My parents will sometimes make the drive to Aurora just to have dinner with friends at the Inn. It was the first place that Pleasant Rowland wanted to restore ... it is beautiful and elegant and the food is "out of this world." (A phrase my mother likes to say.)
When we mentioned to my Aunt Mary that we were heading down to Aurora for the day, she reminded us that it was the barn sale at MacKenzie-Childs and she worried that the Inn would be hard to get into for dinner. She said if we wanted to drive just a little ways past the village, there was a quaint, yummy restaurant called Pumpkin Hill that she and her friends liked to eat at. (Aunt Mary, I will remain in an eternal debt of gratitude to you for suggesting our alternative destination for dinner.)
We actually drove past Pumpkin Hill the first time by. Having never been there, we weren't sure what we were looking for. We didn't realize that it was an old, sweet little clapboard house sitting in a field of green next to acres of rolling hay fields.
When we walked into the restaurant (which really was in its original state, with very little renovation that made you sense at all that you were in a restaurant), I couldn't help but feel like I had walked onto a movie set. I thought - Okay, surely this isn't real. These have got to be actors at these tables and this has all been staged.
It was surreal, starting with the tanned, attractive older couple who got out of their Lexus on the gravel driveway and walked past us - he with his loafers, striped shirt and sweater around his neck, she with her headband and pearls.
The couple to the right of the doorway were sitting at a small table round in wing back chairs. Both were nice looking, she was blond wearing a white blouse, he was dark in khakis and a navy polo. (I was waiting for the background music to kick in ... instead there was just the hum of conversation, laughter and dishes clanking.)
The little family across from them were all brunette and also attractive, with 2.5 kids. Two little boys were in shorts and I'm sure their mother was pregnant with their little princess.
We were seated in a small room to the left of the front door that had a table for 6.
We were a party of 6.
Perfect ... as was every appetizer we decided to try, which was served in Mazkenzie-Childs enamelware, of course.
I looked at the menu and said to my dad, "It's kind of expensive, but what sounds the best to me is the steak. And if this steak is good, it will be the perfect ending to this day."
He said to go ahead and order it.
It was the perfect ending to the day.
Well, that and when the chef came out to meet us since we had been so complimentary of the food.
It was the finest dining experience I think I have ever had. You should go sometime.