(This is a continuation from Part 1 of my brief travelogue covering a visit to The Inn & Spa at Cedar Falls.)
Before dinner that evening, we were treated to a side-by-side tasting of olive oils from The Olive Orchard and Belgian beers from Rockmill Brewery. Both of their wares are used and available at the Inn.
Olive Orchard features both flavored and imported olive oils. The flavored oils are co-pressed with the flavoring ingredients, so the garlic, lemons, basil, etc. are pressed with the olives themselves. This is one of the best methods for imparting flavor while maintaining the original character of the oil itself. For this tasting we sampled these four:
The Chilean and Sicilian are on the stronger end of the taste spectrum; they're rich and hearty oils, great for cooking or just sampling outright. The garlic and basil, likewise, are full of flavor. They'd be a great supplement for cooking.
The olive oils were paired with the four amazing brews created by Matthew Barbee of Rockmill. His story is simply incredible: he and his parents purchased an old farm north of Logan, in Lancaster. Matthew wanted to push his interest in brewing, particularly using organic ingredients and Belgian yeast strains. Upon testing the water on their farm (his father is conveniently a hydro-geologist), they discovered it had a nearly-identical mineral make-up to the water of Wallonia, Belgium. Water is everything in brewing, and having fresh spring water similar to that in Belgium in key for recreating the styles.
We sampled our way through their four brews:
My favorite was their dubbel, but Rockmill's are some of the first witbiers and saisons that I've really, truly enjoyed.
Seriously, the dubbel really rocked my world. Better than most actual Belgian brews I've had in the style.
Here's Matthew at the tasting.
And Michele from Olive Orchard.
All in all, the tasting was a combination of some really amazing flavors. It's great to have all of their products - Olive Orchard and Rockmill - available in the Columbus area.
The tastings took place in the newest addition to the Inn - a completely green room meant for meetings. It would be great to host a retreat here.
None of lodgings are connected to the internet, but this common area has wifi. We were able to enjoy the blessing/curse in today's modern world of being disconnected for a while.
That night we had dinner at the Inn's restaurant, prepared by Executive Chef Anthony Schulz. Sadly, I did not take pictures of the meal because I was too busy scarfing it down and enjoying the conversation. It began with their Scallop & Shrooms, using diver scallops and morels. But the centerpiece of the dinner was a grilled steak done with morels, asparagus, and whipped potatoes. So we got to taste the morels in use after searching some out in the woods.
The following morning was breakfast - expect one final post on that - and then massages at the spa before we headed back to Columbus. The Inn & Spa has a secluded, full service spa located in one of the cabins. It was incredibly relaxing and a perfect end to the trip.
Thanks to Ellen, Terry, Anthony, and their entire staff for their hospitality!