Reviews & Giveaways

Herm’s Summer Dinner 7/10/14

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PhotoCredit: I completely lifted this picture from their Facebook page.
Every Sunday or nearly every Sunday, Elizabeth and I find ourselves at our favorite local diner, Herm’s Inn.  We join various friends every week for some of the best pancakes with lemon butter, mac n’ cheese, coffee, and French fries in the entire valley.  Even my family, when they come to visit, have Herm’s on their “to-eat at” list while in town.

Herm’s Inn is only open until 2 pm.  They do not serve dinner, which is a total shame.  I have often craved their pancakes or Cuban sandwich at 6 pm and am left wanting.  However, last summer, they started “Summer Dinner Club.”  Once or twice a month, they opened for dinner and the chef provided a special multi-course meal.

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The chef is Barney Northrup.  I have known Barney in a chef/patron capacity for the past several years.  We run into each other all over the valley from time to time because we live in a town the size of a Kardashian’s closet.  We’re even Facebook friends, which is really true definition of friendship these days, no?Before Barney entered my food world, I turned my nose at seafood, save the tuna sandwich my grandma makes.  A few years ago at another dinner at another restaurant he made a miso soaked salmon.  Before this, my experience with salmon was not good.  It was always mushy, almost pate like.  It was just plain gross.  When he shared his menu with me for this dinner and it included salmon, I wasn’t eager to try it.

Well this meal had no seafood to speak of.  I was not heartbroken over the lack of seafood.  My friend Joan was also pleased there was no seafood (or mushrooms, she doesn’t like those either.)  The menu was emailed out several days before the dinner and when I saw it, I was beyond excited. Without further ramblings on my end, here was our meal.
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 It wasn’t until another Herm’s person, Ken, gently scolded me and asked “how can you call yourself a foodie if you don’t eat seafood?” This was all the rebuking I needed to change my ways.  I ate that salmon, and by golly, I loved it.  I have trusted in Barney ever since.  I even trusted in his protégé and ate her red trout on Valentine’s Day, the day this very blog launched.  I will acknowledge and admit I did falter once, however.  Valentine’s 2013, I couldn’t bring myself to swallow the oyster topped with caviar.  Jim did, so he gets those brownie points.
Quinoa Salad with Cilantro-Lime Dressing: It was great.  It was a salad.  Quinoa was prepared perfectly.  The dressing was fabulous.  But it was a salad.
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Duck Confit Tamales with Seared Duck Breast and Sweet Onion Soubise: Barney prepared my first duck several years ago at another dinner at another restaurant (yes, that’s three different restaurants now). I fell in love with duck right then and there, so when I saw it on the menu for this dinner, I was beyond giddy. He did not let me down. The skin was seared to a crisp. Fantastic. The meat was a perfect medium rare. It was tender and juicy. The tamale was fantastic. I have been eating tamales my entire life. I hated them as a kid. The masa was always so thick with very little meat. But taste buds change and by my late teens I started loving them. His tamales were excellent. The duck was moist and the masa well seasoned. Now onto the sweet onion soubise; O.M.G.If you have looked at my recipes, you will notice an onion is in almost every recipe. There are very few recipes that I do not put onions in. I love them. I have joked for two decades now that if I could find a way to eat them in my breakfast, I would. I am happy to report, I have found a way to eat onions for breakfast. This sweet onion soubise is by far my favorite dish of the night, which is sad considering bison was up next. Cream of Wheat was my favorite childhood breakfast (with lumps). While I am certain that there is no Cream of Wheat in his dish, it was like eating a sweet onion version. The dish was garnished with fresh from the garden onion blossoms. In fact, they came from his and Molly’s (his girlfriend) garden. They are delicious all on their own. Look for my own version of Barney’s fantastic sweet onion soubise in the coming weeks.

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Cherrywood Smoked American Bison with composed Succotash: Bison is delicious. If you only eat the big three (chicken, pork, and beef), give this cousin to beef a try! Barney seasoned this meat perfectly. My photographs are horrible, but it was cooked to medium rare. Tender and succulent, it made me wish I had the option of eating bison more often. The succotash was deconstructed, if you will. The corn was pureed. The lima beans were amazing. Not overly waxy like they can be, more buttery. It inspired me to make my own succotash this weekend (it will be posted later this week.)

3886565_orig.jpg9092946_orig.jpgHousemade Chipotle Chocolates with local Cherry Gelato: I am not sure what local cherry gelato means. Locally sourced cherries? Or cherry gelato from a place in town? Either way, it was fantastic. Somehow desserts spoons failed to make it to our table and I ate my gelato with my butter knife. It was warm and it was melting quickly and with no servers around, I had to do what I had to do. The heat of the chipotle and the cooling creamy gelato was absolutely transcending. The balance was amazing.

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This dinner was fantastic.  I loved every bite and I ate almost every bite.  Darla, one of my closest, dearest friends was my dinner companion for the evening.  We have both been so busy we took this dinner as a girl’s night outing.  We caught up, shared a bottle of Pinot Grigio and enjoyed the food.  Everyone at Herm’s are wonderful, from the owners to the busboys.

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2 Comments

  • Reply
    Betty
    March 17, 2015 at 3:18 pm

    Great place for some great food. I am there several times when visit Logan.

    • Reply
      Michelle
      March 17, 2015 at 4:48 pm

      We shall go again when you visit next.

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