Monday, November 14, 2011

A world apart, and yet so near the city: Murphin Ridge Inn

Best eggs ever?
After hearing about (the restaurant, in particular) Murphin Ridge Inn for literally years, I finally was able to get out there last weekend. We didn't really know what it would be like, but in almost all respects, it exceeded our hopes for a short, nearby getaway.
We met several couples from metro Cincinnati -- the main source of patrons for the inn -- who have returned multiple times. Since it's only 72 miles from our driveway, out east in the Amish farmland of Adams County, Murphin Ridge Inn has to be the nearest rural, luxury retreat to home.
Don't be intimidated by "luxury," because it's not all that expensive for the quality of the accommodations, service, setting/scenery, and food. 
We stayed in one of the nine private cabins, which looks rustic from the outside but wow, was it fine once you step through the door. (For that matter, the front porch with two rocking chairs and a two-seat swing was a good place to hang out, as this photo of me suggests.)
On the porch of our cabin @ Murphin Ridge
The cabin had a king-size, four-poster bed, a whirlpool tub beside large windows overlooking pastoral scenery, and a glassed-in, two-sided fireplace -- among other comforts. 
We also enjoyed hiking on the grounds through woods and near Amish farms, and after dinner sitting around the fire pit talking to other guests.
But since this is a food blog, I'd better get to some discussion of the restaurant. First of all, it's a fun place thanks to the personalities of the owners, Darryl and Sherry McKenney, who make everyone feel welcome. To get to the inn, you have to drive quite a few miles on an unlit, narrow and windy road, so despite the restaurant's reputation as by far the best place to eat in that part of Ohio, the vast majority of dinner guests also are inn guests.
Dinner was good -- my husband liked his locally farmed chicken dish and my steak was fine -- but breakfast was outstanding. Sherry puts out a huge bowl of her homemade granola and vanilla yogurt near the reception desk, which is the start of your morning repast. Once you are seated, breakfast comes in a couple of courses, which vary each day. The granola was so delicious that we brought a few bags of it home. 
The other highlight of our breakfast was Sherry's scrambled eggs. OMG they were good -- fluffy, rich, and cooked to perfection. They were so fine, I ducked into the kitchen after the main breakfast crowd and asked Sherry for an eggs-cooking lesson, which she generously provided. Now I know how to wow my out-of-town family guests for Christmas morning brunch -- although I intend to practice a couple of times in advance.
All in all, we were delighted with our short visit to Murphin Ridge Inn.
Interior, our cabin

On the grounds at the inn

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