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Saturday, December 29, 2012

What a Treat! -- Holiday Dining

I've had some bum experiences with holiday and special occasion dining, but this year for our pre-Christmas celebratory dinner, Mr. Madley and I made reservations at the Blue Heron Restaurant in Sunderland.  We had enjoyed a New Year's Eve dinner there before, and when deciding on the right holiday restaurant for this year, the Blue Heron came immediately to mind.

If you've never been to the Blue Heron, it's a wonder to see.  The restaurant is in the renovated old town hall; the building has housed town offices and a school, and has been the site for plays, meetings, and community groups.  Tin ceiling, tall windows, beautiful chandeliers, high ceilings, strong rich colors, and old wood create a comfortable atmosphere to sit and talk and sit and eat and talk and eat.
The wait-staff is well trained -- attentive without being overly familiar.
And then, of course, there's the food.  The Blue Heron supports local farms/farmers (a list can be found on their menu), buying local seasonal produce when available, and uses meat from pasture-raised, grass-fed, antibiotic-free animals.  (Read their philosophy here.)  Entree options, as well as appetizers and desserts, are eclectic but always well-thought-out and creative, with a variety of flavours to please the palate.

Dinner for us started with the Blue Heron Salad and continued with the Pan Roasted Breast of Pekin Duck, which was just about divine.  The duck was crispy and juicy and well-seasoned; the fennel and compote and potatoes complemented the duck; the green beans were as good as any I've ever eaten.  For dessert we enjoyed the Chocolate Truffle Torte, which was a rich confection accompanied by gelato, cream, and cherries.  A positively delicious dinner -- it left me completely satisfied and happily content.  I honestly can't say that I've had a better dining experience anywhere in the Valley.

I recommend a visit to the Blue Heron -- it's a class operation with delicious food.  Enjoy!

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