Dear Rancho Loma,
It is agony to be apart from you. I long to sit on your porch, glass of cava in hand, taking in a pre-dinner sunset. The memory of your grilled rib eye seared in duck fat or venison with spicy roasted pears drives me to distraction. You leave me, sitting at my computer, staring out the window dreaming of heated assignations with your jalapeno blue cheese polenta. When can I taste the silken texture of your chocolate ancho crème brulee? Nip at your Texas peach-and-mascarpone tart? When can I feast my eyes on your dazzling gardens of edible flowers and the gold-shot emerald plumage of your bantam roosters? I ache for your élan, your modern farmhouse chic.
Alas, that which makes me love you is the very cause of our separation. Rancho Loma, you are the Lone Star State's finest culinary offering. You nestle there in the dry desert grasses of Valera, Texas, studded with pecan trees and blue bonnets. To bring you to New York would kill you — break your cowboy spirit. Be mine forever. Please start serving on Thursdays.
Driving note: You'll find Rancho Loma at the corner of 503 and CR 422, real close to Valera.