Sunday, January 23, 2011

Food Adventure: The Salem Cross Inn

The Salem Cross Inn

A few months ago at a business after hours event, I was handed a brochure for Salem Cross Inn's Fireplace Feast. As soon as I opened it and saw the mouth-watering photo of prime rib roasting over a fire, I knew this is where I would be taking Eric for his birthday.  Fireplace Feast is just one of the many colonial dining events Salem Cross hosts every year. Guests are invited to join the Inn for a 1700 style feast, all cooked in their grand fieldstone fireplace.  The feast includes not only a 4 course dinner, but also pie making, chowder, and mulling demonstrations and a horse drawn sleigh ride through their snow covered grounds.

As we pulled in, we were greeted by this spectacular view. After dinner we took a sleigh ride through here.  It was 15 degrees today with a wind chill of -1.  It didn't make for the perfect sleigh ride, but it was still breathtaking.  

View of the grounds from the street.

When we walked in, we were directed to the cellar where we enjoyed their famous cheese spread with crackers and a glass of mulled wine by the fire.

Pouring a glass of homemade mulled apple cider and mulled wine.

Their savory cheese spread with mulled wine!

The cheese spread was absolutely delicious and the mulled wine was....well...FABULOUS! I will be making this soon! You could taste the brandy right off the steam before you took a sip and the aroma of the cinnamon stick and cloves was so comforting.

As we enjoyed our wine and cheese, we admired the view of the roasting prime rib on the fire.  I can't event tell you how excited Eric was about it. Prime rib is his favorite.


Look at that!
Now it was time to make the chowder.  The prime rib was removed to rest and a large cast iron cauldron was brought out in its place.  Volunteers were called upon to help make the seafood chowder. Eric was the first to go up (with a little help from me!).  His job was to add the butter that was mixed with spices.

Eric starting off the chowder.

The chowder was made with a bushel of fresh clams, a seafood broth, fresh pollock, potatoes,  a little Tabasco and Worcestershire sauce, and cream, which was added last once the pot was removed from the fire.

Adding the pollock to the chowder.

The finished chowder.

After the chowder demonstration, we filed upstairs to the dining room to get ready for the feast! The hostess lets you know where your seats are when checking in.  Everyone is seated on long family style tables.  

The chowder was served first.  It was one of the best chowders I've had.  It was perfectly creamy with a little heat from the Tabasco sauce, and the fish tasted fresh all the way through. 

New England Chowder
Hot sweet rolls and muffins were placed on the table. I snagged a sweet cinnamon & pecan one! It was wonderful!

Now came the star of the show.  The prime rib was served with herb-roasted potatoes, butternut squash, and spinach pie. 





Everything was perfect.  The prime rib was outstanding, no exaggeration! Even the sides were equally delicious! Definitely save room for this feast because if there is any left, they will come around with seconds and you do not want to pass that up! I am very disappointed in myself for doing so.

For dessert, they served homemade apple pie and whipped cream that was made fresh downstairs.  Again, another great success.  It was so good and the cream was like its own dessert. They gave you as much cream as apple pie!

This was a GIANT bowl of cream!

Homemade Apple Pie & Whipped Cream
We could barely walk out of the Inn today but it was so worth it. We definitely plan to attend another dining event at The Salem Cross Inn.  Here is more info about the Inn:

The Salem Cross Inn
260 West Main Street (Rt 9)
West Brookfield, MA
The Fireplace Feast was $55 per person. Book early because the Saturday dates fill up.  I was unable to get a Saturday date which was my first choice.  This event would be perfect for groups of family members or friends due to the seating arrangements.  If you are looking for an intimate setting with a special someone you would be better off eating in their restaurant.  Eric and I sat at a table with 8 other people, but it was nice to meet new faces and share stories.






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