Recipe: Belgian Endive Salad

Summer is a season for salads! They’re refreshing, easy to make, and help us stick to our warm-weather wellness goals. The only downside to these nutrient packed dishes is that they can become monotonous day after day. So, in the spirit of keeping summer dining interesting, we’ve shared a salad recipe that will help mix up your normal cooking routine!

Click here to view our Belgian Endive Salad recipe!  We have another variation of an Endive Salad on our current summer menu and we hope to see you dining with us soon! Call 828.295.5141 to make dinner reservations at Rowland’s Restaurant or visit OpenTable.com.

The Three F’s of Enjoying Wine

“Sometimes it’s easy to overthink the glass of wine in your hand. It’s not always about how wine looks, smells, and tastes. Long before I truly understood the wine in my glass, I only related to how it made me feel. Did it take me somewhere I had never been before? Could I get a sense of its history? I was transfixed by the elements of weather, earth, and physical hardships that it took to make that particular glass of wine.

Over time, my juvenile notions grew into dinner parties. While it was my passion for wine that drove me to study and want to learn all I could, these parties taught me true appreciation of wine. I had studied so many literal things about wine. Words like terroir, producer, AOC, varietal, and harvest were part of a new language, but a language I quickly realized was only spoken by other sommeliers. So, when I was finally given the chance to go on the floor as the sommelier for a restaurant, I quickly realized this new found language was not the ideal way to connect to our guests. I had to find a way to talk to my audience, and then I remembered the dinner parties. We all have our own way we describe wine. We all have our own language. The key to being a good sommelier is listening and interpreting. Someone might interpret a red wine with overripe fruit as sweet; even though I know most red wines are bone dry. Others might find a particular white wine tart and lacking body, while I know it is just young and too cold.

As a sommelier, I am not just a consumer or someone who loves wine. It is my job to sell wine. And sometimes, in a world of quotas, budgets, and ego it is easy to create a sense of division between seller and buyer. In the most arrogant of situations, the professional forgets they can still learn something. So at the end of the day, I remind myself that we are all enthusiasts.

So I offer the three F’s:
1. Favorites
The first question I ask any guest is “what do you drink at home.” This question establishes a baseline and it lets me know what you enjoy as a wine consumer. As a sommelier and salesperson, I have created a wine program that caters to all likes and therefore have a wine selection to satisfy everyone’s personal taste.
I am the first one to advocate stepping out your comfort zone, but until you are comfortable with the salesperson, stick to your guns. Make them make you happy. There is a time and place for adventure.
2. Friends
Experience is everything. An environment where all thoughts and opinions are free flowing and comfortable is central to a memorable wine experience. This comfort comes from good company and a mutual respect for different opinion. You tasted cherry. I tasted raspberry. Well, all red wine tastes like cherries and raspberries. Wine is subjective, so you should have fun debating it. “Is that cherry unripe or just cherry pie?” “Are you really tasting raspberry or is it actually cranberry?” I am amazed on a daily basis by the amount I learn about wine by simply listening to another person’s interpretation.
3. Food
As a lover of wine, I will certainly agree that some wines are delicious as an aperitif or a digestif. I can certainly start the evening with a glass of rosé and end with a madeira, but most wine is made to be enjoyed with food. I’ve never had a Gruner Veltliner come alive until it was married with fried chicken. The bodacious nature of a vintage Champagne gives balance to a ribeye topped with grilled bacon and morel butter poached lobster knuckle meat. Chablis pairs perfectly with oysters. I could go on and on. Wine is food. Not in any literal sense of vegetable, starch, or protein, but certainly as an accoutrement.
The pairing of food and wine is the beginning of the true adventure. Sure, we have to consider what we are drinking. But most importantly, why are we drinking it, who are we drinking with, and what are we drinking it with?”

 

– Gary Brown C.S

Summer Newsletter

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Warm weather has arrived at Westglow! As with every major shift in the seasons, we’ve recently released the latest edition of our Westglow newsletters.

Putting together a newsletter is always exciting, as it gives Westglow’s team a chance to convey all property happenings in one comprehensive setting. This edition is no different and we’re taking summer indulgence to new levels this season.

Truly, it’s the summer of “new” as we’ve unveiled our new summer menu at Rowland’s, a rejuvenated hiking program, and Rowland’s weekly Sunday Brunches all in time for this season. Luxury and a sense of fulfillment are always primary goals at Westglow and we hope these new offerings will add to our valued traditions.

We’re also sharing new recipes, new wine selections for the season, and new spa services that are perfect for the warm weather months! Stay tuned for more summertime information and we hope to see you enjoying Westglow soon!

Beckstoffer Wine Dinner

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This past Friday Rowland’s hosted an outstanding “pairing” dinner featuring Beckstoffer wines and a custom-crafted menu. The entire evening, from the before-dinner meet and greet to the final taste of Cabernet Sauvignon, was magical, informative, and most of all, delicious!

The evening’s highlights included the “Hogwash” Rosé of Grenache tasting, paired with a refreshing Oyster Amuse Bouche. Other favorites included a unique Endive Salad with pickled shrimp and the 2013 “The Sum” blend from The Seventy Five Wine Company, paired with a perfectly braised Lamb Osso Bucco.

Wine pairing dinners are special evenings at Rowland’s as they bring wine-passionate people together to taste some of the finest wines available along with outstanding cuisine designed to enhance the wines and awaken the palette. This year’s Savor wine dinner featuring Beckstoffer wines was sold out weeks in advance and judging the favorable comments, was a resounding success.

If you were unable to join us for this event or wish to come to a future wine dinner, stay tuned–we’re hosting three separate wine events over Mother’s Day Weekend. Call Rowland’s Restaurant at 828-295-5141 for more details and reserve your place!

Seafood Risotto

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Risotto is one of those milestones recipes for many aspiring chefs. Few dishes beat the texture and flavor of a perfectly cooked risotto and luckily, the dish pairs well with most proteins and vegetables. For this particular recipe, we suggest scallops as an accompaniment.

Click here to view our seafood risotto recipe!

Pine Needle Roasted Mushrooms Recipe

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We’ve been having unseasonably warm weather for late February, but that doesn’t mean we’re quite done savoring hearty winter food. What embodies cold weather cuisine better than anything roasted with pine needles? Answer: not much.

We’ve shared our recipe for Pine Needle Roasted Mushrooms on the Westglow website. The dish is a favored accompaniment on our Salmon entrée and available nightly in Rowland’s Restaurant. Click here to view the recipe.

Blowing Rock WinterFest

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Every year after the holidays, the Blowing Rock Chamber of Commerce stages a weekend of winter festivities. Known as WinterFest, we look forward to the weekend as a chance to break up the sometimes monotonous march of the winter weeks.

Our WinterFest highlight is always the annual Winter Feast. The event brings together Blowing Rock restaurants in one venue and gives us all a chance to strut our stuff. Locals and out of town guests purchase tickets for one of night’s three seatings and are treated to tastings from all of the featured restaurants. This year we offered pork posole with all of its accompaniments and the dish was a huge hit!

We’re excited to celebrate the rest of WinterFest this weekend! Click here to learn more.

Fall & Winter Newsletter

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It’s newsletter time again at Westglow! Each edition is a beautiful summation of all the property happenings and this issue is no exception. We have a new menu, new spa services, exciting plans for the holidays, and so much more.

Autumn is in full swing here and the famed color change is reaching its peak this weekend. Westglow has taken every step to celebrate the season and we are now offering luxurious pumpkin services at our spa, an indulgent dinner menu premiering next week, and a traditional Thanksgiving buffet sure to please every family. Visit the links to learn more!

Moving forward, holiday planning time is here. We will decorate for the holidays shortly after Thanksgiving and now is the time to plan your holiday event. Our dining and event spaces cater to family, friend, and business retreats of all sizes. Call our Event Coordinator at 828-295-4463 for more information!

Keep a close eye out for our holiday gift certificate specials! The most wonderful sale of the year will begin towards the end of November so make sure that a gift from Westglow is on your holiday shopping list. Finally, our New Year’s Eve menu will debut in early December. Make plans to celebrate the New Year in style at Rowland’s Restaurant.

Click here to view the full newsletter!

Menu Tasting

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It’s almost newsletter time at Westglow! But, before we can unveil all the new happenings around the property, there are several behind the scenes details that must be completed.

One of the more exciting details is the upcoming fall and winter menu and we just finished the tasting process. A new menu release is always preceded by a three-night menu tasting that grades each new dish by presentation, taste, and composition. Tastings are a chance for the chefs at Rowland’s Restaurant to show off their creativity and convey their seasonal inspirations. The autumn menus will highlight seasonal comfort food. Fall and winter are known for their hearty dishes and Rowland’s has brought a lot of that flavor to the table for this new menu.

We would personally suggest the Taleggio Bisque, Crispy Prosciutto Wrapped Hump Mountain Trout, and Pumpkin Beggar’s Purses as an excellent introduction to the new menu. The trout entrée is locally sourced and its prosciutto wrap adds a hearty, seasonal flavor. With thyme ice cream and candied thyme, the Pumpkin Beggar’s Purses are a quintessential autumn dessert. Finally, the Taleggio Bisque might just end up on our recipes page. The new menu will be released Monday October, 24th and we hope to see you dining at Rowland’s soon!

Click here to view our current menu and call 828-295-5141 to make your reservations.

Sommelier’s August Wine Pick

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For those adventurous enough to try something outside of a glass of Pinot Grigio or Chardonnay, we suggest Falanghina!

As one of Italy’s great unsung white wines, it’s a brilliant all-rounder, with plenty of citrus fruit, faint notes of apple and pear, and the merest hint of nutty complexity. The balance of crispness and texture means this wine accompanies a huge range of foods, from roasted vegetables to fish and poultry.

Cantina del Taburno is owned by the agricultural Consortium of Benevento. The Consortium was established in 1901 and it had an extremely important role in the development of agriculture in the Sannio area. The winery was built in 1972 in the township of Foglianise and it is a point of reference for viticulture, due to its production philosophy and for its positive impact on the economy.

“I think my wine theme for the summer is going to be the unknown whites of the world. I find Falaghino to be fruity, reminiscent of pineapple and of ripe pear, with a touch of nuttiness you might find in a great Burgundy. My favorite pairing with this wine has been a duck and pear salad with a mango chutney. I definitely suggest two bottles, as the first one goes rather quickly!”- Gary E. Brown, CS – Restaurant Manager

Click here to view our wines by the glass list and stay tuned for fall changes!