|One of the guest rooms at the newest hotel in Plymouth, California: Rest, a Boutique Hotel|
Founded during the Gold Rush and set amid the graceful rolling hills of Amador County, the rough-and-ready town of Plymouth seems poised to welcome a new rush of well-heeled visitors. In the last 20 years, the number of local wineries have flourished from a dozen to over 40. In the last decade, new shops and restaurants have popped up along Plymouth’s Main Street and have begun to smooth the town’s ragged edges. And just last year, a new boutique hotel opened and has already begun drawing guests from around the world.
|The city park in Plymouth|
|Rest, A Boutique Hotel|
|A corridor at Rest, a Boutique Hotel|
|Double queen guestroom at Rest, a Boutique Hotel|
|Seating area for the double queen room|
Rest serves wine and hors d'oeuvres each evening from 5 to 6 p.m. The night I was there, the staff was pouring two wines local wines—a rosé and a red blend—made by Taste’s sommelier Thomas Allen under his label, Fate Wines. The wines were good, but the hors d'oeuvres—courtesy of Taste—were divine. Any description I could write about the smoked duck with figs or the crostini with eggplant and tomato would fail to describe how amazing they truly were.
|Second floor landing at Rest, a Boutique Hotel|
I had a dinner reservation at Taste that I didn’t want to miss, so I left the market for the restaurant across the street. Like the hotel, stepping into the restaurant from the street is a bit like stepping into an alternate universe. It’s an unexpectedly sophisticated urban bistro in a humble western town. The space features warm-hued walls, warm lighting, white table cloths, wood-plank floors, and a long wooden bar stretching across one wall. The service was impeccable. The restaurant’s award-winning wine list showcases many local producers as well as an impressive collection of domestic and international wines.
The menu offerings were impossible to choose from so I opted for mix of small plates starting with a fig, melon, and prosciutto salad with fresh basil, balsamic vinegar and wildflower honey. The late summer flavors lightly drizzled with the emulsified vinegar and honey were a superb combination. I also had the incredibly delicious Mushroom Cigars, which resemble egg rolls, but are made of phyllo dough stuffed with cremini, shiitake, and oyster mushrooms, fresh herbs, and goat cheese. I rounded out the dinner with pan-seared gnocchi with Sun Gold tomatoes, braised lamb, feta, and shaved zucchini.
|The outdoor patio at Rest, a Boutique Hotel|
The hotel serves a continental breakfast in the lobby from 7 - 10 a.m. each morning. I had been trying to catch up on work in my room that morning, so I hastily ran downstairs to grab breakfast, which turned out to be a much larger spread than I anticipated. The woman busing the tray of empty plates and coffee mugs greeted me with a deep-felt warmth that stunned me. My immediate thought was this: this woman should be training people to work in hospitality, not busing dishes. She must have read the question on my face because she introduced herself as Tracey, the owner I had not yet met. She and her husband have formidable résumés in the food and hospitality industry and a tireless work ethic.
All of this was starting to fall into place.
|Breakfast at Rest, a Boutique Hotel|
|Courtyard at Rest, a Boutique Hotel|
I asked them where else have they had been. They rattled off their list: Walla Walla in Washington, Oregon’s Willamette Valley, Napa and Sonoma, and now here, in Amador County.
“For pleasure?” I asked, wondering how they had ever discovered Plymouth and Amador County among much better-known wine producing regions.
“No, business, actually,” one of the men said. They explained they were wine buyers for European markets.
And so it seems Plymouth and Amador County is not likely to remain little-known for long. A new kind of gold rush is on the horizon. Make your reservations now.
Rest, a Boutique Hotel
9372 Main Street
Plymouth, CA 95669
Second to last photo Courtesy of Rest, A Boutique Hotel. All others by Ranee Ruble-Dotts for CABBI.