It was a long wait, but at last the first real snowfall of the year had finally arrived. Upon discovering the fresh blanket of snow, we couldn’t wait to take one of our favorite scenic routes. We wandered through Rochester and onto picturesque Orion Rd, from there we went north on snowscaped and unplowed Lake George Road. A drive through the country is nothing unusual for us, generally we avoid gravel roads but once frozen over and covered with snow they become quiet and pleasurable. This is the kind of road you want to take your time driving down; you’ll wander past everything from charming cottages and old family homes to late 20th century styles and modern estates. The journey will lead you past decades old Tree farms and working farms complete with horses and cows. After a snowfall the landscape is particularly stunning; snow clings to bare tree branches, Evergreens sag with the weight of the snow. There is a new-found silence when Mother Nature drapes your surroundings in white fluff, all you hear is the sound of snow crunching under the tires. The road is twisty and changes elevation, creating a beautiful panorama, so we take our time as we make our way up to Dryden Road and the town of Metamora.
The White Horse Inn has been an active part of Metamora for over 160 years. Once known as the Hoard House, it has served as the village store, stage-coach stop, Inn and restaurant. The historic building has stood the test of time and has become a destination restaurant. Located off of Dryden Road east of M-24, you can’t miss the 2-story white wooden building on the corner in the tiny hamlet. A large black sign hangs perpendicular to the front entrance to let you know you have arrived at the White Horse Inn. We parked in the lot behind the building and walked around to the front door, it took a minute for our eyes to adjust from the bright sunlight outdoors to the dark wood interior. One look and you would swear you have stepped back in time; from the wood plank floor and thick beams to the stained glass lights and wagon wheels. Even the menu features items that have been around for generations. We were in the mood for a hearty sandwich so we ordered the patty melt, it was absolutely delicious. A thick and tender beef patty sandwiched between grilled rye, smothered in sauteed onions and melted Swiss, accompanied by crispy seasoned fries, yum! We ordered a salad with the house made mustard maple dressing, excellent. You cannot help spotting the dessert tray as you are waiting to be seated, the thought of which one to order weighed heavily on my mind throughout the meal. When the moment arrived to choose, the bread pudding easily won. We have been to a lot of restaurants in a lot of different places, but never have we seen a bread pudding such as this; thick slices of bread baked in sweet custard, scooped out and piled high in a footed bowl, drenched in a fabulous rum sauce, this is some seriously good stuff. Four people could share the bread pudding, or any of the desserts for that matter. What we couldn’t eat, we took home for later……
There is a cute little shop across the street from White Horse called Saltbox, be sure to stop in. It’s one of those charming gift/home stores that smells great as soon as you open the door. Filled with pretty things, it is a wonderful mix of new and vintage goods. Old stained glass windows hang from the knotty pine ceiling, refinished dressers and cabinets show off decorative glassware, candles, and unique objects. Upstairs is more like an antique store with all the usual suspects; dishes, linens, jewelry and the like. I enjoy pointing out the things I remember from my grandmothers house or even things we had in our own home when I was growing up. It was getting to be time to start heading back, still taking back roads we started down Haven road heading south and making one last stop in Romeo.
We are no strangers to Romeo, but with two turns off of Main Street we discovered something new. Something had caught Kris’s attention so we were heading around the block; on the street named St Clair sat a house with a sign that read Village Winery, really?? It was dark out now, and the lit up sign had attracted our eye, we had to stop and check it out. We were happy to find the door unlocked and the tasting room open for business, the owner was standing behind the counter and invited us in. The room was cozy and pleasing, the wine selection is on the left wall and larger than I had imagined. After chatting with the owner we learned he imports his grapes from all over and makes the wine in small batches right there. I am not a white wine drinker by nature, but I have to admit when I saw the Peach Chardonnay it piqued my interest, what’s more Romeo than a peach? We were poured generous samples of the clear aromatic liquid, with just one sip I was sold! It was good, really good, crisp and light with a delicate peach flavor. My only mistake was tasting a sweet wine first, though the others were quite good too, there is a reason you work your way up to sweet when doing a tasting…… Romeo had hosted a Chocolate event earlier in the day, Village Winery was a participant so there was a bottle of Chocoraz sitting on the counter; underneath the name on the label it says “candy in a bottle”, they aren’t kidding. We each had a shot of this decadent Port, there is no mistaking the presence of chocolate or raspberry in this divine concoction. Made in limited quantities, there were only a few bottles left, so we bought one of those too. It was almost closing time, we had tasted delicious wines and had pleasant conversation with the man who makes the wine. We will be back and next time bring friends along. The Village Winery was a great discovery, and one you are sure to enjoy too.