Carrboro, North Carolina
Born and raised in central Maine, my youth was spent mowing the lawn, kicking a soccer ball against the garage doors, and trying to sneak sugar cereal out of the kitchen cupboards after I was put to bed. More about Tim
South Royalton, Vermont
I am a baby boomer who grew up in a time when the trend in food was convenience and speed. It wasn't the fast-food era, but a post-World War II time when ... More about Warren
We live in Holliston, Massachusetts. When we bought our house in Holliston about 27 years ago, Holliston was a rural/residential town of about 13,000 people. More about Barbara
Wallace, West Virginia
My name is Autumn. I'm 24 years old, and I live in rural north-central West Virginia. I was born and raised in West Virginia, and in 2005 I graduated from ... More about Autumn
My personal interests revolve around the environment, both knowing more about it and getting outside and enjoying my surroundings. This led me down an educational path to ... More about April
Posted at 11:01 AM on July 14, 2008 by Autumn Long (5 Comments)
Last Thursday we celebrated Dan's birthday with a day trip to Sutton, West Virginia. We took the canoe out on Sutton Lake for the afternoon, then we ate a fantastic meal at Café Cimino Country Inn, a fine Italian restaurant and bed & breakfast owned and operated by lifelong family friends Tim and Melody Urbanic.
The Inn overlooks the Elk River at the end of Sutton's quiet, historic main street. The Urbanics have restored the three-story mansion and surrounding buildings and grounds to create 10 guest rooms, dining rooms on the ground floor of the main house, an innkeeper's residence on the top floor, an outdoor terrace and patio, and a tapas bar overlooking the river. Tim specializes in the Southern Italian cuisine he learned from his Italian immigrant grandparents, the Ciminos. His son Eli, the restaurant's Executive Sous Chef, lives on the family farm, where he grows organic herbs, vegetables, and shiitake mushrooms for use at the restaurant. The Urbanics purchase and serve local West Virginia foods whenever possible, and they ascribe to the Slow Food movement's principles of freshness, quality, and pleasure in eating. Dining at Café Cimino is an experience that engages all your senses.
Dan and I enjoyed an incredible meal there on Thursday evening. The thoughtfully selected wine list includes something for everyone, including West Virginia wines for the locavore's palate. Eli recommended the antipasto platter for starters, and of course we were eager to follow his advice. An assortment of olives, cheeses, fresh-baked focaccia with basil pesto, Caprese salad, and West Virginia bourbon-smoked trout started us off richly. For the main course Dan chose the yellow-fin tuna filet (not exactly local, but delicious) with gorgonzola sauce over pasta. I chose one of the evening's specials, pan-seared West Virginia trout with basil pesto served with polenta and fresh vegetables. I can honestly say that it was one of the best pieces of fish I have ever eaten in my life. For dessert, our very competent waiter served Dan a special birthday slice of cheesecake with chocolate sauce, complete with a candle and "Happy Birthday" written in icing. I scored the very last crème brulee available that evening. Sweeeeet!
The Urbanics are strong supporters of sustainable agriculture, and they are regional leaders in offering farm-raised, locally grown, and artisan-made foods. If you're looking for a truly memorable dining experience or a luxurious weekend getaway in Central West Virginia, look no further than Café Cimino Country Inn.
Autumn: I too have enjoyed a meal at Cafe Cimino. Your description of the event (don't you think a shared meal at Cafe Cimino is an event:)) was right on - the food and the experience was absolutely wonderful!
I hadn't given too much thought to the challenge of eating out - and eating locally - and your post really got me thinking and hungry for a return trip to Cafe Cimino!
Posted by Margie | July 14, 2008 11:07 PM
Margie, thanks for your comments. I'm glad you've enjoyed the Cafe Cimino experience. You bring up a good point: Eating out often presents a difficult challenge for locavores (at least in our neck o' the woods). Cooking at home as often as possible seems to be the most straightforward solution, but finding something decent to eat while traveling is still a sticking point for me and, I imagine, my fellow locavores. Happy local eating,
Posted by Autumn Long | July 15, 2008 9:14 AM
Is'nt Cafe Cimino wonderful? I'm glad to hear that you had a great time at Sutton Lake. There is so much to do locally (besides eat). I just spent a week at Watoga State Park doing what I enjoy, hiking, and tubing, and eating, of course. I was pleased to learn that the park restaurant (The Pretty Penny) obtains as much of its food from local farms as possible. The fare is simple, but delicious and the prices are reasonable. Since I was a vacation, I ate out twice. The rest of the time, I prepared my own meals, most of which I brought from home. I'm surprised by how much local food I can find if I look especially if I am willing to cook and bake a bit. I thank you for raising my consciousness on this matter.
Posted by Carol Clevenger | July 18, 2008 8:33 AM
Happy birthday to Dan.
This is a great way to get the message of sustainability and eating locally out to the public.
We miss you all
Posted by Scilla | July 18, 2008 8:56 AM
Thanks for your comments, Carol and Scilla. Carol, I'm glad to hear that you enjoyed a nice vacation to beautiful Pocahontas County. What an incredible area! I'll be sure to check out the Pretty Penny restaurant next time I'm up that way. (We're hoping to take a camping trip to the Mon Forest at some point in August.) Also glad to hear that you have enjoyed the Cafe Cimino experience. :-) Thanks for reading, as always!
Scilla, it's great to hear from you! I hope all is well for you and Paul. I wrote your sister an email after reading her latest update about the school and hearing so much news lately about the crisis in Zimbabwe. She even wrote me back within a couple of days to thank me for the kind words! Wow, what an inspirational lady. I hope to see you sometime soon...All my best to your family.
Posted by Autumn Long | July 18, 2008 10:05 AM