Monday, April 12, 2010

Murphin Ridge Inn

Danny Meyer and his book "Setting the Table" are spoken about as the quintessential practitioner of "hospitality". Danny is a good friend of ours but I am not sure that her didn't sneak a peak at Sherry and Darryl McKenney the Owners and hosts of the "Murphin Ridge Inn" 750 Murphin Ridge Road, West Union, OH 45693-phone(toll free) 1-877-687-7446.
Their staff; Joanne Drilling-Chef, Candis Dryden-Front Desk, Levi Grooms and Joshua Catone are all young, attractive, know their business and can't do enough to make the guests visit pleasant and memorable. If I'm raving it's only because they deserve the accolades.
Marilyn and I plus a good friend arrived Saturday afternoon to celebrate our 56th wedding anniversary. After unpacking in our pleasantly appointed "guest house" room( approx.$150/night including breakfast) we adjourned to the "Adirondack Chairs" on the spacious green space between the "guest house"and the "dining house". The day was beautiful, the sun past it's zenith and the spring flowering trees were all trimmed and blooming. After a few minutes of conversation between Marilyn and me our friend joined us and very shortly, thereafter, Darryl came into view waving a bottle of "Bombay". I knew immediately that this was going to be a special evening. We 5 had drinks and a good visit and decided we would meet for dinner, together, at 7:30 P.M.
Dinner in one of the smaller, colonial dinning rooms at a round table centered by a large "lazy Susan" was a special event. Darryl brought out two wonderful wines, a Meursault and a Chateuneuf du Pape. You readers should not be asked to have any suspense so let it be known that 3 of us had no real trouble emptying them before the evening ended.
Sherry has run the kitchen since they bought the place, 13 years ago, and so with her guidance we went the "lazy Susan" route having 4 entrees as well as soup and salad. Thus we all had a feast of Joanne's and Sherry's creations. Our meal was as follows, all in house prepared:
Tomato Bisque- Sherry adds herbs and Parmesan cheese to the creamy bisque
Green salad, very lightly dressed- Arugula and Fava Beans, well cleaned and almost polished
Brazed Sausage- served on a compote of cherry tomato's, okra and corn
Manila Clams steamed in a tomato fennel broth over a bed of Isrealie Cous-Cous
Halibut Cheeks- on wheat-berry and seasoned lightly with a soy and ginger sauce
Skirt Steak- grilled, medium rare resting on fresh garden veggies.

Sherry is, besides everything else, the desert Queen and had prepared Brownies, the night before and an outstanding fresh rhubarb and raspberry cobbler, both of which had to have vanilla ice cream accompaniment. Not to be out done Joanne made a chocolate and vanilla trifle which made sure none of us left the table without being "over stuffed" and ready either for a restless night or a comatose sleep.
The next morning besides the regular breakfast, juice, home made cinnamon toast, fresh fruit, and home made pancakes, we snuck in fresh farm eggs and grilled sausage. You've heard the expression "you shouldn't leave hungry" and that has to be the motto of the "Murphin Ridge Inn".
If there was a carnival weight guesser in West Unity Ohio he'd clean up. Are all guest treated as well as we were, I hope not, or the obesity campaign is bound to fail. Dinners are $20 t0 $30, deserts extra.
Find your way there and treat yourself to and outstanding time.

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