Don’t get my wrong, I love my dad and I wish he could live forever. The other day it was his birthday so we all got together for a little surprise party to celebrate another year this earth. At 63 he is grateful for each year and he says all the time he is “living on borrowed time” because of some things that happened early in his life. All I care about is he is still alive and kickin’, he actually things he is in his 40’s with how active he is. He helped me move into my new townhouse a few weeks ago, travels all the time on vacation, and does a ton of yard work each weekend at his house.
So Pat organized a little dinner at the Red Fox Inn in Middleburg as a nice place to celebrate. She got a room at the inn and the attached restaurant comes highly recommended. When I told a few others I was going to the Red Fox everyone agreed that it was a nice place and the food was impeccable. To top off the nice setting and wonderful food I found out my brother would be there. I was so excited to catch up with him, the last time I saw him was Christmas and actually only talked to him once since then.
We arrived on the outscirts of town with about 10 minutes to spare before the 7:30 meeting time. We quickly noticed Middleburg was a ghost town. Not a single business was open other than “essential services” and the street were empty. We had all the street parking we could have wanted. When we walked into the restaurant the hostess quickly sat us at the table, the last to arrive. With so few people in the restaurant it was easy to know what party we where with.
The house that has the restaurant was originally built in 1728 using field stones from the surrounding area. When you walk in the decor has not changed much since it was first built. There are stucco walls with giant exposed wood beams holding the whole place up. One aspect of such an old building that I quickly noticed was the slow ceiling height. People back then were much shorter than they are today. See, milk does a body good is not just a good slogan, but the truth. There are old paintings hung on the wall and a few stuffed animals around as well. You could say they are an originator of putting nick nack crap on the walls. Even with cliche stuff on the wall it is very intimate, and by intimate I mean dark, on the inside. There are not a ton of windows to let in natural light and very few lights. Again back when this was built they just didn’t have large bay windows to allow natural light in.
After we sat down we all greeted each other and quickly looked over the menu. After a drink order was placed it was back to talking. I sat next to my brother and we started catching up. It literally had been 7 months since we last saw each other so we had a lot to talk about. Finally I forced myself to study the menu and decide what I wanted for dinner. I noticed a brazed duck breast with potatoes, carrots, and some sauce. It was so good, the proportions were just right and the sauce made the dish. Very rich and added to the flavor of the duck without over powering it. Even had a dessert, lavender creme brulee. I am a sucker for some creme brulee and thought I would give this a try. Even though the lavender was just a hint, I thought it ruined an otherwise great dessert. All the food was excellent and I would definitely come back again to have dinner. Might even stay at the inn considering it is so far away from my house.
When we finally were finished with dinner it was only 9:30 but the restaurant was completely empty, we had closed the place down. This small little town closes up at 5 and there is not much to do. For all of us the evening is just getting started so it was hard to wrap my head around a town that closes down so early. We were hoping to find a bar for a drink because the restaurant doesn’t have one. When we asked the hostess if there was any place to get an after dinner drink she told us the Red Horse Tavern was a couple blocks down the street and open till 1am. I was shocked anyplace in this town was open that late.
After a short walk we took a seat at one of the tables on their large pattio and ordered a round of drinks. It was a nice evening to sit outside. Only issue was the live music blasting from inside the bar. It made things very difficult to talk to anyone. I wouldn’t have cared so much if the music was good, but of course it was just loud and obnoxious. Half way through the beer it started to rain so we headed inside to enjoy the last of our drinks.
Once finished we all headed back to our cars and my Dad and Pat headed to their room for the night. Dad was surprised by everyone showing up and had a wonderful evening. I think Stephen coming for dinner was definately the highlight for him. It is not often that my brother comes to family events so we all enjoyed it while we could.
Not sure what we will do for his 64th birthday next year. But it certainly will involve the family and doing something fun, can’t wait.