Update: Dining Room is closed.
In a word: Another drive in the country yields another winner.
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JM ate the pan seared salmon filet with sauteed mushrooms, parmesan garlic potato cake, and caramelized onions, with a lemonade.
Nichole ate the butternut squash risotto with seared spinach, toasted pumpkin seeds, and maple creme fraiche, with an old fashioned, sweet.
We shared a peanut butter mousse.
The bill was $53, or $26.50/person, plus tip.
JM gave the Dining Room an A-; Nichole gave the Dining Room an A (see our grading rubric).
What a gem the Dining Room is! The real question may be whether Monticello can be defined as "the rough."
Maybe it's that fresh food tastes better at harvest time, but we'd be willing to bet that the Dining Room is great year-round. Nichole was taken with her squash risotto and JM quite enjoyed his salmon (although he did admit it was the only thing he was willing to eat on the short, adventurous menu). Once we noticed that both our entrees had four main elements, we enjoyed trying each combination of flavors - i.e., JM would sample a bit of salmon with mushrooms, a bite of potato with onions, a forkful of mushrooms and potato, etc. Mathematicians and librarians do that kind of thing sometimes.
JM cannot say enough about the peanut butter mousse. Rich, creamy and elegantly presented in a martini glass, it is simply PB served liked whipped cream. While chocolate mousses run the gamut of quality, JM's recollections of the peanut butter variety can only go down from here. Nichole had a nibble, but it was too sweet for her. The bill was quite sweet too, given the high quality of the meal preceeding it.