Several years ago, we went out on a drive with another couple to have dinner, because it was during the Super Bowl, and none of us had any interest in watching the game. We made reservations with the restaurant and felt that we would have the restaurant to ourselves. So we drove almost to Lansing for the dinner, got off at the exit and went south for I think exactly seven miles and in the middle of no where there was a traffic light and there was The English Inn. This restaurant was also a Bed and Breakfast converted over from the residence of the first President of the Oldsmobile Company. When we got there one of the first things I asked for was a book of matches as a keepsake and this was one of the first restaurants that we ever went to that was entirely smoke free, even in a side room where there was a pub. After dinner we were given a tour of the upstairs where the bedrooms were, and we could look at some of the rooms that were not being rented out, and the rooms were just as grand as the building and the grounds.
The restaurant on the main floor was huge, and the amazing thing was that the restaurant was packed with diners, so much for the Super Bowl. We were led to our table and took a look at the menu and the wine list. This restaurant was listed in the Wine Spectator Restaurant Issue, so I was really looking forward to our dinner. We have only been disappointed with one restaurant, in all of the restaurants that we tried, because of the magazine’s listings.
We started off by ordering a couple of classic appetizer plates of escargot and shrimp cocktails. This was followed by classic interpretations of French onion soup and Lobster Bisque. For our entrée orders my Bride had a Lobster stuffed fish dish and I order a duck dinner. The other couple had a filet mignon and the other dish was three filet medallions each with a different sauce to compliment. We finished with coffee and dessert.
Our wine that evening was from the Cosentino Winery in Yountville, which is in Napa Valley. We had a wine called “The Poet” 1998 which was a Meritage blend. This was a delicious wine that we all enjoyed, but what surprised me at that point, was that it did not taste like a Bordeaux blend, which up to that time, was what every Meritage wine that I had tried reminded me of. I later found out that this particular blend of varietal was a little different which explained the unique taste. While the wine was basically Cabernet Sauvignon, there was also Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Petite Verdot and Malbec. I think it was the Malbec that contributed to the special taste.