After a stop at Washington State’s Whidbey Island Winery, it was a short drive to The Inn at Langley for a leisurely and charming dining experience. Many of the highlights were the simple and fresh accompaniments perfectly rendered. Or in the case of the goat milk butter, perfectly churned. Served with a pretzel roll and thinly sliced radishes, it was a delicious riff on the classic French after-school treat. But the item I was most anticipating was the toasted hay ice cream. I have to admit it was a bit of a head-scratcher when I first spied it on the menu. But, as Chef Matt Costello explained, the toasted hay (steeped in then strained from the base) has a malty flavor, which was a perfect addition to ice cream.
I spent a wonderfully peaceful evening at the Inn, listening to the gentle waves lapping up against the shore. The next morning brought a deliciously abundant self-serve Sunday breakfast accompanied by a copy of The New York Times. A post-breakfast walk allowed me to take some dramatic photos of gnarled wood, sculpted by nature, like the one at the top of this post. And as the tide receded, artistic patterns were revealed in the sand:
A combination of a beautiful waterfront location, an impeccable room, and a wonderful meal were among the many pleasures of The Inn at Langley. But the staff in the hotel and dining room really made my visit memorable. A lot of it had to do with their genuine warmth and good humor, but also with the little touches. I kept my place card from dinner because I loved the artistic manner in which my name was rendered:
A particular (and particularly delicious) wine at that dinner also reinforced my thoughts about wine vintages and how they are initially judged versus how time in the bottle can paint a dramatically different story. And that will be the subject of my next post.
Full disclosure: I received a discounted meal and room, but there was no expectation of me blogging about it.