Valentine’s Dinner At SpringHouse

The first dinner date my husband I went on was at SpringHouse, on Lake Martin, Alabama. I had to meet him there because I had to work late that evening. We met first at a friend of his lake cabin, where we would be spending the weekend. I got lost on one of the many dirt roads that led to the cabin, and I couldn’t help but think, “where is this man taking me?” When I finally reached the bottom of a red dirt hill, it opened up to a quaint cabin nestled on a slough on emerald green Lake Martin. We had an amazing weekend, and share many fond memories from this time we were falling in love.

SpringHouse was the absolute first choice for our Valentine’s celebration, which was also the kick off to an extended weekend vacation. I highly recommend reservations if you are planning to dine here. It is by far one I’d the best dining experiences in the state of Alabama. My husband and I prefer sitting at the chef’s counter, where you can witness the dynamics of the kitchen. We have had many memorable celebrations here over the years, and once you visit, you will certainly see why.

Chef Rob McDaniel has a dumbfounding way with his cuisine. I have never had a dish there that didn’t blow me away. He makes me enjoy such things as sweet breads, duck, and octopus. I feel safe exploring stranger cuisines when I know he is preparing them. I can’t think of a time I have ever been disappointed.

We started our evening out at the upstairs bar. Of course, it being Valentine’s Day, the entire restaurant was bustling with chatter and laughter. My husband had his usual, Maker’s on the rocks, and I tried the Lemon Twist cocktail. The weather was mild enough to go out on the patio deck and take in the view of the stables, and in what seemed like seconds, our seats at the chef’s counter were ready. I highly recommend getting here early enough in the evenings to watch the sunset. It is breathtaking.

For starters we ordered the pimento cheese stuffed peppadew peppers {a favorite} and the deviled eggs. We also had an order of the Benton’s ham and biscuits with red-eye gravy and cane syrup. If you’ve never had Benton’s bacon or ham, try it immediately! All of these dishes were spectacular, and we were left with very ‘happy’ plates.

For our entrees I ordered the bone-in pork chop. The set consisted of green Carolina rice and a sweet onion gravy. It was perfectly seasoned and delicious. My husband ordered the duck. Typically we each order different entrees so that we can share and try a wider variety of foods.

Not to slight the pork chop, but the duck was on point. I am not a huge fan of duck either. It has to be prepared perfectly for me to really enjoy it. Chef Rob didn’t disappoint. The skin was extra crispy and complete perfection. The duck meat was prepared medium rare per chef’s recommendation. It was delectable. It didn’t have a gaminess or chew that some duck I have had in the past that was not to my liking. The duck was atop a yummy farro, butternut squash, pickled raisin, and kale bed. It was a beautiful and well thought out dish.

All of our dinner was paired with a 2014 Domaine Louis Boillot Gevery-Chambertain which was an excellent compliment to both main courses.

For dessert we had the caramel pot de creme with pecans paired with a Madeira flight from Rare Wine Company’s Historic Series. It consisted of three different Madeiras; the Savannah, the New York, and the Boston. I loved the combination of the different dryness levels with this dessert.

I cannot fail to mention Daniel Goslin and his service staff. They were attentive and helpful throughout the evening. Their immaculate service did not go unappreciated. It was a perfect ending to a wonderful dinner at one of our favorite places. We can’t wait for our next SpringHouse experience.

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