Willow – September 4, 2011

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Last week I went to Willow for a family dinner after I returned home from my trip to Buffalo for the Wing Festival (video blog is still being worked on) and I wasn’t even sure if I could eat any more food after all those chicken wings I had that Saturday. Since I just got home about an hour before dinner I didn’t want to change, so I went to Willow in jeans and a polo and I was wondering if I would be under dressed. I walked in on that Sunday evening and was happy to see a few people walking out in shorts, so my fashion fears were put behind me lol. Willow has a very attractive bar when you first walk in and if I lived closer would probably be a frequent visitor. The whole restaurant gives you a warm, comforting feel as you walk through it.

We arrived at our table and began looking over the menu and my Uncle Bob mentioned a drink that sounded delicious – Cucumber Mojito. I checked it out and it sounded like something I had to have: Square One Cucumber Vodka, muddled mint, simple syrup, ginger ale. One of my favorite beverages is the cucumber collins at the Fish Market in the Waterfront, I have to say that this Cucumber Mojito is giving the Collins a run for its money. The cucumber vodka and fresh mint combination was very refreshing and the ginger ale just gave it that perfect amount of carbination. I would’ve been happy with just a few of those for dinner.

Looking over the menu a few items caught my attention, but of course one of them was sold out for the evening (tenderloin alfredo – spinach fettuccini smothered in our classic alfredo sauce and topped with garlic seared filet medallions), sounds delicious right? I will return for you one day! I then decided to choose the seared chicken fettuccini – wild mushrooms, confit tomato, arugula and sundried tomato fettuccini in parmesan white wine broth. The tomato fettuccini was tasty, but what stole this dish and would bring me back for seconds was the parmesan white wine broth. The flavor, oh the flavor, that this dish had from everything combined. The chicken was tender and juicy, and it was unusual for me to see chunks of white meat and dark meat scattered throughout but just impacted the flavor even more. I think you can just tell how good it was by the picture above. Even before I had my main course I started with a roasted beet salad and that isn’t something that should be forgotten. The salad had nice flavor to it as well with arugula, paradise farms local goat cheese, beets, candied fennel and a strawberry-orange vinaigrette. I love goat cheese and that sold me early on in the salad, but everything was perfect together and the vinaigrette was a nice compliment with the smooth goat cheese and sweet beets. I could have that salad over and over again. The night ended with a simple dessert of blood orange sorbet, it was a perfect ending to a very fulfilling dinner.

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