Off the beaten path and full of rich history, The Wilburton Inn is a step into the cultural arts. As my companions and I drove up the long driveway to the inn, our eyes were amazed at the scenery. Rolling meadows against high mountains, we knew this was just the beginning of our dining experience.
We felt welcome as soon as we entered the inn, as we were greeted by innkeepers Dr. Albert & Georgette Levis. Adorning the walls were an eclectic array of artwork, all with special meaning to the innkeepers. I especially liked the painting depicting Rocky Balboa hugging Mona Lisa. As I gazed out the windows, I noticed many sculptural displays outside including a statue from Easter Island. Walking towards the dining room, I noticed that the walls had intricate details made out of cherry wood, and the fireplaces made me feel warm and cozy.
We settled in the dining room next to the blazing fire and were taken care of by Colleen and Michael. Chef James Bennett started us off with a Salmon Mousse in a Pastry Puff, which was delightful. The wine list is top rate ranging from house wines to the desires of expert connoisseurs. We had the house Pinot Noir and Pinot Grigio, which to me were simply divine. Next we were served a basket full of Foccacia and warm bread. I liked the way the butter was presented on the table as little balls in a ceramic bowl.
The dinner menu, which changes often, was a delightful amount of offerings from Chef Bennett. The appetizers offered Shrimp Bisque, Maine Crab Cakes, Mussels, Stuffed Baby Artichokes, Salad, and Fresh Mozzarella. I opted for the Shrimp Bisque with Remoulade Toast, which had just the right amount of spice to it. My companions had the Maine Crab Cakes with Tomato Peppercorn Sauce, which was the best I ever had, while the other had the Salad of Mixed Greens, Caramelized Walnuts, Pear Tomatoes, Tapenade Crostini and White Balsamic Vinaigrette.
The entrees were a work of art offering Filet Mignon, Lamb, Duckling, Ravioli, Salmon, Sea Bass and Baby Prawns. I chose to get the Roasted Saddle of New Zealand Lamb, Colcannon Mashed Potatoes, Asparagus Au Gratin, Port Wine Sauce and Fresh Mint Jelly. It was excellent. I especially enjoyed the artful detail on top of the potatoes. The others ordered Pan Roasted Filet Mignon with Portabella Bordeaux Reduction, Stuffed Zucchini and Stuffed New Potatoes, a real treat, and the Tapenade and Pesto Chilean Sea Bass with Basmati Rice and Oven Roasted Tomatoes in a Saffron Broth. I sample those too, and they were just as mouth watering as mine.
As we rested and looked about the room, I noticed an array of artwork depicting horses, and a billiard pool stick. I was told that this room used to be the billiard room when it was a private residence. Then we were served dessert. We sampled the French Chocolate Cake, Profiterole with Chocolate sauce, ice cream and whipped cream, and Apple Walnut Cobbler. All were beyond my expectations and the best I have had in many years.
The Wilburton Inn, just off the beaten path in Manchester is open for dining from 6:00pm to 9:00pm (days of the week vary per season). Reservations are requested and can be made by calling (802) 362-2500. Please don’t miss out on this elegant, cultural and wonderful dining experience. Also, besides having a great dinner, please consider The Wilburton Inn for your next social event or wedding.