a room or cabin and at least one nights dinner. Breakfast is included with the price of the room.
Sherry and Darryl McKenney, the owners, may be on the phone, but they will be sure to be there during your visit and they are just one of the extra special things that you will find during your stay.
Darryl likes to compare MRI to "The Greenbrier"; but "The Greenbrier" it isn't. No Dorthy Draper "cabbage roses" no uniformed doormen and no $800 per night cost.
What the "Murphin Ridge Inn" is, is a clean, comfortable, beautiful rural setting, with rooms furnished in Shaker copied furniture and food, in my opinion that beats "The Greenbrier". The hospitality is certainly more personal than any larger Inn or resort.
Marilyn and I plus another couple arrived yesterday about 4:30 PM. After checking in, grabbing a homemade pumpkin and spice cookie and unpacking in our airy room with Amish patterned window covers 3 of us took a half hour walk on a well groomed trail. As the November weather was very pleasant we stayed outside to see the beautiful sunset before taking our time getting ready for dinner.
We had made a 7 PM reservations but upped the time to 6:30, upon arrival and being informed that drinks were served in the "Dining House" We all started with our usual libations, for me Bombay, for Marilyn cranberry and soda. The others had Scotch and red wine, not mixed together. At this point Sherry and Darryl found us and the rest of the evening was following their suggestions.
After drinks we each had a taste of "deep fried Grouper". Sherry had been skeptical but it was delicious and in no way greasy or heavily fried.
For my main course I selected a "small plate", a misnomer as it consisted of a beautifully braised short rib, almost as good as I prepare, and a wonderful root vegetable hash. Two others had the same entree while that other person has excellent pan fried chicken breast. The soup de jour was a pureed black bean soup season to bring out all the flavor and the medium sized salad had several greens, white and natural raisins and egg and bread crumbles, all lightly dressed.
Darryl brought out a varied selection of Italian wines,at my request, covering every price point from reasonable to well into the low 3 figures. He knows wine and my advise is to follow his guidance on Italian or French. Without our ordering he open a delightful Murseault and we all ponied up for a generous taste.
Deserts, for our table, were two different chocolate cakes or torts and a 3 berry(all local) crisp with vanilla Ice Cream. If you need it bring the Maalox but don't miss the food and wine.
As some of you may know Sherry taught at the "Dorothy Lane Market" in Dayton and also ran a successful catering business in that city. They are a delight and very knowledgeable as well as hospitable.
Even though I have reported on our selections I in no way have covered the array of Main courses offered. Don't get the idea you'll be restricted, even if you are a Vegetarian.

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