New Gallery Coming to Farmington

Co-op Members Working at the New Gallery

I saw trucks behind the Farmington Depot when I was last up in the area, and stopped in to see what was happening. Chris Hubbard, the art car folk artist, and  two buddies were hard at work transforming the building into a 14-artist member co-op Gallery.

Winterhawk Pottery still has to haul its kiln from the covered porch of the Depot; but for the most part, John & crew are working out of Happy Valley Pottery again. They’ve gone what writers romantically call “back to their roots”.

So back to Chris and the re-incarnation of the Depot… If they can, they want to mount some sort of showing during the first weekend in June.

For years, the Chappelles have held their Open Studios Weekend on that date. And the last several years, other Oconee County artists have opened their studios that weekend, too. Probably a dozen studios – most with invited guest artists – will be opened and celebrating. You’ll see directional signage as you come into Farmington (and through Bishop, into Watkinsville) in any direction.

Be sure and stop at the Depot and say hi to the gang. They are always up to something!

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Girasoles in Watkinsville

Girasoles Restaurant

Bill Ronay & I have always enjoyed meals at Girasoles; and last night was no exception! The cuisine is Italian, Mexican and French fusion; but to us, it is plain ole good. Chef/owner Jose Zambrano personally greets everyone, and performs culinary magic to please his happy diners.

When our party barely tasted the first round of Margaritas (little glasses, lots of ice), Jose found bigger glasses for the second. He personally made sure we had enough of the delicious bread and balsamic vinegar/garlic sauce. And when Bill Ronay rattled off his ideal pasta dish – fettucini, tomato cream sauce, sausage, sweet caramelized onions and peppers – Chef Jose delivered!

We watched him take care of every table just like he did ours.

I had to take home the second half of my shrimp & grits. It was perfect hot from the kitchen last night, and great this morning straight from the refrigerator. The texture of the grits was a delicious balance to the fresh shrimp. Bill Ronay required no to-go box. Chappelle Chicken – chicken breast stuffed with spinach, feta cheese and sundried tomato – and crab cakes were standard orders of the friends we were with. Kathy & Jerry are gold star regulars at Girasoles. Kathy had crab and lobster soup as an appetizer. Jerry had alligator and shrimp. Bill had tomato and basil soup.

We hadn’t seen our friends for a long time, so we laughed and caught up as we ate and drank. And Girasoles is perfect for seeing everyone. Dave, Mario and Mrs. Shearon from Ashford Manor also came in for dinner.

Dessert was cheesecake with dulce de leche for Bill & Jerry and flan for Kathy. Kathy’s flan wasn’t the best she’d had there – overbaked, no whipped cream or drizzle – but the cheesecake was excellent.

We had a fine meal at Girasoles Restaurant in Watkinsville, and would highly recommend it as a place to enjoy an evening with old friends. It’s on Main Street (Hwy 441 Business) just at the split of Hwy 15 down from Town Center. 706/310-0410.