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Be the first to book the Foo Foo Room

Vivian Herron, Columnist
ALL | GrassValleyArchive

The Washington Hotel & Cafe has scheduled its annual Valentine’s Day Extravaganza for Friday, Feb.14. The Sweetheart Special is a three-course dinner, room and cocktails for two for $89. Chef Wil Chambers has had a whole year to dream up his next success; he e-mailed me the menu and I drooled all over my keyboard.

The starter is spinach salad with bacon vinaigrette (Wil makes the dressing himself). The appetizer is out-island shrimp with coconut sauce. For the main entree, you have a choice of Boeuf Bourguignon with pasta or shrimp Alfredo with a seven-cheese sauce. Both dishes are served with fresh grilled vegetables.

Dessert is creme de coconut: “A rich cream custard, flavored with toasted coconut and liqueurs served on a shortbread wafer and a special, island-inspired sauce.”



Dinner will be served from 5:30-8:30 p.m. And the cost is $22.95 each. Between you and me, where else can you get a gourmet meal like this for $22.95? Mama Su DeCorte and Lorie have been decorating the Cafe for over a week for that special air of romance; what a job.

“We’d really like our guests to stay overnight,” Su told me. “We want them to take just a little time out of their lives for some relaxation, intimate conversation and good food. Why drive home after dinner when we have warm, cozy rooms waiting for them? This is a perfect opportunity to slow down and enjoy a stress-free evening and night with the one you love. The Cafe opens at eight o’clock the next morning for a hearty breakfast to send you on your way.”




She is asking guests to make reservations, both for the special and for dinner, by calling 265-1990. Several rooms have already been booked, and Su can help you make your selection.

And what about the (dramatic pause) Foo-Foo Room? When you speak of that room, it is done with a lowered, respectful voice and two eyebrow waggles.

The Foo-Foo Room is located at the back of the Cafe, behind curtained double doors that lock … from the inside. A curtained door on the opposite side leads out to the hotel’s deck, with a view of the river below. The room itself is full of comfortable chairs and a love seat; antique, deeply polished furniture; pleated burgundy napkins; oodles of lace and damask and crystal dinnerware. Frankly, it all looks rather ordinary in cold daylight, but when the sun sets and all the candles are lit … ahh!

It’s been especially designed for a quiet, very personal dinner for two, although more guests can be accommodated. Chef Wil is available to prepare whatever dishes you would like. It’s a seven-course meal that can take two to four hours to complete, with an intermission, of course. Service is ultra discreet. There is a chain on one side of the entry door; pull it and a cowbell rings in the kitchen, sending a waitperson on the double. They can’t come in unless the door is unlocked. Another eyebrow waggle.

It has not yet been reserved, mon cher – talk to Su at the above number to find out more. The hotel will be putting an ad in The Union in a couple of days, but I want you, dear reader, to have first dibs.

I have to wait until next week to introduce you to Mr. Jack Chandler, who makes friends wherever he goes, and his female counterpart, Jeanne Fleming, who works at the Mt. St. Mary’s thrift store, and King of the Canning Kettle, Joe Wiley, who has won hundreds of blue ribbons at the Nevada County Fair, what a guy!

Vivian Herron is a longtime resident of the town of Washington whose column appears on Saturdays. You can write her in care of The Union, 464 Sutton Way, Grass Valley, 95945.


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