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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

TRAVEL TUESDAY - EUREKA SPRINGS, ARKANSAS

Eureka Springs is recognized as a Favorite Family Destination - and we have definitely taken the kids, and various family friends to Thorncrown Chapel, Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge, Quigley's Castle, War Eagle Mill, Cosmic Cavern and Onyx Cave. However, this weekend was just for my husband and me - and the Rotary Conference, which was the reason we were in town, and staying at the Basin Park Hotel.
It was the perfect weekend escape, the Victorian homes were beautiful with their dusting of snow and after asking a couple of friends who live in Eureka Springs for suggestions of places to eat and go, I was ready and excited to explore the town.

I had a rare and wonderful day to myself, and began my adventures at Fresh, on Main Street. Tucked in an adorable area called The Shoppes on North Main, they are a farm-to-table restaurant and had a gorgeous menu filled with soups, salads, sandwiches and freshly squeezed juices. I enjoyed my perfectly dressed spinach and arugula salad, seated by the generous windows, in the lovely, welcoming atmosphere. Complete with bar and exquisite service, it could not have been better.

Fresh - Olive oil and Balsamic - beautiful!!
Fresh - Arugula and Spinach salad
There are many great Antique stores in Eureka Springs, and one of my favorite is The Barn Shoppes. I picked up a gorgeous antique necklace and a jar of Lavender Port Wine Jelly, then popped down the road to W.T Fockers Discount Outlet, and across to 512 Village Circle, the address of Fresh Harvest.
This is an incredible store, filled with canisters of oils and vinegars, each available for tasting - and every one I tried was marvelous!! This is the second time I have been here, and I have trouble deciding which flavorful product I want to take home. I finally chose the Violet Balsamic, Lavender Balsamic, Toasted Sesame Oil and Arbosana Olive Oil.

Fresh Harvest
By this time, my husband was out of the conference, so I met him at the hotel, and wanting exercise and fresh air, we walked down the main street, making our way around the Historical Loop past the Crescent Hotel, and Ermilios Italian restaurant.

On our way back to the hotel, we stopped at StoneHouse for an amazing cheese plate and a fortifying glass of wine. It is always such a pleasure to see Rob and Amanda, the absolutely fabulous owners - this wine bar should not be missed!! We have been made to feel welcome (as I know everyone who steps foot into this stunning place is) from our very first visit here a couple of years ago to celebrate our anniversary.

The StoneHouse - one of my very favorite places in Eureka Springs
Amazing cheese plate from StoneHouse
Reservations for dinner had been made at the elegant Grand Taverne restaurant. My husband and I had dined here, when it was Chez Charles, and we were first dating.

Chez Charles now Grand Taverne
Their cocktails were incredible, and we ordered a selection of appetizers to accompany my Negroni and my husbands Gin Martini.
The pan seared scallop with lobster butter sauce was out of this world, and we really enjoyed the uniqueness of the grilled buffalo mozzarella wrapped in proscuitto and romaine with sun dried tomato vinaigrette. The grilled romaine salad and sesame encrusted tuna carpaccio were great as well, and as I had found at every restaurant and store I had been to throughout this memorable weekend - the service was excellent.

The Grilled Romaine at Grand Taverne
Sesame Encrusted Tuna Carpaccio, Grand Taverne
THE NEGRONI


Equal parts Campari, Gin, Sweet Vermouth
Place in a cocktail shaker with ice, shake vigorously, pour into a martini glass
Enjoy!

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