Thursday, August 28, 2014

Sutton Edition: Cafe Cimino Country Inn and Restaurant

Cafe Cimino collageCafe Cimino is a real hidden gem.

It's a little out of the way. I don't usually have a reason to stop in the Sutton area; I'm often only passing through. But, Sutton was a destination recently, as Vicki and I attended the Fiesta tent sale. And, of course, we decided to treat ourselves to a great dinner. Lots of big life changes - in the best possible way - deserve to be celebrated.

And celebrate, we did.

The GPS took me through town, and at the end of the street just stood this massive house with a wraparound porch. We arrived a little early and toured the property. A few helpful staff members were more than happy to take us around and give us some history of the bed and breakfast.

Cafe CollageI had made reservations the week prior, and when we went inside, a small placecard with my name sat atop our table. It was already exciting - a warm, but elegant dining room with fresh flowers, white linens and hardwood floors right in the front of the building made for a welcoming feel.

We started out with some wine. I had an Albarino, which was excellent. Shortly after our waters and wines, we received an aperitif made of club soda, bitters and apple cider. It was so cool and refreshing. I was thinking cider would be heavy, warm and fall-like. But this was crisp and a little zesty with the orange. Awesome.

Cafe CiminoWe were first started off with a little gift from the chef. It was an endive heart with local heirloom tomatoes, some cheese shavings in a light reduction. Crunchy, light and cool.

Cafe CiminoOur waitress was incredibly knowledgeable and rattled off an amazing list of special appetizers for the day. One that caught our attention was their antipasto platter. It had just about all of the listed appetizers in one dish, so we went with that.

Dear god, this set the bar real, real high. Just look at that photo.

Toasted bread, grapes, two kinds of olives, roasted red pepper, gouda, goat cheese, roasted eggplant, caprese salad (with green, red and yellow tomato and fresh mozzarella), pickled carrots, pickled fennel, hard-boiled egg and shrimp. And this was a huge platter. We devoured the entire thing. Everything was incredible - even the fennel, which I tend to not gravitate toward in the dried format, was awesome. It was pleasant. More like an artichoke, more mild in flavor.

Then, we moved on to our next course of the night - salad. I have low expectation when it comes to salads, because most places throw a bad of shredded iceberg and two cherry tomatoes together and call it a meal. Not the case here. Not at all.

Cafe CiminoNice quarters of local red, yellow and green striped tomatoes topped with kalamata olives, crumbles of feta and some balsamic vinaigrette. My mouth is watering reliving this moment. It was so good. So fresh. So perfect.

Then, a palate cleanser before our main meals: cucumber, mascarpone and strawberry. Simple, but refreshing.

Cafe CiminoMy main entree was one of their specials - mushroom gnocchi. The flavors were not as vibrant as the previous dishes, so maybe my palate was a bit off. But it was definitely more understated. Gnocchi was getting a little mushy, but maybe I'm splitting hairs at this point because the appetizer and salad were amazing. Just more mild in flavor.

Cafe Cimino




Vicki had the shrimp and grits, which she loved.

Cafe Cimino




Oh, and there was bread and olive oil with our main courses!

Cafe Cimino

Cafe Cimino

For dessert, I ordered this toffee spice cake with vanilla ice cream. It was to die for. The cake had absorbed this toffee, so it was super moist and just full of sweet deliciousness. And it was just swimming in this pool of caramel, while my ice cream sat off to the side. I mean, I'm not sure I could've created a better dessert if I wanted.

Cafe Cimino

On top of all of that amazing food, we were sent out a petit four of homemade dark chocolate.

Cafe Cimino
I couldn't have asked for better service - from them showing us around the property when we first arrived, to the duration of our dinner with a super accommodating server, to meeting the owner. Everyone truly worked hard to make an incredible dining experience. And they really did. Plus the food - local, so fresh and creative. And the just overall genuine attention to how a meal progresses. One of the best meals in West Virginia I've ever had.

Grade: A
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