Eric May has been the executive chef at the Blue Boar Inn for almost eight years, and last fall, the Warnocks asked him to take over management after the innkeepers retired. May is now working with the Warnocks to keep the quaint and intimate feel of the inn alive while "taking it up a notch."
"After 14, almost 15, years that the inn has been open, we're making, not improvements, but enhancements," he said.
The 14 rooms at the Utah AAA Four Diamond Award-winning inn, feature Lewis Carroll, Jane Austen and William Shakespeare and other prestigious writers. Each has a custom bed and furnishings in accordance with the time period or style of writing by the author or poet the room is named after. While the décor varies, it is all old-fashioned, except for the televisions May just had upgraded.
"They are all now HD and come with DVD and BluRay players, which are 3-D capable," he said. "We don't have 3-D televisions just yet, but you never know, for in the future in case that trend takes off."
Jetted tubs, showers and balconies are all amenities featured in each room along with complimentary European meals. May has refreshed the breakfast, lunch and dinner menus, which change throughout the year according to the season.
Currently, they are offering their winter dinner menu, which includes filet mignon with potato croquets, forest mushrooms and a horseradish cheddar fondue. The Mediterranean-style Chilean sea bass comes with green olives, grilled eggplant and grape tomatoes, and the sweet potato lasagna features thinly sliced sweet potato, roasted bell peppers, fresh mozzarella, tomatoes and portabella mushrooms.
May is most proud of his escargot, which he says he serves differently than most other places that simply place garlic and butter in the shell and cook it. He slow-braises the escargot with brunoise mirepoix, celery, carrots, onion, a little bit of chicken stock and butter and then cooks it for several hours.
The European-style five-course plated brunch features a fresh-baked pastry, a melon martini with sparking pear cider and diced melons and berries, a Swedish pancake with red currant raspberry jam and an entrée. Entrées include steak and eggs, salmon and eggs and French toast, among other options.
May said he wants to make sure to use local sources for ingredients. Heber Valley Artisan Cheese provides the cheeses Blue Boar uses in the restaurant, and he said several other places throughout the Heber Valley and surrounding areas provide other ingredients.
"I also use companies here in the Heber Valley for printing menus and brochures, marketing tools and other things like that around the inn," May said. "I want the inn to be a locally resourced place."
With new management comes new ideas and updates, but May wants the inn to remain the charming, old-world bed and breakfast he first worked for.
"I think we offer a lot to this community, and we're proud to do so," he said.
Blue Boar Inn: