- Vivienne Machi
As far as seasonal menus go, the Golden Lamb in Lebanon’s Bounty of the Fall Harvest menu spotlights local and sustainable Midwestern game and produce in delicious and fresh dishes.
Now celebrating its bicentennial since becoming a hotel in 1815, the Golden Lamb, 27 S. Broadway St., is ringing in its third century in business with new limited-time “Fit” prix-fixe menus that change with the seasons and local produce and meat available. Since their introduction, they’ve been huge hits with the Golden Lamb’s clientele, said general manager Bill Kilimnik.
Served through the late fall, the Fall Harvest menu is delectably reflective of Midwestern autumn, with hearty soups like lamb and barley, appetizers ranging from smoked salmon deviled eggs to pan fried duck legs, and entrees featuring farm-fresh items from local Carroll Creek Farms in Waynesville, Lebanon-based Black Barn, Iron’s Fruit Farm, and Maple Grove Farm, and Cincinnati’s Sky Haven Farm. The three-course meal is $39.95, and paired with specially selected red and white wines for an extra $7-12 per glass, or a house-aged Manhattan ($9.)
We tasted three entrees: the Indiana Duck Breast, the Char-grilled Bison Strip Steak, and the Pan Roasted Lamb Loin ($4.99 supplemental), each in their own way with familiar tastes and accompaniments, yet Head Chef Josh House and his team put their own spins on the classics.
The thick and gamey strips of duck confit sit on top of sweet potato spaetzle, with those vitamin-packed root veggies enriching the small German-style dumplings. The sage-duck butter and toasted pumpkin seeds top off the dish and all pair together beautifully. It’s the perfect way to sneak in your nutrients while still feeling like a gourmand.
The feeling of fall continues with the pan roasted lamb loin over roasted acorn squash, mashed and paired with braised red cabbage. Cooked to perfection, a forkful of lamb, squash, and the slightly crunchy cabbage create a delicious mouth-feel that’s both hearty and heart-healthy.
It’s funny to think that the most “novel” meat on the menu is probably the most traditionally American as well. But the char-grilled bison strip steak takes grilling to another level, with its smoky taste served with a sweet port reduction, and blending with fingerling potatoes and caramelized sauerkraut. Pureé is probably not the usual way you eat your broccoli, but it works with the silky potatoes. For the more adventurous diners, you will not be disappointed.
And if you still have room, may we recommend one of the Golden Lamb’s homemade desserts? From their Sister Lizzie’s Shaker Sugar Pie — a Golden Lamb tradition since 1927 — to the warm and melty seasonal berry cobbler with locally made gelato, a sweet and satisfying end to your meal is definitely in your future.
Next time you’re stopping through Lebanon, don’t walk by the Golden Lamb; sit down in one of their historic dining rooms and treat yourself to a meal that is sourced from local farmers, credits the Golden Lamb’s past, present and future, and will warm your body and soul.