We spent the long Memorial Day weekend with friends in Louisville, KY. Of course, we tasted bourbon — Willetts, makers of one of our favorites, Rowan’s Creek. Obviously named after our grandson. Delicious nonetheless.
Willetts is really hard to find in retail stores because they just don’t make much. But you can definitely find it at their distillery and we brought back three bottles. Nice tour with a charming tour guide.
We ate at 610 Magnolia and it was one of the most memorable meals of my life. Seriously, folks. And that includes some memorable ones! It’s prix fix and either 4 courses or six. We had the 4 courses ($75) plus the wine pairings for an additional $55. Here’s what we ate:
- Two orders of spring pea soup with mint, fresh yogurt, borage, miso, nasturtiums, country ham powder. Two orders of pork belly with asparagus salad, morel mushrooms, 64 degree egg (sort of soft/hard boiled), ramp compote, bearnaise
- One order of hamachi crudo with pickled rhubarb, green strawberries, pawpaw fruit vinegar, green olives. Three orders of charred octopus, yogurt, picholine olive, pine nuts, Meyer lemon
- Two orders of Rack of Lamb, cauliflower couscous, yuzu, mint, carrot, gochujang romesco, pea salsa verde.
- Two orders of duck breast, Carolina gold rice, wil mushrooms, pak choi, kimchi
- Two chilled strawberry consomme, rose tapioca pearls, rhubarb jam, coconut streusel, fennel pollen
- Two bourbon afficionado: drunken banana cake, whipped butterscotch, dehydrated chocolate, bourbon maple syrup, dried corn, brown butter ice cream, smoke
The last dessert was the first time I ever had one of the dishes where they cover it and then uncover, with the smoke just adding to the experience.
The chef, Edward Lee, is of Korean origin, hence the amazing combinations of Korean ingredients. Truly a one of a kind meal and well worth the cost!
And, of course, there is an amuse bouche to begin and an after the whole meal treat. Service wonderful, wines outstanding — just loved the red from Spain — and one of those great restaurants where you can actually have a conversation.
And speaking of near god-like experiences . . .
We also spent some time at the Abbey of Gethsemene, just south of Louisville. This was also a truly unique experience. It is a community of Trapist monks, who practice silence, among other things. We deliberately arrived to attend one of eight short services that occur every day, beginning at 3:15 am. The church is very simple, with a high ceiling, rows of seats on either side for the monks, and seats for visitors in the balcony. Very simple crucifix and modern, abstract stained glass windows. Serene and peaceful.
The None (nine) service consists mainly of psalms, so, ironically, Mr. Not So Curious and I felt quite at home. And the beauty and simplicity of the setting and the obvious devotion of the monks dressed in white and black, meant that it was a very spiritual experience.
We had three days filled with fun, companionship, spirituality, great food, great bourbon and wonderful weather. Perfect!