Living in a small town there are not many, shall I say, quality restaurants around. There’s fast food, of course this is America! Then there are, as Guy Fieri would say “Dives”. I’m sure the owners of these establishments would be
happy dissatisfied with my description. Ah well, I’ve eaten there a time or two but, it’s certainly not my first choice. Or a choice where I’d like to take a guest from out of town. Sorry, no can do.
Our only choices left are to drive to a city south of us a half hour away or to a city north of us about 20 minutes away. The city north of us is West Branch and that’s where we discovered the Willow Tree Restaurant. The company I work for also takes us there for the Christmas luncheon. See their menu here.
It’s a husband and wife team that own the restaurant. She is the hostess and he is the head chef. Along with many other wonderful staff members. They serve delectable dishes such as lobster bisque, ahi tuna seared to perfection, angus prime rib and my personal favorite the bruschetta. Yes, this appetizer is my favorite. I savor each and every bite and don’t even care if dinner ever makes it to the table ;) The last time I was there I wrote down everything I could taste in the bruschetta and vowed to replicate this lovely masterpiece.
I think I succeeded in my endeavor and I think the chef would agree or maybe not, maybe he doens’t want me copying his food ;) If you like bruschetta I think you will agree that this is delicious and you could make a meal out of it for certain. Not that I’ve ever done that before
Willow Tree Bruschetta
3 roma tomatoes, diced
1/3 red onion, diced
handful of fresh basil, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
extra virgin olive oil
feta cheese (see picture below as to my preference, I think it makes a big difference)
French bread or bread or your choice
Here is the feta cheese I use, if you can find it I suggest using it. To me it makes a difference, if you can’t than by all means use regular.
Combine chopped tomatoes, onions, basil, garlic and feta cheese in a bowl. Stir to mix. Drizzle lightly with olive oil. Drizzle generously with balsamic vinegar. Toss to coat. Cover and put in the refrigerator to chill.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cut french bread in half lengthwise. Butter both sides of bread. Sprinkle each side with garlic powder. Sprinkle mozzerella over each side and then top with parmesan cheese. Put on baking sheet and stick in the oven for about 10 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and melted. Remove from oven.
Remove bruschetta from refrigerator.
Take your bread and cut into 3-4 inch pieces when cool enough to handle.
Top each piece with a generous portion of bruschetta.