(I want to apologize in advance for some of my photos; the lighting was weird, and I had my little point and shoot, which I'm not used to using. And these are the best after I cut it down by over half. *wince*)
For my parent's 30th anniversary, the sister-in-law recommended Stone House at Stirling Ridge. Let me say this first: this place is pricey (of course, I didn't write down the prices, because I'm an idiot, but trust me on this). And not especially close to where we live. I was a little confused as to why they chose it, especially since we live within a stone's throw of a lot of really good restaurants. But the brother and sister-in-law were paying, so I held my tongue. Mostly.
Also, they were kind of stingy with the bread. A server came around with a platter of different kinds, asked us which we would like and gave us one slice each before taking away the tray. Umm, bread basket or none at all, thanks. That kind of behavior just seems cheap.
For the cheese plate, we got chef's choice, although the server offered us a cheese menu. My brother and I were very tickled by the idea of a cheese menu, and a little disappointed that we didn't get it. Stone House uses all locally sourced ingredients, so the server was able to tell us exactly where the cheeses came from, which was kind of cool. He didn't know what kind of jam we'd gotten, which was not a plus on him, but since we got chef's choice, it's possible that different plates have different jams. It really wasn't all that important, except that my mom really liked it and was curious. We think it was fig. The cheese plate also came with fruit (figs, apples, grapes), assorted nuts, and truffle honey (which I thought was seriously gross, but I don't like mushrooms or honey, so that's just on me).
The charcuterie was rather like a cold antipasto (and I'd very much wish they'd call it that instead of a pork store). It came with grilled artichokes, olives, a selection of "cured meats" (cold cuts isn't fancy enough, I guess), and some toasted bread. They were a little stingy on the meats here, and never thought of telling us what kind they were (it wasn't on the menu, and the server didn't mention it; by the time we thought of asking, they were gone anyway). The artichokes were super yummy, though. This is a dish better suited to a party of two; any more people at the table, and it's really not worth it.
|Special menus for a special couple!... I think it wasn't coincidence.|
I should have gone with the hazelnut gelato. That was bangin'.
Stone House at Stirling Ridge
Pros: Locally sourced ingredients; for the most part, the food was very good; servers were very friendly, efficient, and knowledgeable; beautiful grounds; great ambiance; free cookies.
Cons: Remote location; pricey; menu selection not the best (few vegetarian options); some menu items should be explained further (i.e. walnuts in brownies); some theme confusion (very modern plates and silverware in an otherwise overwhelmingly rustic setting); stingy with the bread.
Overall rating: B+
While the food was very good, I wasn't quite sure if it was worth the price or effort of getting there. There's very little choice for me on the menu, and even less for someone who might have dietary restrictions. And to fail on a brownie, which is a pretty basic dessert, does not give me confidence in the other baked goods. I would recommend it for an event, but as a place to go out to dinner, I think I'd prefer to give it a pass.