“There is no sincerer love than the love of food,” according to George Bernard Shaw. A good part of life lived well, a great part of relaxation and a key ingredient to a vacation is food. Food is what determines if a vacation is wonderful or not. The Inns of Select Registry provide this kind of wonderful experience. Member Inns from California to Virginia are known as much for their food as for their accommodations, location and amenities.
Compared to hotels, bed-and-breakfasts give you double the cultural intimacy for half the price. Inns and Bed and Breakfasts reflect the personal unique nature of their owners so the ambiance, accommodations and food vary greatly from Inn to Inn. And this is such a good thing - Southern cooking in the South, French in the French Quarter, different seafood recipes from the shores of New England to the Florida coast. No two Inns are alike.
When you stay at a Select Registry Inn, you receive a slice of life reflected in that region or town. So the level of authenticity in the total experience is elevated, and this is especially reflected in the food. Many inns offer a regional cuisine based largely on the produce and meat and fish of an area or region. Whatever is fresh and local gets priority, which adds to the quality and creates a regional cuisine as well as a menu.
An Inn or Bed and Breakfast is not overwhelming in size, so the proprietors can be deeply involved and successful in making certain that the food is wonderful. Chefs dedicate time to cuisine and are serving people who may eat their food several days and nights in a row, so time is taken to develop a food rapport that represents the Inn.
Love of Food and the Mast Farm Inn
The Mast Farm Inn in historic Valle Crucis, North Carolina is an excellent example of a Select Registry Inn with spectacular cuisine, special to its region and a gastronomical delight. The Inn has such a special reputation for food and love of food that they have their own cookbooks – a four volume love letter to North Carolina. And it’s about recipes, foods, farms, farmers, farmers markets and agriculture. The series is also a North Carolina Culinary Travel Guidebook which features the best North Carolina Chefs, Restaurants, Cookbooks, Culinary Journalists and Media, Wines, Micro-Breweries, Moonshine, Specialty Foods, Artisan Cheese, Nature, natural and man-made attractions, and North Carolina Crafts, Art and Music.
Simplicity at the Mast Farm Inn
Simplicity, the restaurant at The Mast Farm Inn, is gourmet organic fine dining. “Slow Food in a Fast World.” The Mast Inn’s restaurant Simplicity offers gourmet slow dining of extreme quality and freshness; a meticulous cuisine prepared with mindfulness - mindful of the mountain region’s heritage and mindful of the high quality of the natural ingredients, with a level of care and personal service second to none. Prepared by award winning chef Andrew Long, Simplicity’s menu reflects a refinement of natural ingredients that present the very best of the region.
Simplicity was in the top ten of the 2010 Best Dish in North Carolina Award and is currently among the top twenty finalists for 2012, selected from hundreds of fine dining restaurant entrants in North Carolina. The Best Dish in North Carolina Award 2012 Menu was served every Saturday during the months of August and September – how wonderful is that! The award finalist menu was made possible by the combined efforts of local vendors, bakers, farmers and producers, and the three principal distillers of North Carolina Moonshine.
Brunch or Breakfast at Simplicity is not to be outdone. One brunch offering is Mast Farm Inn cured pork belly, fried green tomato, peanut collard slaw, smoked Gouda cheese, and an over-easy organic egg served on a sourdough baguette with farm fries and mustard seed aioli – beyond wonderful! Other menus can include seasonal soup, oysters, the Valle Crucis Farmer’s Breakfast, or Raisin Pecan Pain Perdue with sorghum whipped cream –unbeatable.
The Simplicity Pantry
Almost all foods at The Mast Farm Inn are handcrafted and homemade, and increasingly guests wish to purchase these to keep in their room during their stay, to take home for themselves, or to bring or mail to family and friends as gifts. The ever-evolving menu of delectables includes the Southern Hummingbird, a special cake of chopped pecans, crushed pineapple and mashed bananas with cream cheese frosting – a recipe most requested at Southern covered dinners. A chocolate layer cake with chocolate frosting and shavings, cookies from molasses to honey cookies to home made marmalade are included in their menu of pastries and goodies. Honey, herb butter, chocolate dipped strawberries and chocolate covered cherries tempt.
The French Manor
After a dizzyingly delicious stay at the Mast Inn, a foodie will love a visit to the splendid French Manor in South Sterling Pennsylvania. Modeled after a chateau in the south of France, Joseph Hirshorn designed this private retreat in the solitude of Huckleberry Mountain overlooking the crests and ridges of the Poconos. Hirshorn lavishly brought some 165 German and Italian craftsmen and artisans to 500 acres on Huckleberry Mountain in the heart of the Poconos of Pennsylvania to construct his "summer retreat." Add to that Hirshorn’s vast art collection and clearly, the accommodations are unmatched in the area.
Dining at the French Manor
The elegant dining room at The French Manor features a forty foot vaulted beamed ceiling framed on each side with massive stone fireplaces. Just out of sight in the corner is a grand piano, which is played on Fridays during dinner. The terrace tables provide a wonderful view of the Pocono Mountains, or one can enjoy a romantic dinner by the fireplace. The gourmet dinner menu features both Classical and Nouvelle French Cuisine. Candlelight dining, culinary expertise, and an attentive staff make each meal a memorable dining experience. The Philadelphia Inquirer calls it “dinner fit for a King”.
The menu changes seasonally and includes such French staples as a classic presentation of Escargots in the shell served bubbling hot in a Roquefort and garlic butter sauce on toast points. Entrées include the Rack of Australian Lamb finished with course mustard and topped with chevre and Muscovy duck seared to crispy perfection and rubbed with a little nutmeg and cinnamon then finished with a mixed fruit glaze of cranberry and orange. The wine list is varied, distinctive and reasonable.
The French Manor is a wonderful weekend destination. It is worthy of the trip just for the food, but you could also spend a day or two in the spa, do some hiking or snowshoeing, and call it a vacation. They offer various weekend combination packages at the French Manor. In their brochure they quote (the late) Gourmet Magazine, which featured them as one of the best restaurants in Pennsylvania.
Inn for the Food
Whether seduced by French Classic cuisine or Organic Southern preparations, your stay at a Select Registry destination is sure to provide the most wonderful dining choices.
For further information on great Pennsylvania Inns, North Carolina Inns and Bed and Breakfasts offering spectacular dining, come visit Select Registry at www.selectregistry.com and let the dinner commence.