If you’re anything like me then food is priority #1 when planning any vacation. Recently, my family and I were invited to Eagle Ridge Resort and Spa in Galena Illinois for a morel hunt and morel dinner. Join me as I take you on a trip through this fantastic menu and give you a glimpse into the woods in Galena Territory.
I know what you are thinking and the answer is YES! Every course was more decadent than the last and yes there was even a morel dessert at the end.
I’ve never claimed to be an outdoorsy kind of girl however when invited to take part in this morel hunt I figured hey if you’re going to tryout hiking it may as well be a trip through the woods looking for some of the tastiest mushrooms on the planet, right?
The culinary team at Eagle Ridge did a phenomenal job preparing morels in new creative ways while using classic techniques.
Here’s what they pulled off:
Eagle Ridge Galena | The Food
This dish was their Lobster Stuffed Morels. A near perfect first course with grilled asparagus, pea puree, pancetta, lobster consommé, and leeks. The crispy coating and velvety filling were a perfect match. When you eat dishes like this one you can totally tell that there’s experience in the kitchen. The head chef has been with Eagle Ridge Resort for more than 30 years, working his way up from dishwasher; his tenure with the resort alone is an indicator that this culinary team cares about every dish they place in front of a diner.
As a beef lover I really enjoyed this dish, their Involtini Di Vitello. Prosciutto di Parma wrapped veal ribeye cutlets rolled with spinach, topped with fontina. The haricot vert on the side was equally delicious with lemon and capers and accented with a tarragon cherry tomato sauce and spaetzle. This was definitely my favorite dish.
I’m a fan of super sweet desserts so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when the menu said that we were going to have a morel gelato. Initially I thought a savory morel turned into a gelato didn’t sound great, however this dessert blew my mind. The staff explained that the vanilla and nutty flavors that we were tasting in the mix was actually the mushroom; they hadn’t added any vanilla at all to the recipe. This dessert incorporated a rhubarb coulis, strawberries and pistachio florentine. There was also a piece of chocolate candied bacon included that didn’t make it into the picture for some reason…okay I’ll admit it I ate it before I took the picture. 😆
*Although the menu we enjoyed was created for this special event, you’ll want to take a peek at the menus at their on-site restaurants.
On the morning after consuming this delicious meal the Eagle Ridge Resort team took us on a fun hunt for morels in the woods of The Galena Territory. The hunt was interesting to say the least, especially since I’m afraid of creepy crawlies. Yes. I. Am. That. Girl. The one that doesn’t really do bugs. Needless to say I bought and wore more all natural deet free tick and mosquito repellent than the law should allow. I even wore two shirts, long pants, tall socks, a hat and anything else I thought would keep the bugs at bay.
Totally out of my comfort zone with my pink tennis shoes on I took on the woods in search of more of the morel deliciousness that I had enjoyed the night before in hopes of taking some home with me. I searched and searched and searched some more and although I wasn’t successful in finding the elusive morel there were some people in my travel group that were lucky enough to nab one.
Now, if I was brave enough to walk my ass into those woods looking for this mushroom then you know that dinner was damn good.
We had such a great time in Galena and this was just the start of it all. If you follow Eat The Burbs on Facebook or Instagram then you know that we also got to take in some of the sights and restaurants around town too. I will be sharing some of our favorite places in Galena with you in a different article on the site very soon. We didn’t get to eat everything that you guys recommended to me, as a result I am already planning another visit for my family!
So, whether you are the indoor type or the outdoorsy type you may want to check out Eagle Ridge. In just a short three hour drive, give or take a half hour you will find yourself in what is now one of my favorite places to visit and eat in Illinois.
The resort has some big plans for the upcoming holidays too, including the Fourth of July weekend. I’m especially excited to go back and experience the Great Galena Balloon Race. You can plan your trip using their special events calendar on their website. The Eagle Ridge Resort and Spa is well suited for couples getaways, family trips and vacations with friends.
Disclosure: Thank you to our friends at Eagle Ridge Resort for hosting us on this adventure. Opinions here are all ours though!