Within a region that produces award winning wine delicious food to pair with is what the Italians call a Sine que non (an absolute must). Within the Okanagan Valley good food has quickly become as bountiful as the grapes grown within the region. Especially with Penticton/Naramata hosting the Wine Bloggers’ Conference next week I believe you’ll be hearing more about our Okanagan Valley within an international context. For those attending next week (I’ll see you there!) I suggest the southern Okanagan and in Naramata especially I highly recommend The Cobblestone Restaurant & Wine Bar.
I tend to praise the restaurant for its superb charcuterie options as I wrote about last September however with the new owners the portions and ability to create a personalized charcuterie is now limited to only a few options but with the same locally grown products as before. And I am particularly happy to say that their signature freshly baked salted rosemary bread is still there as soft as ever.
Since I was fortunate enough to spend the night at the Naramata Heritage Inn & Spa, the hotel that proudly calls The Cobblestone in-house dinning within their 12 room rustic boutique mansion, I ventured further than their delicious charcuterie lunch menu and into their evening options.
That night I hadn’t seen the Cobblestone so busy. Usually lunch is busy but there is a relaxed atmosphere as the patrons sip wine into the afternoon as the sun beams on the outdoor patio. The evening is when the Cobblestone comes alive with buzzing guests recounting their day of wine tasting, at the beach or showing off their fantastic photos of the valley.
If you can’t decide on a local wine I suggest ordering the wine flight. You can choose red or white and out comes 5 varieties starting with the crisp and working its way from left to right towards the darker and heavier option. The staff is very helpful and without any trace of snobbery so do ask if you need help pairing with your meal or are unfamiliar with the wines of the Okanagan.
The dinner options may very well remind you of something you might find tucked away in a small village in rural Italy. From roasted quail served atop a delicious ravioli to gnocchi with crisp prosciutto or a heartier pork tenderloin upon a cloud of mashed potatoes. To finish the meal off, and as a chocolate fiend, I had to order the chocolate cake with was perfectly dense as a brownie and had just the right amount of chocolate to tempt the dark or milk lovers.
The evening faded into a violet sky and we were thankful we call this valley home.