With our second year wedding approaching on the horizon (which I seriously cannot believe that I’m typing—how has it possibly been two years?), Mr. A and I wanted to setup a date to return to the place where it all began, Antrim 1844.
On our one year anniversary, my boss and her husband gave us a gift certificate to Antrim. It was an especially sweet gesture coming from them as they had gotten married there in May several years before we did. The certificate expired a few days before our anniversary so we couldn’t use it for the actual date. Instead, we picked the closest day to our anniversary as possible. With our Hawaii trip coming up in the next week, the only time we had left to visit Antrim was this weekend so we set up a dinner date.
Besides being a bed and breakfast and a wedding venue, Antrim is also a fine dining restaurant. We decided this time around just to stick to dinner since May is going to be one expensive month for us. Even though we were only there for a few hours, I fell in love all over again.
We arrived a few hours before our reservations so we could walk around the property and take some pictures. It was just as beautiful as I remember.
The garden was in full bloom.
The fountains were dripping their melodic tune.
The mansion was still stately.
The pool was still an oasis.
And the trees were still filled with character. We actually shot our first look pictures under this grand old tree. I still remember Mr. A’s face when he turned around and saw me for the first time. It’s a look and a feeling that I hope never disappears.
It was so temperate outside that we decided to sit on the lawn and wait for our hors d’oeuvres (I swear one day I will be able to type that word without looking it up) to start. Since we got there so early, we were actually able to get passed hors d’oeuvres for a lot longer than we should have. Typically, you get about thirty minutes of passed hors d’oeuvres in the mansion before you are taken to your seats in the restaurant. We managed to squeeze in about an hour since we arrived during the hors d’oeuvre time for the 6 o’clock sitting. I’m definitely not complaining.
We started off with the grilled ahi tuna with an aioli mustard spread on a fried wonton. I’ve had these several times before at Antrim and I’ve always loved the spread.
Then the salmon parmesan squares. We actually had these for our own wedding. Sadly, the squares weren’t my friend that evening. Immediately after our ceremony, we were given a tray of hors d’oeuvres including these squares. I dove right for the squares, which were fresh out of the oven, only to have it fall apart and drop to the ground mere inches from my dress. Needless to say, I didn’t have any more hors d’oeuvres after that close call. However, I did get to eat them to my heart’s content this weekend. Yum.
Next were these pistachio squares with cheese and red peppers. I can’t remember the cheese name but it started with a f. This was a really fun combination as well.
While the food was being passed around, we wandered over to the fountain to attempt to take a few self-portraits. The servers could tell we were doing a terrible job and offered to take a picture of us. It’s been two years and I still love this guy.
Shortly after our pictures, we were lead down to the restaurant to take our seats. The restaurant is located in the smokehouse of the original house.
It’s an intimate atmosphere with several small unique rooms.
We started our meal with an amuse bouche of oyster and seaweed salad. I’m not a seaweed fan but the oyster was tender and juicy.
Then we moved onto our appetizers which we were able to select. Being the Maryland girl that I am (and remembering how fabulous it was previously), I picked the crab soup with crab ragout. I wish I could have convinced my husband to serve this at our wedding. It’s one of the best crab soups I’ve ever had.
Mr. A picked the fruit and cheese plate, which had several artisanal cheeses accompanied by grape halves, roasted pineapple mustard, and a slice of almond and apricot cake. I was too busy stuffing my face with the soup to notice his plate but I’m sure it was delicious.
Our third course was the salad course, complete with a shell made from lentils. I tried not to fill up on salad since I knew we had three other courses coming. Antrim knows how to fill you up to the brim.
Then our intermezzo was served—a refreshing bite of cranberry champagne ice—the perfect way to cleanse our palates.
Finally, it was time for the stars of the evening—our main courses. Mr. A went with the filet mignon béarnaise, which should surprise no one. It’s a black angus filet of beef, pan seared and finished by roasting, served with duchesse potatoes and asparagus. The beef is topped with two sauces—a red wine demi-glace and a béarnaise sauce. The filet is the hands down the best dish at Antrim. It’s perfectly cooked every time. I could lick the red wine demi-glace off the plate but I’m too classy for that—actually there were just a lot of people around.
I decided to go with the lamb roulade with chevre and pinenuts. It’s a boneless lamb loin rolled with chevre cheese and pinenuts, roasted and served with a green peppercorn and cognac demi-glace. I have a love affair with chevre cheese but Mr. A’s dish was still better. I was trying to bring some variety to the table (and don’t get me wrong the dish was delicious but not nearly as delectable as the filet). Next time, I think I’ll stick with the filet. This is probably the only place I’ll order beef from willingly.
Dinner was finished with a panache of desserts, a chocolate bread pudding, a butterscotch pudding, and a vanilla cake. The butterscotch pudding was our favorite—so much so that I tried to sneak in way more bites that my fair half. It was definitely tough considering how much food we had already eaten but man was it good.
Before we decided to call it a night, we headed back outside to take some more pictures. I just couldn’t leave the place without soaking in some more memories.
We headed back to the wedding pavilion and reminisced about our toasts and all the fun dancing.
We are so lucky that we are able to visit our wedding venue year after year and relive our experiences. I think we’ve found a new anniversary tradition.
With one last picture, we hopped in the car and waved adieu to the place that will always be special in our hearts. While we will grow and change (and age) in between our visits, I know that Antrim will always be the same. It will always be the beautiful place that served as the fitting background to the culmination of our love and the beginning of our wonderful life together.
Thank you Antrim for the memories of our past and the ones of our future.
Here’s to starting off our second year remembering how beautifully the first year has been.