One of the newest jewels in Ashland’s culinary crown wows
with a fresh take on Farm to Table.
You know those reality shows, where a stranger comes into your house and just kind of rearranges what you already have into a serendipitous lesson in appreciating your treasures from a different perspective? Well, that’s a bit how we felt dining out Friday night. While Farm to Table is practically de rigueur in Ashland these days, the owners of Ashland’s new “Lorella” (145 E. Main Street, Ashland, Oregon, 541.708.6360) are able to look at our overwhelming bounty of beautiful Southern Oregon produce with fresh, Wisconsin eyes.
Indeed, the quality and year round availability of our precious trove were deciding factors in choosing Ashland, according to Petra Jung who – along with partner Tony Travanty – traveled throughout the Western US for half a year in search of just the right venue. We’re thrilled they did, and for our palate they’re going to be a brilliant fit here.
Outstanding on this weekend’s menu: our starter of Roasted Beet and Plum with Hazelnuts and Chives was a gorgeous jewel box, both rich and weightless, accented perfectly with crunchy, lavash-like handmade crackers and tangy local cheve. While their Focaccia was delizie, we were wise to push it aside (boxed, to take home – we would never throw away good bread!) to save room for the Duck Egg Agnolotti with Morels, Cream and Pecorino. Silky and luxurious, the definitive star of the show, at once familiar and exotic. We took half of that home too, because there was no way we were leaving without dessert. We ordered both the Crater Lake Bleu Cheesecake and the Peach Galette (frangipane, honey glaze); the former reads more like a cheese course, it’s complexity perfectly suited to those who prefer a less-sweet end to their meal, while the galette – a delicate dance of crisp pastry and tender, juicy stone fruit – is destined to become our sweet tooth’s new go-to favourite.
The wine list at Lorella is both accessible and reasonably priced. We chose to quaff a darling Sangiovese from among dozens of other Italian and local offerings – which we fully intend to sample on what will doubtless be many, many return visits.
Lorella's menu will change weekly dependent upon what's on offer at the local growers markets.