Brown’s Social House

  1. You know when you haven’t been back to a restaurant you liked for quite awhile, you wonder is it the same. Well, the other day (Friday) I had my hair done and, as he always has for almost 30 years, Don took me out for dinner to show off my new ‘do’. He never fails this gesture and I very much appreciate it.
  2. I, of course, ordered my usual Hollywood Burger. I believe if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it and, along with my meal, a glass of wine.
  3. Don ordered the 6 oz, steak and Frites and said it was really good and he would ordered it again. High praise indeed because when it comes to steak, he is one critical diner. It comes from the fact that he is one awesome cook himself.

The one thing that brings us back here albeit not as often as I would like, is the great servers they have. Ellie (Eleanor) was the lady of choice this time and she is one awesome employee. Always checking but not overdone to see if we needed anything, how was our meal and she even had them change the on TV over our heads so we could watch the baseball game with the Blue Jays. Yea!

Good food, good service and better yet, always on top and always caring. The customers who come here are of the same plane, out for a good meal with good company and never the rowdy group. Love it and just love this restaurant.

Special Time

Yesterday was as close to perfection as one can get here on this old earth of ours. It started out with coffee on the deck, enjoying the warm weather with a gentle breeze. It was a morning of remembering twenty-three ago, the day we married with family and friends celebrating with us. Also, remembering those who are no longer with us and are sadly missed.

We did a few chores,and returned to  sitting on the deck and playing our favourite Hawaiian music.  Later on Don brought me a glass of wine, we watched a few of our favourite ‘re-runs’ before going out to dinner. It was so hot outside, we had to come in for a while.

Don had made reservations at Walnut Beach Resort for dinner. We put on our “casual best” duds, biggest smiles and headed out, like two teenagers,  for a wonderful dinner.

We ordered a “share for two” starter of Brie with garlic jam. I could not find the words to tell you how fabulous this was. A bowl of freshly toasted (on the bbq) baguette rounds accompanied the plate of Brie. The second your knife touched the cheese it totally oozed out to join the generous serving of jam that totally sat on top of the jam. OMG! We couldn’t put it down. (In fact, Don brought the remainder of the jam home in a little box) Yup! We loved it.

Don ordered the ribs done two ways. One was a dry rub and the other was the ooey-gooey saucy one. There were lots of each kind, along with asparagus and potatoes. He even brought some home.

I ordered Pickerel  for my dinner. It was beautifully done, and also came with asparagus and potatoes. I have to mention that all the food is prepared on the many bbq’s on the large patio and our “Chef of the night”, Todd and his two Sous Chefs did an amazing job.

Of course it would not be a meal if we didn’t have dessert and, believe me, THIS establishment know just how to do it and do it right. They have two-bite desserts at a whole $2.50 each one (big deal). This enabled us to each order one, split it and sample the other one. Don ordered the Rhubarb tart and I, of course, ordered a chocolate/blueberry concoction that was heavenly. We both agreed that my choice was best.

We were here for a cooking class some time ago, and believe me, it is so worth a return visit. I love the open patio, 5-6 bbq’s and Chefs working in front of you, making special everything you ordered. Our server, Cassandra, was cute with her pink/blue/purple hair as well.

It was hot, sunny and quite a strong breeze, but so darned enjoyable it was worth it. Thank you Don for a superb day and evening and to Walnut Beach, Todd and all who helped make it so special. This is one for the memory bank, for sure.

Complacent – A Wine Lesson All Should Know

Over the Easter weekend, we were out to dinner with family we haven’t seen for awhile. We ordered the wine and when the server came to pour the wine in the glass for tasting, I asked him to please bring me a clean glass.

This is a top notch restaurant  and definitely should know better. The glass was all water spots. The comment at the table was “just leave it, it won’t affect the wine”. This is not the right answer and when the price is up there to coincide with the quality of the restaurant, clean, sparkling glasses should be on the tables. We did note that following getting a clean glass, a young server went from table to table, polishing the glasses.

Yesterday we were at a winery restaurant to celebrate my husband’s birthday. I was seated so  I could watch the server pour my glass of Pinot Gris. She removed the stopper and poured all the contents into the glass and brought it me.

Now, here is a lesson all wineries and servers should be aware of ..NEVER pour the entire 4 or 6 oz. of wine into the glass all at once. How can one taste it, smell it, and swirl it correctly if you do not bring the bottle to the table and pour a little into the glass. When the wine is priced up to $14.00 per glass, we should be allowed to do this.

Secondly, NEVER offer to a guest wine that was opened yesterday. Anything left in the bottle at days end should be given to the kitchen for cooking.  Also, never empty one wine bottle into a glass and open another to top it off. Major sin!

When I asked the server when this wine was opened, she told me honestly that it was yesterday. She said it was the policy of the winery to do this. Shame on them!

Another thing-when in a top level winery restaurant or dining establishment..they should be using top quality glasses. You cannot serve a special red in a Walmart special.

There…I just vented but please watch what you are served, ask when it was poured and the kind of glass it is served  in. If it is a bad wine anyway nothing, of course, will help. Just sayin’.

Another Cooking Class

On Thursday night, we went to another cooking class at Home Hardware in Osoyoos. It was extremely well attended as Chef Chris Van Hooydonk was in charge.  Chris also did the wine pairing, having worked at the Burrowing Owl Winery for the past five years and is extremely knowledgeable.

Don ‘t get me wrong, he is a very talented Chef and very personable.  His recipes for the evening were:  Oven Roasted Leg of Lamb with Mushroom and Goat Cheese Yorkshire Pudding and Backyard Stonefruit Upside Down Cake. The wine pairing for the lamb was a 2009 Syrah.  Great!

The problem here was everything was pre-cooked, cooled and then reheated and only the wine for the lamb was present.  We don’t go just  for the wine, but there at least should be some conversation about what should or could be served with the dessert.  Also this goes on record as the shortest night going.  It was 1 hour and 5 minutes long.

What is needed at a cooking class is to watch a Chef go from beginning to end with wine pairings so we can see, smell and taste.  Not be rushed through like there is somewhere else  you would rather be.  This was the impression given.

Sorry, great Chef, great food, just too fast, no smells, and the lamb and filling were stuffed into the yorkshire puddings.  Not drawn out to fully taste and enjoy and then on to the next one.


Oh well, more classes to come.


Burrowing Owl Winery-Restaurant Blog

Valentine’s Day was super special this year. We dined at the Sonora Room in the Burrowing Owl Winery.  Kelly, our daughter, gave us a gift card for Christmas and we made good use of it last night.

The ambience was set with a view of the lights over the valley, a lit fireplace and  harpist playing beautiful love songs.  It was romantic to say the least.  Now for the menu.

Don had the Hot Smoked Okanagan Salmon appetizer.  It was Espelette pepper, baby frisee, caper citrus creme fraiche and lightly smoked salmon.  He said it had a light and delicate smoky flavor.

As is our habit, I ordered the organic sweet corn veloute.  It had butter poached spot prawns and droplets of chive oil.  It was pure velvet.  OMG it was so good. The wine pairing for this was Burrowing Owl’s Pinot Gris 2009.

The main course was next. Don ordered the red wine braised beef shortrib with crushed nugget potato, smoked portabella, horseradish butter in a braising reduction.  Trust me, there as nothing left on his plate.

I, on the other hand, ordered a oven roasted free range chicken breast with sweet potato on a chestnut tart, rosemary-coronation grape gastrique with a chicken jus. Again, plate clean and beginning to moan.  The pairing for this was Burrowing owl Pinot Noir 2008. I opted for the Pinot Gris.  It was a really nice wine.

You would think we had enough to eat but no. Dessert was next.  Don went for the backyard cherry and bittersweet chocolate pate with espresso-hazelnut mousse and a salted caramel sauce.  He let me taste and it was heaven on a plate.  their presentation is so beautiful. You don’t want to eat it, just look at it.  Not!.  Don did take a picture of the desserts.

I went for the cardomom and wildflower honey creme brulee with a ginger and white chocolate shortbread wafer.  I thought I had died and gone to heaven.  It was out of this world.  The pairing was a rustic roots apricot dessert wine.  I wasn’t fond of the pairing on this one.  I found it too musky and actually had a bitter note to me, so my taste would have gone in a different direction.  We finished the evening with a wonderful cup of coffee.

“Throughout the night we were pampered with the service from Ingela.  What a delight.  We loved to listen to her laugh.

Thank you Kelly. Thank you Burrowing Owl for putting out a wonderful evening that was not too hard on the pocketbook as some of the lovely winery restaurants tend to be.  Would we return? Absolutely. Will you enjoy it? Without a doubt.

Cost is $$$ and worth it.