We have good friends who live in Cincinnati and because between the four of us, our kids, and our schedules, it is difficult to get together, we try to meet halfway between for dinner a few times a year. We have toured many of the Oldenburg area restaurants so far, and this time ventured into Batesville and visited The Restaurant at Walhill Farm.
It’s pretty cool how many little independent restaurants exist in this area that have clearly been around for a long time. While you see chains here, not nearly as much as you might see in other places. Anyhow, it was also cool to see how busy this place was on a random Wednesday night—we all sort of expected it to be fairly empty—and it was nearly full. We were glad we had made a reservation.
A lot of the things on the menu are produced locally and they happily note a long list of them on the menu. Hubby and I wanted to start with the roasted artichokes, but were informed they were out of them. So we ordered the blue cheese fondue instead ($8). It was a tasty dish even if the amount of cheese to other things was a little slim. The cheese was nice and melty in the middle and was served with toasted and seasoned bread, candied walnuts, grapes and strawberries. I do love to eat a bit of fruit, and even better candied nuts, with my blue cheese, so this dish was very appealing to me. I just wished there was more cheese for all those accompaniments.
Our friends got the shrimp appetizer ($12), which was supposed to be a scampi type dish. It was served with rice on the bottom, a few grilled shrimp and then a ton of this wonderful tomato topping. These little cherry tomatoes were so good—they were marinated and mixed with fresh basil and seriously, you didn’t even care about the shrimp or rice. You just wanted to gobble up the tomatoes. However, if I were to improve this dish, I would put the whole thing on warm polenta—that would be amazing.
I ordered the Walhill burger ($11), which is made with a blend of beef and pork and a bit of bacon. It’s topped with cheese, tomatoes and lettuce. I asked for a fried egg for it as well (an extra $1). It’s served on sliced toasted bread, which was a little surprising. I was bummed they forgot my egg though. And then it took awhile to get it—but I was glad I did because it really improved the sandwich. They did a nice job cooking the hamburger patty medium rare and the egg was beautiful once I got it. The bread tasted good with it, but there was a lot going on in the sandwich and it was kind of messy because the bread had a hard time holding up.. I enjoyed it though. I also ordered the O’Brien potatoes as a side (upcharge from the usual chips). I wasn’t a big fan of these big potato wedges mixed with green and red bell peppers. They weren’t very crisp and needed salt. And I am not a big green pepper fan. I sort of wished I had stuck with the chips, which they apparently make in house.
Hubby had the salmon, trying to be healthy ($29). It was not overly healthy though considering it was covered in a creamy lemony sauce with Andouille sausage. The fish was cooked a bit further than we tend to prefer, but it wasn’t completely dried out, and all that creamy sauce helped. There were also a few more of those shrimp on top. The grits served with it were pretty dense, would have been nice if they had been a bit creamier.
Our friends had a steak and a chicken dish, and while I didn’t taste them, they seemed content with them. We ended up getting three desserts, which was certainly more than enough. I really enjoyed the chocolate cheesecake ($6) the most. It was much softer and creamier than most cheesecakes. Very tasty. The bread pudding ($5) was also good—very tender as well. They certainly seemed homemade, which can be a problem with desserts sometimes—they come frozen and shipped in. We also had the crème brulee ($6), which I thought was the weakest of the desserts simply because the cream part was still pretty cold underneath the crisp brulee part. I did like the addition of cinnamon to the top though.
It’s a cute place—sort of off the beaten path with a real lodge-type feel. The food is solid, even though it’s nothing spectacular. And it’s a great in between stop. I’m always looking for more suggestions for the Oldenburg/Batesville area, so let me know your ideas. We’re supposed to meet our friends again in October.
The Restaurant at Walhill Farm
857 Six Pine Ranch Road
Batesville, IN 47006