Honeymooning at the Greenbrier
Anne and I were fortunate to spend our honeymoon at The Greenbrier Resort in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia. My grandfather suggested The Greenbrier to us and about a week later, we received a Living Social getaway deal. It was destiny!
In addition to being "America's Resort," The Greenbrier has a fascinating history which excited and intrigued us. The resort is home to the infamous "Bunker"--a formerly secret underground complex designed to house Congress in the event of a nuclear attack on Washington. The resort is also known for its over the top Dorothy Draper decorating style and impeccable service, shopping, and spa.
Once I booked the hotel reservation, I emailed to set up our tours, spa appointments, and the head of dining to inquire what would be doable for us vegan/vegetarians. I received a very welcoming email back with suggestions on where we should dine during our stay--the Main Dining Room on night 1, and Sam Snead's at the Golf Club on our second night.
When we entered the main dining room for dinner on the first night, they were ready for us--they knew we were a vegan and a vegetarian and confirmed that when seating us! Our servers, Jessica and Dawn couldn't have been nicer or more accommodating. They brought two amuse bouches--some fresh fruit and some freshly dressed beets. Our first course was a fresh salad with lots of veggies. Our second course was a pistachio crusted avocado, served with some frise and a baked potato. The dish was very tasty, and more importantly, very creative. Vegans are used to being relegated to salads and pastas when dining out at non-veg restaurants, and we were pleased with the chef's efforts to make something unique for us. And we were full - also a rarity when vegans eat out at a place like this!
The real culinary gem of this stay, however, was our second night meal at Sam Snead's. We were warmly welcomed to the dining room by the host as well as manager, Raymond who promptly congratulated us on our recent wedding, as well as assuring us that they were expecting us and that the chef had prepared some wonderful things for us. When we sat down, we were brought two glasses of champagne and were again told that the chefs had prepared a special three course meal for us. They even brought out some gluten free bread for Anne, as well as some delicious olive oil and twenty year old balsamic vinegar for us to enjoy. Belinda, our server was friendly and so warm!
The first course was an avocado served with hearts of palm and fennel salad with a coriander vinaigrette. It was a delicious way to open this meal. Both fresh and light, but very satisfying because of the avocado, we were so excited for what would follow.
Our second course was julienned butternut squash with haricots vert, compressed granny smith apples, pine nuts and dried cranberries served with a white balsamic vinaigrette. The dressing was delicious and the vegetables fresh and tasty.
The third course was wheat berry and swiss chard with candied lemons and capers, served over grilled asparagus and a roasted tomato, drizzled with black olive oil. This dish was simply delicious--full of flavor and texture and it was a unique offering. By this time, we were amazed and honored that they would prepare such a thoughtful meal for us. A vegan restaurant could learn a thing or two from these chefs!
They finished the meal off with a scoop of lemon sorbet and berries, and a thyme strawberry reduction sauce drizzled over the dish. Perfection.
Anne enjoyed a vegan, from scratch Bloody Mary, while I enjoyed the champagne and port they served with dessert.
While this was a very special occasion indeed, we are so happy to recommend The Greenbrier to all of our friends and family, as well as any vegans/vegetarians out there who might be intimidated by a traditionally meat heavy menu.