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Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Dunraven Inn




I can’t remember the last time a restaurant had me on my first step inside. Actually, I don’t think my cowgirl boots even hit the floor of the Dunraven Inn before I felt as if I struck it rich. We are talking $16,000 dollars rich. Bright, unique designed dollar bills line every two inches by five inches of the bar and entrance of the restaurant. George Washington’s stacked on top of each other saying things like the name and date the patron was there. Crazier things are said too; “Holla Holla for a Dolla.” It’s estimated that there is around 16,000 of these bills in the restaurant.
The dollar bills were enough to make the night. But there was more ahead. A chilly night in a log cabin, another tally mark. The service, tally that up as well. I asked our waitress what she thought of the ziti. When she told me the chef prepares it so there is a crispy layer on top, I was sold. And then she told me the seafood was flown in fresh that day. Now I was in a pickle! But they were famous for Italian first, so ziti it was.

The food…tally tally tally! And sure, why not one more? The Tomatoes Luciano went a little something like this. Sliced tomatoes, parmesan and mozzarella, paired with vinaigrette dressing and olives on the side. Ohh and the basil leaves on top! This presentation inspired me and I tried to recreate it the next night in my home…looks like I won’t be opening a restaurant.

I was so relaxed in the cozy atmosphere I felt like I was the star of Eat Pray Love, twirling the cheese of the ziti around my fork. I could hear classical music in my head. And Mona Lisa was giving me a small smile. No joke. The owner of the restaurant always picks up a Mona Lisa piece when he travels, and displays it in the restaurant. She is everywhere. Ya, we will tally that too.

Deep history and original, tally deserving. The name was once the Holland Inn in the 1930’s, and changed to the Dunraven Inn in 1970. Still here today, I really wish the dollar bills on the walls could talk.

And now there are at least 16,002 dollar bills stapled to these historic walls…of course we decorated one each! They even trusted us with the staple gun. I am glad I could leave a little something behind, and am sure next time I make my way North I will head back to see my dollar, and leave another.

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