6 March 2022
After a few weekends of foul weather, I wanted to get away. But I was so stressed from the horrors of Ukraine, doing as much as I can during my off hours to support them in any way I can. I was barely sleeping, with work being ultra stressful at the moment too. So frankly, the last thing I needed on a Sunday morning was a 6am alarm. But here we are…
It was a cold morning, just above freezing, and I took off north. I spent the next 9 hours driving through central-north Illinois and hiking through many cemeteries. This helps me de-stress so much…and was sorely needed. It was freezing cold with a biting wind, but just the way I like it.
By the time I rolled into Bloomington it was early afternoon, and the sun had come out. It was warming up, and I was getting tired. It’s been a long time since I hiked around so much. So after re-visiting the three major cemeteries in town, I started to think about an early dinner.
I was glad to find out that Epiphany Farms, the top restaurant in town, open at 4pm for dinner. I walked in minutes after it opened and took a place at the bar. A jovial bartender, who later I found out was the new beverage director, took wonderful care of me then and throughout the evening. I relaxed immediately.
Some good cocktails through the evening, and I was hungry — and he recommended the lamb shank. I could go for that! So as I enjoyed a bit more of my cocktail, the food soon arrived — at the same moment he poured me a wonderful cab franc.
Well, now this is something! The lamb is cooked extremely well, tasting of lamb rather than non-descript meat like so many places. As I have said time and time again since moving out here, the Midwest does lamb extremely well! Everything from daikon to beets help the dish along, as if it needed help. The garlic mash also added a wonderful touch. And my barman actually topped up my wine as well, so the service here is something I’ve not seen in awhile, which was a major plus.
I originally through I may do a starter after my main, but this plate was big, so I decided to just do a dessert this evening — both solid and liquid. For the solid part, a nice orange olive oil cake.
I love olive oil cake, and this was pretty good. The orange was a little skimpy, but it’s excusable. I wish the cake was more intense, but that was taken care of by the extremely good onyx chocolate gelato. That made up for the intensity for sure! A nice way to close, with a wonderful white negroni as well.
I chatted with the wonderful barman for a bit more, as well as some fellow diners before I headed out. I wanted to beat the forecasted downpour home, as I have a 45-minute drive back to Peoria. I thanked the excellent crew and headed on my way back west.
An excellent dinner for sure, so I’m glad I have a go-to place in nearby Bloomington as well! I made it home and relaxed after a very long day, having left home nearly 14 hours earlier. I relaxed, and was glad I brought something home for a snack…
Cornbread…oh this was good, even after sitting in a box. Lovely bacon and whipped goat cheese, with some braised red cabbage too. A wonderful treat to keep the night going when safely at home and listening to the storm outside!
Highly recommended for both food and drink! Excellent discovery for me!
220 East Front Street