If you remember, (and that would be quite a stretch to remember any one of my over 200 blogs so far), my blog about The Candle in the Woods restaurant, "The Greatest Meal I've ever Had!" Then, you would remember the intoxicating flavors and descriptions of the passion and creativity I experienced that fortuitous night I was introduced to this very special restaurant.
Let me take you back in time to give you just a little bit of history. Chef Dave Adlard's accomplishments go beyond the realm of the culinary arts. Chef Dave was also a gymnastics coach at the highest level, coaching three world champions over the course of his illustrious career. Although officially retired from coaching he's the meet director for the annual Great West Gym Fest and is still involved in teaching.
Apparently he's been involved and finished iron man competitions (thought he looked familiar), has been on the Food Network, and has taught gymnastic clinics around the world. That focus and attention to detail has translated to an extraordinary culinary experience for those lucky enough to sit at the table at the Candle in the Woods in Athol, Idaho. Another aspect to this night of food, wine, and fun was the staff Chef Dave has assembled to perform the culinary duties. These chefs range in age from 22 down to 16 years old. Each chef provides the skill, attention to detail, and the work ethic to accomplish new dishes rotated into the evenings festivities on a daily basis. The chefs and front of the house staff are as follows:
Sous Chef Sarah Kitchings
Chef de Partie David Sharon
Exec. Commis Benjamin Givens
Commis Ethan Storm
HCT Eli Storm
Chef Emeritus Keli Cain
Sommelier Noelle Loparco
FOH Traci Hasselhuhn
Trust me... that precise and detailed manufacturing of new dinner items is not done in almost any other kitchen in America. I would say any other kitchen because that's closer to the truth but there might be some kitchen, somewhere... maybe in a galaxy far, far, away.
This latest meal on Valentine's Day was another culinary home run. I will simply list the food and wine course by course except for a couple courses that require further interpretation:
Steak S'more and Tuna Tartare Nibbles served with a Valentine's Day Champagne Cocktail
Nachos Three Ways - Potato, Yak, and Ostrich served with a Chalk Hill 2017 Rose, Sonoma
Short Rib Ebelskiver with Rhubarb and Ancho Maple Syrup served with Ormarine 2018 Picpoul de Pinet, France
Smoked Quail Egg and Roasted Bone Marrow served with Renaissance 2014 Semillon
Coconut Curry Soup served with 2019 Rombauer Chardonnay, Carneros
Intermezzo - Pickled Huckleberry, Fresh Raspberry, Bacon and Balsamic Ice Cream with Togarashi Macaron served with Schramsberg "Mirabelle" Sparkling Rose, Napa
Filet Mignon with Tableside Hot Rock Scallops and Tabasco Grits served with 2015 Acumen Cellars Estate Merlot, Napa
Lobster and Crab Cannelloni in Sambuca and Lemon Cream with Homemade Bread served with 2017 Patton Ridge Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley, Oregon
Second Intermezzo -Sorbet with Sparkling Sugar served with Isenhower "Jongleur" Petite Verdot, Walla Walla, Washington
Lamb T Bone with Roasted Potato and Asparagus served with 2011 Cairdean Cellars "Acquantance Vineyard" Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa
Double Chocolate and Raspberry Mousse, 2005 Chateau d'Yquem, France
Cheese and Chocolate Strawberry, served with 10 year old Tawny, Portugal
Several courses blew my mind. The Lobster and Cannelloni in Sambuca and Lemon Cream with Homemade Bread left me barely able to mutter a single word. I was like a baby that wanted more but could only drool to express its complete satisfaction with that perfectly assembled course. That course and the Lamb T Bone served flamed at the table made me a complete vegetable. Those dishes provided me an out of body experience that still has me waiting to descend to earth. And if that wasn't enough... pouring the 2005 Chateau d'Yquem propelled me to the land of make believe where anything is possible. Unbelievable!
All the courses were magnificent in their composition and presentation. The segue to each course was the monolog provided by Chef Dave. The humble beauty of the discourse woven with stories that span the horizon of real life experiences enhancing the meal and bringing the evening into the realm of a memory you will never forget.
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