As with our previous drive to Portland, we divided our drive into two days be spending the night in Ashland. Although we decided against spending the evening at the Shakespeare Festival (Richard III and The Coaconuts), we did do dinner.
After exploring our options, we chose Amuse. A good decision. We split one appetizer, one entree and one desert:
- Chicken Liver Mousse with pickled cherries, peaches, radish and plum on a slice of fried focaccia;
- Sous vide salmon with chanterelles, corn, bacon, berries and watercress sauce; and
- Corn ice cream with local berries (rasp, black and blue) with oak crumble.
While we enjoyed all three (while the ice cream was not as rich as we would have expected, the accompaniments complemented it beautifully). The standout, however, was the salmon–absolutely perfectly done (to 120 degrees) and again, perfectly complemented with the bacon and fresh local produce.
And since this trip was built around the International Pinot Noir Conference and Willamette Valley winery visits, we decided to get a head start with one of the valley’s Pinots—Stoller 2010 Reserve Pinot. Although a bit light (in color, body and ifs bright red fruit), the wine was well balanced with a smooth finish. Good enough, in fact, to prompt us to add Stoller to our Willamette Valley winery must-visit list. So, first thing the next morning, we tackled the last leg of our journey up to IPNC, Willamette Valley wineries and a couple day in Portland.