With my kids being basically no-shows on weekend nights with one in college and the other a senior in high school, I now have the luxury of free time! With long lost date nights suddenly being found again, the same question gets asked continually by my husband “what are we doing tonight?”
Luckily, I have an easy answer – let’s head to Weston! One of my favorite places to visit in Weston is a one block area that includes Pirtle Winery, Avalon Café and O’Malley’s. Whether alone with my husband or with a group of friends, I know we’re always going to have a great time filled with awesome food, delectable wine offerings and entertainment.
Confession time – I am not a wine drinker (I much prefer a Mimosa or a Cosmopolitan). However, my husband and the majority of our friends love to try different wines and attend wine tastings. Before heading to a holiday dinner night out last month, we stopped at Pirtle Winery which is located in an old church built in 1867 – new to the building is the indoor “winegarden” on the first floor with a wine bar and ample seating. The actual tasting room remains upstairs but the Pirtle staff will do tastings on the ground floor for those that can’t do stairs.
Complimentary wine tastings start with the dry wines and progress to the sweeter wines (I was informed one’s palate needs to start with the dry ones so taste buds won’t go haywire – who knew!). Pirtle’s wines are award winning and their Mead wines can’t stay in stock. My office manager, Penny, sampled the Honey Mead and said she would have been happy to pull up a chair and finish the bottle. The Chocolate Port was a close second as the top wine winner with our group.
After the wine sampling, we had reservations at Avalon Café which is just down the street from Pirtle. As with all Weston businesses, Avalon Café is housed in an 1847 built Antebellum home originally called White Lace (for the white gingerbread that adorns the long front porch). One of my favorite restaurants, Avalon Café also has an outdoor terrace (open during warmer months – not winter!) and schedules monthly wine dinners where a four or five food courses are paired with the perfect wine (the wine list features international wines plus Pirtle wines).
Avalon’s dinner menu features a walk on the wild side, for those looking for something more adventurous, such as Stuffed Quail, Elk Strip Loin, Duckling with Lingonberry & Chambord Sauce, and Wild Boar Loin in addition to various pasta dishes, wood-grilled pizza, and signature steak burgers.
I think our group of eight taste sampled the entire menu with the favorites of the night being the Wild Mushroom Ragout, Stir Fried Gumbo, Blue Cheese Burger, Beef Tenderloin with McCormick Bourbon Mushroom sauce, and my favorite being the Fresh Spinach/Grilled Eggplant & Goat Cheese pizza. Of course the hit of the night was the Chocolate Pillars in Thunderclouds dessert (think homemade chocolate ice cream, flourless chocolate cake, chocolate ganache, and homemade whipped cream). Decadent does not even come close to describing this dessert!
Before calling it a night, the group stopped at O’Malley’s to listen to some Irish music. If you have never been to O’Malley’s make it a point to go – if nothing else to just explore the building and it’s many different floors. O’Malley’s is also home to the American Bowman Restaurant and the Weston Brewing Company which was established in 1842.
My group actually came back the following weekend to take a tour of the brewery (tours on Saturday are 1pm/3pm/5pm). You will get an up-close view of the brewery, historic underground cellars (including the secret 4th cellar!), and, of course, sample the various ales that are currently in production. A great trip in and of itself!
On any given night, O’Malley’s will have at least two different music groups performing in the different cellars. Such a fun night! The bartender introduced us to Leprechauns (who knew white wine mixed with Irish Mist could taste so good!) and Peppermint Paddy’s (hot chocolate and peppermint schnapps – perfect on any winter day!). If I didn’t live 15 minutes away, I would have walked across the gravel parking lot and stayed at the Inn at Weston Landing. As it was, we piled in our cars and headed back to Platte City so we could consult our calendars for the next date night!
Written by Jennifer Goering from the Platte County CVB.