Blue Ribbon Award Winner
Since 1990, diners have enjoyed some of the best cooking in the region at this former general store. There are hints of the house's former life--antiques, floral wallpaper, and Jeff MacNelly drawings. The dining takes place in two living-room-size areas, one on ground level, the other a level below. Service is leisurely and friendly. Much of the food, grown locally, is transformed by chef Heidi Morf into Modern American fare that doesn't strive for cutting-edge sophistication but maintains a high level of comfort.
Morf keeps her menu short but changes it frequently to keep up with seasonal specialties. At a mid-November dinner for two, good appetizers were lightly battered and deep-fried oysters between disks of puff-pastry with a red-pepper aïoli and toasted slices of Italian bread, and a caramelized-onion-and-smoked-cheddar tart with a savory pecan crust and baby arugula with a warm salad dressing. Main courses were a whole (but headless) grilled loup de mer with shiitake mushroom relish and crispy roasted caramelized onions and mashed potatoes, and beef tenderloin grilled with apple-smoked bacon served in a sage-black-pepper pastry with red-wine sauce and Iowa bleu-cheese mashed potatoes. The salad course was fine, and desserts were a pecan-almond toffee tart with house-made caramel ice cream, and a chocolate-spice cake with chocolate-fudge frosting and chocolate-fudge sauce. The wine list, while fairly priced, could be use some older reds.