Tucked away in the stunning mountains of Fayette County, overlooking the scenic Mystic Rock of Nemacolin Woodlands, rests Falling Rock, a Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired hotel that exemplifies a chic and luxurious take on organic architecture. Its restaurant, Aqueous (1001 Lafayette Drive, 15437), with its sublime service, ambiance and menu is undoubtedly the best I have experienced in years, if ever.
(4 stars, 4/4)
Now, if you need to read the rest of this review, go ahead.
|JEG and myself... cousins, friends, nearly sisters|
"Oh, that's okay. We have butlers. They will take care of you." This cheery, and entirely sincere response was what the waitress told me when I indicated that I might be in imminent danger of slipping gently a food coma. Thus, I think that is all I need to say about the memorably impeccable service.
Another definitive memory that lasts long after one pulls onto Route 40 from the Nemacolin Woodlands property is the resort's exemplary attention to detail. As one can see from the pictures, there are elements of organic architecture blended with luxury and chic (I am not sure if Frank Lloyd Wright would appreciate its bombastic effect, but I certainly did). With a wraparound view of the Mystic Rock golf course, the combination of natural and interior lighting is relaxing and worked well with the earthy, yet geometric design elements. The furniture, in particular the chairs, are reminiscent of Wright's work; the tableware is complementary.
And then there is the most definitive and memorable part of the Aqueous experiential trifecta: the meal itself. From its inception to its final moments, this meal surpassed any expectations with such fervor that I found myself pausing every so often to breath. Yes, I understand that this sounds quite exaggerated, but hopefully my commentary regarding each menu item below will convince you of my sincerity.
|Amish Style Milk Bread (apricot jam, goat cheese with chives, house sweet butter with smoked sea salt)|
|French Onion ($11, brandy, aged comte, fine herbs)|
|Aqueous Mac and Cheese ($9, five cheeses, applewood smoked bacon)|
|Amuse-bouche (white balsamic, cream cheese, thyme, parsley, oregano, cream, salt, pepper, lemon juice, shallots, butter, garlic)|
|Soda (ginger lemongrass sorbet)|
|Sea Bass ($36, ramen noodles, honey miso market vegetables, kimchi, gingered pork broth)|
Kettle Corn "Cigar" ($10, formage blanc cheesecake, caramel, kettle corn sherbet, bourbon cream soda)
|Warm Chocolate Donuts ($10, peach, peanut butter, marshmallow, chocolate)|
Final thought: Upon entering, I felt home; upon leaving, I felt separation anxiety. Is that a first world problem?