Wandering Wednesday - A Btown Foodie Experience

Bloomington, A Remarkable City for Food Connoisseurs

This week's Wandering Wednesday is a guest blog post from Jenny's lovely sister Angel and her quick-witted husband Dave, who Jenny loves to refer to as Bargersville Daddy! With Bloomington being one of their most favorite destinations, when the Devour Btown invite came, there wasn't a more perfect pair to go experience and tell us all about it... With out further adieu here's Angel and Dave...

The luck of the Irish landed in our lap early this March when my husband and I received an invitation to attend the Devour Btown progressive meal this past Sunday. This special invite included a tasting experience at 3 highly regarded Bloomington restaurants. 

This is the first year for Devour Btown. The event included over 30 restaurants and ran from Feb 25th – Mar 8th. Bloomington is a remarkable city for food connoisseurs; there’s a foodie experience at the ready around every corner of the city. It’s always easy for this family to find a reason to drive a few miles down Highway 37 to enjoy a wonderful meal at one of the many fine restaurants that Bloomington has to offer.

Refined Hospitality at Scholar’s Inn

The first stop of the afternoon started with appetizers at Scholars Inn. Signature martinis and generous helpings of Cured Calamari over mixed greens, Black Truffle Steak Frites and Mornay Mushroom Flatbread were served up for all. 

As we delighted in our delicious food and drinks, our high energy hosts (Lyle and Kerry Feigenbaum), graciously shared the story of the history of the restaurant and the evolution of their dream that became a reality in Bloomington, IN. The charm and romance of the Scholars Inn setting sets the stage perfectly for making memories in celebration of a milestone event or simply enjoying a peaceful escape with some dear friends. Our time at Scholars Inn simply flew, and we were off to our next stop.

Just Like the Warm Embrace of a Friend at Upland Brewing Co.

As we walked through the door of Upland Brewing Co., we immediately had the sense of coming home to an old friend. The atmosphere was relaxed and warm. We were surrounded by the low hum of pleasant conversation and tables were filled with lots of smiling faces. 

Within moments of arriving we were quickly served selections of every entree featured on the Upland Brewing Co. Devour Btown menu. To make sure that everyone had an opportunity to try all of the menu offerings, the entrees were served family style. 

We were hard pressed to pick a favorite between the flank steak marinated in Helios Pale Ale, the Pistachio Crusted Trout, the Smoked Pork Chops and the Zucchini Parmesan. Each entree was cooked to perfection and exquisite! The side dishes that accompanied the entrees were just as flawless: roasted herb baby red potatoes, sauteed spinach, asparagus and garlic mashed potatoes. Chef Padraig Cullen, please do tell the magic you worked on the asparagus and the rest of this magnificent feast. 

We were especially impressed to learn how much of the food on the menu is sourced locally!

Chef Padraig and his team were available for our questions throughout our entire visit and gladly shared the stories of the journey that led them to Upland Brewing Co. While the Dragonfly IPA and Upland Wheat Ale flowed freely all through the course of our meal, the team shared their expert opinion on alternate brews that could have worked just as nicely.

A Transnational Adventure for the Senses at FARMBloomington

Just when we didn’t think our Devour Btown experience could get any better, our group arrived at FARMBloomington. It had been explained to us at the beginning of the progressive meal that we would finish the day with “a bite of dessert” at FARM. Imagine our surprise when Chef Daniel Orr guided us to the Root Cellar Lounge and revealed an impressive array of desserts that covered the entire length of the bar top. 

Every imaginable delicacy right before our eyes: sweet pâté, chocolates, fruits, gourmet cheeses, mousse, cakes, meringues, cookies, baklava, pastries and more. But these were not ordinary, everyday desserts; these were pairings of flavors that we would have never dreamed to join together. Each and every one, a standalone work of genius! There were also champagne and fruited waters to accompany the collection of desserts. Over and over again, our group indulged and delighted in these simple and wonderful treats. His passion for his art was evident as we listened to Chef Orr describe the ingredients in each of the desserts..

His menu is seasonal and Chef Orr is steadfast in his commitment to local and fresh ingredients. FARM is a restaurant that works hard to feed all the senses. The FARM experience is a meal that you will still be thinking back on with pleasure for several days afterwards. Every place you look around the restaurant, there is something of interest in the decor to catch your attention. The background music is both refreshing and enjoyable in its diversity.

We asked each of the chefs to share some of their personal favorite Bloomington restaurants. While a couple of the eateries named are well known, we did gain insight to some new “must try” places that we will be visiting very soon.

My humble advice is do not miss the next Devour Btown!. But more importantly do not wait for it to come around again before you treat yourself to the many wonderful dining experiences that Bloomington, IN has to offer.

Bloomington is truly a jewel right in your own backyard.

-Angel and Dave

February-May 2015 Wandering Wednesdays brought to you by Indy Zoom Groom. Thank-you for your support of Fortville Mama and local family fun in and around Hancock County, Indiana. All thoughts and opinions are our own. Thank-you to the businesses that help support Fortville Mama. Your support is allowing us to make 2015 even cooler than 2014!

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