2005-07-14

Front Royal, VA: The Secret Door

Pittsburgh was post free. We spent time with dear friends (Brett, who I’ve written about before, and his wife Julie). Hung out here. Ate dinner here. Got some coffee here. Checked out some of your blogs from here. Left to come here.


The real story is Front Royal, VA. More specifically, two locations therein. First, Woodward House on Manor Grade. A cumbersome name, but a lovely B & B. This one has catapulted itself to the top of my list. It has everything a B & B traveler could want: gracious hosts (Bob and Joan Kaye) whose company will tempt you to ignore Shenandoah National Park which is nearby, a variety of rooms, all excellent, complimentary guest-only pub (something I’ve not seen before in a B & B), and lots of little in room amenities, including a basket of snacks which you probably won’t need. I will most certainly plan another trip to Front Royal just to stay here.

Joan and Bob bought the place 12 years ago and have put their own spin to what was once (at least this is my interpretation of Joan’s humble explanation) a rather pedestrian B & B. They love spending time with their guests, but don’t follow them around like puppies. Last night some people dropped by who I gather stayed here once, years ago, and were immediately welcomed as if they were old friends.

Sometime after we checked in and took a walk around Front Royal, which is an interesting but not very lively town (albeit with at least one good used book store), Joy started to express dinner yearnings. I asked Joan for a recommendation and she wasted not a breath in suggesting Apartment 2G, which is behind one of the most unobtrusive doors in town and up a flight of steps. It was once an apartment and still looks like one, except that all the rooms have dinner tables. Two chefs, Dan and Stacy Gedman serve a menu which changes daily. Reservations are strongly suggested, according to their brochure (Joan was kind enough to call ahead for us). It was slow when we arrived but not by the time we left. The chefs do a full prixe fixe dinner on weekends, take Sundays off, and during the week offer a Tapas menu. I’ve never done Tapas before; it is sort of like dim-sum, you order a number of appetizer size portions and share them. On prixe fixe nights you have the option of in-kitchen seating including samples of each menu item.

Omigosh! The food was excellent. My favorite: Pork Tenderloins in mango salsa. Joy liked the Gambas Ajillo (Garlic Shrimp). A generous basket of Focaccia accompanied the meal and would have filled us both if we’d let it. Dessert was Chocolate Pave (which is pretty much a brick of chocolate (somewhere between the consistency of mousse and fudge), and Ginger Crème Brulee. They don’t have an espresso machine but they’re working on it. The price was not bad either-- $44 including Joy’s iced tea and my glass of Italian Pino Grigiot. Not to be missed.

Today is Thursday. Joan is putting together breakfast right now and it smells yummy. I don’t know if I’ll be able to do much more than sample it, though. I’m still full from last night.

We’ve no idea what we’re doing today or where we’re going. Maybe Harper’s Ferry? We may wind up sleeping at home tonight, we may not. I do need to check out the one other used book store in Front Royal, as well as find a place from which to post this entry. Ah, the rigors of travel.

Well, we’re off…

Jannotti tag: travel

1 comment:

Eric said...

Pork Tenderloins in mango salsa.

Oh, man...that's making me hungry!