Monday, February 28, 2011

Better get this posted: Valentine's Dinner


February has been so busy I have gotten behind on posting our "doings". 
Valentine's Day found Bernie winging his way back to South Carolina, so we celebrated the day before, on Sunday evening, at Log Haven.
Let me just say it again:  I finally got to go to LOG HAVEN FOR DINNER!!!

The Valentine's Day suggested menu. 
I went for the Alpine Rose cocktail (wonderful!), the first course soup (life changing!  Two strips of prosciutto crossed on the bottom of the bowl with the soup poured over interesting way to present the soup's meat)
The crab cakes were much larger than I expected.  I had almost decided to skip the main course and just make a run for the dessert.
I wish I had stuck to my first impulse; after the crab cakes I was too full to do more than sample the pork based course that I substituted for the Valentine's suggestion.
It worked out OK; I took it home and enjoyed it as an amazing lunch at work the next day.

Bernie was his usual suave handsome self.
I was trying to be discreet and not use a flash at the restaurant.

Bernie switched to flash for my picture, the  rest of the people present just had to deal with it.

Bernie ordered some kind of chicken dish that was plated like an extreme architectural design.
It was beautiful, but honestly, having to "unbuild" food can be a bit of a bother.

My pork dish.  Extra yummy a day later.

The water that was served with dinner was drawn from this mountain side spring.
Our waiter shared that bit of information; city dweller me immediately thought "oh I wonder if it is tested to be safe to drink."
Um, like don't an awful lot of people drink water that doesn't get processed thought metropolitan water districts?
The water was wonderful.  Of course it safe.  Restaurants are checked for safety of course!
In the summer months Log Haven is THE place to go to sit on a deck above the spring trickles, have a glass of wine and watch the sun setting from a deck nestled into the hillside forest.
We'll be back for that option for sure.

Another interesting dining space is the library room.

I would like being served in that room too, although I imagine I would be roaming around checking out the book titles between courses..

From Log Haven's website:

In 1920, Salt Lake steel baron and Metropolitan Opera member L.F. Rains created the breathtaking log hideaway as an anniversary gift for his wife. Logs from Oregon were shipped via San Francisco and hauled four miles up Millcreek Canyon by horse-drawn wagon. Appropriately named “Log Haven” and built at the base of cliffs and flowing waterfalls, the Rains family used the sanctuary as a summer home. The idyllic retreat became a gathering place for many local executives who came to explore the mountains, fish in the creek and sit by the home’s many fireplaces while hatching plans for the future of Salt Lake City and Utah.

During the Depression, an insurance executive named Gleed Miller bought Log Haven and turned it into a year-round residence. He added additional rooms and built an ice skating pond and horse stables across the road. When the Miller children grew up and left their wilderness-near-the-city-nest, the property passed to Stanley Sprouse, who converted the log home to a restaurant. During the late 1980s, Log Haven fell into disrepair and was slated to be destroyed. Luckily, Margo Provost purchased Log Haven in 1994 and completely refurbished and renovated this historic retreat.

(The owner now lives across the road where the ice skating pond and horse stables are.  That property has two mill wheels and I have photographed the scenic property many times.)

The restaurant has its own blog, where the chef's latest creations are pictured and events such as a Scottish wedding are documented.  Interestingly, the chef has created a gluten free menu!  For those who need such a menu, his photos may provide some culinary inspiration.
It was a lovely way to celebrate Valentine's day eve, especially since my sweet heart would not be with me on the Saint's day proper!
Stop here if you do not wish to do some thinking along with me about these modern times.
An oddish comment:  Bernie once told me about a co-worker who had his dad come out for a visit.  Wishing to take his dad somewhere very special for dinner, he chose Log Haven.  Later he commented to Bernie that they felt a bit odd eating there together; it was clearly a "romantic" restaurant, and being there as a middle aged guy with his dad felt pretty odd.
While we were there for Valentine's Day eve, we were seated between tables for two, each with a man/woman couple, and down the way were two early thirty something guys dining together.  After I posted these picture I noticed the picture above showed two additional tables with guys dining together.
It sort of bothers me that due to the heavily publicized gay life style, I found myself wondering about the nature of the relationship between two guys dining together.  Bernie said that when two "straight" guys want to go eat, they either go to a bar or a "regular" type restaurant like a steak house.  He often dines with other men as part of doing business, as does our son.  Christian family men are being encourage to seek out friendship with other men, which requires putting together either activities (which generally makes prolonged conversation impossible) or going on "man dates" to eat breakfast, lunch or dinner together somewhere.
If the men have the means to do so, why shouldn't they enjoy a really great meal like is found at Log Haven?
They should, and yet, because of media agenda, now such a choice gets filtered through a questioning minds.
Maybe you or your husband has some thoughts about what is and is not a place appropriate for two guys to dine together.  Or a father and son, or brothers.  (Of course I would suspect that they would avoid foo-foo lady tea rooms or places filled with antique-y shabby chic clutter, and frankly, lately I have found such places unappealing myself.)
Fewer women have sexual preference filters to consider when they chose to spend time together, (I think...)but I wonder if the time will one day come when even women will find themselves thinking for a moment before choosing a place to go eat.
A few weeks ago we went out to a great Mediterranean restaurant and enjoyed every morsel of our meal.  A few days later we drove by the restaurant again and noticed that they were flying the rainbow flag out in front.  Bernie declared he would not dine there again because of their blatant stance. 
It kind of comes down to acknowledging that while "all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God", (the "all" part of that verse includes the two of us), we will not stand by or enable those promoting any activity that God condemns.  We usually have no idea if a restaurant owner or chef is having an adulterous affair, is stealing, lying, or participating in any other sort of sin.  However, if the place of business advertises that it thinks such activity is just fine, then we can no longer go to such a place lest our presence lends validity to such behavior. 
Is ignorance therefore bliss?
Should we seek to find out?
The "don't ask, don't tell" actually works for me.
Meanwhile, I am trying to work my way back to having only neutral thoughts about men dining together.
Despite what media bias has established in my mind.


ellen b. said...

Oh what fun to see more of the inside of this restaurant. I'll share this post with Katie and see if she knows where they sat. The food looks very good. I just found out I booked a hotel for Washington D.C. smack dab in their "gay district". Oh well...I won't ask or tell but usually I don't have to ask....

Lovella ♥ said...

Oh that restaraunt and the food served there looks ever so fancy. I am such a plain girl. .. .I realize that more all the time. I love when amazingly plated food also tastes scrumptious. .and I can imagine yours did.
Your thoughts about your dining neighbors are ones we've also discussed while we are out and about. It is very hard to not think about it when we are so pushed to think about it everywhere we turn.

Lucy (aka rharper) said...

You find the most fantastic place in the SL Valley to go to. Though I go to SL often (once a year?) I haven't lived there for many years. However, I would come back in a NY second.

Log Haven. I will remember this place when I go up this summer.