Saturday, May 28, 2016

The Goldmoor Inn and Galena, Illinois

My friend Cortney and I headed to Galena, Illinois, just before the holidays this past year. She had been there before, but it was my first trip.

As we headed there, I was surprised to see the dramatic change in the Illinois landscape. What had started as flat farm land had turned into rolling hills, some of them high enough to be considered small ski mountains.

Our home for the long weekend would be the Goldmoor Inn and we were impressed from the start.

It looked like an English castle, with 18 suites inside, as well as three cottages and two cabins on the property for those looking for real privacy.

Although we were on a girls’ getaway, I could also certainly see it as the perfect place for a romantic trip.

The 23 acres the Goldmoor is on are right on the Mississippi River, which offers fantastic views all year round, from every spot.

We were shown into our suite and first went through a common area, which was welcoming with a fireplace and couches.

Our suite was quite big. It had a separate kitchen with a small table, and a large room with a pull-out couch, Jacuzzi, and king-sized bed.

The bathroom was also quite big and had one of my favorite amenities, a towel warming rack.

We left the Goldmoor to head to Indulge Spa. I had found a deal on Groupon and thought a pedicure would get me in the mood for a relaxing weekend. It definitely did.

We left the spa and headed to the Green Street Tavern in the downtown DeSoto House Hotel. 

We were meeting Jeff Graack, Director of Sales & Marketing for the Galena/Jo Davies County Convention and Visitors Bureau.

We talked about Galena and all the things that were going on for the Christmas season we were visiting during.

Galena during the holidays is quite magical every year, especially with the Night of the Luminaria & Living Windows downtown. We were going to attend this the following evening.

While we chatted we sipped drinks from the Martini Flights Green Street Tavern offered.

I picked a sweeter grouping than Cortney did, and we both enjoyed our choices.

Desoto House was also getting ready for a Christmas event and had cakes and trees on display so we spent a few minutes looking at those before we left.

We went back to our suite at the Goldmoor Inn and got ready for our dinner in their dining room. It was quite elegant and the food was just as inviting as the d├ęcor.

One of the owners of the Goldmoor, Slobo Radin, showed us to our table and welcomed us to the Inn.

We started with some freshly made bread and butter, along with some pickled vegetables.

Goldmoor's Chef Carlos Valdez came to speak with us and tell us about his views on finding fresh, local ingredients whenever possible.

For an appetizer, we had the very tasty Trio Bruschetta. It was a selection of three toppings, roasted eggplant hummus, basil pesto, and tomatoes and garlic in olive oil, served with warm, grilled pita bread.

We also really enjoyed the cheese stuffed mushrooms we had ordered 

I saw one of my favorites on the menu, Beef Wellington, and was happy to hear Chef Valdez was willing to make it well-done for me. Many chefs insist it will ruin the dish, but the good ones know that you won’t enjoy something if it’s not made the temperature you like.

It was delicious. It was also served with a rich scalloped potato cake.

Cortney savored the Double Seared Pork Chop with an apple cider brandy sauce, roasted apples, and a fig & apricot chutney, with a salad on the side instead of the potatoes.

We finished with a selection of scrumptious house-made desserts before heading back to our suite.

It had been a long day and we had an even longer one coming up, exploring Galena/Jo County

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