Recently I attended the Spring Media Luncheon at Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club. What an experience! The Washington Duke Inn works very hard to provide a stellar experience and that's the reason they are multi award winners. (Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star Award, AAA Four Diamond Award & Wine Spectator Award of Excellence).
Upon arrival, we were greeted with a choice of a Mint Julep or spritzer. I opted for the Mint Julep. It was made with Woodford Reserve Bourbon which is the "official" bourbon of the Kentucky Derby. -By the way, that's right around the corner (May 2), and can be celebrated at the Inn between 11a.m. - 8:00p.m. See link at bottom of upcoming events including "Derby Day at the Inn".
Now I've had Mint Juleps in years past, but apparently never with the "right" Bourbon, until now that is. This drink knocked my socks off. It had a nice deep flavor and it was very smooth. I haven't even gotten to telling you about the luncheon part of the afternoon, but before I do, please take my advice and order the Mint Julep with your meal when you go to the Washington Duke Inn. Oh heck, just stop in for the drink itself. It's worth it!
The fine folks of the Inn, sent us on a quick scavenger hunt through the building, followed by lunch in the Fairview Dining Room.
The hunt was fun & exciting. I had no idea just how large the Inn is and how much there is to see. Not only is there beautiful art throughout, but there is also history. Be sure to check out their hallway of heads (busts), the spacious terrace with fireplace, vintage wedding dresses displayed on mannequins, the golf course and more.
This is the King Standard Room. By the way, there are 42 suites at the Inn. As soon as I walked into this room (room 209), I was impressed with how beautiful, crisp and comfortable it looked and felt.
A little art & history: This Duke Blue Devil is actually the flooring that was once in the Cameron Indoor Stadium at Duke University. Apparently, surreptitiously obtained and stored for many years until it found its permanent home at the Inn. It hangs just outside the Golf Shop.
The Golf Shop. It is bigger than it looks in this photo.
Ginger Carrot & Watercress Pea Soup, Fried Spinach, Benne Seeds.
This soup wowed me. Flavors were exquisite and beautifully complemented by the spinach & benne seeds. Plus I was very intrigued as to how it was poured into the bowl this way. Such a beautiful dish!
Spring Salad: Asparagus, Grilled Pepper, Green Chickpeas, Shaved Carrot, Watercress, Roasted Tomato Vinaigrette, with Salmon. (Other protein options are shrimp and chicken).
This was perfection. I was so impressed with the beautiful presentation, the way it was constructed and the precise mixture of vegetables along with the perfectly seasoned & perfectly prepared salmon.
Passion Fruit Cremeux: Matcha green tea & coconut cream, aloe ice, lychee sorbet, coffee crumble.
Chocolate Flourless Torte: Grand Marnier ganache, blood orange reduction.
Wow, wow and wow!!! Each was a completely different experience that I enjoyed thoroughly.
The 1st one however, was my favorite because it was most surprising. The very crunchy coffee crumble along with the soft tangy & sweet passion fruit square, was such an unexpected flavor combination and yet so pleasing in taste and texture that I think I have to plan to go back again real soon & have it again. Winner!
Executive Chef Jason Cunningham, spoke about the menu offerings we were tasting. What a talent and artist! He and his amazing team created incredible dishes for us. This is just a typical day at the Inn. ;)