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Monday, August 12, 2013

Dinner at the farms

Happy Monday!
I hope everyone is adjusted back to work after a wonderful weekend with friends  sunshine and family. 

  I wanted to share with you my Sunday:
 spent at one of my favorite summer events with one of my favorite restaurants:  River Tavern of Chester, hosting their "Dinner At The Farms"  
at White Gate Farm in East Lyme, Connecticut.  

The River Tavern is a farm to table restaurant located in Chester, Connecticut.  They use seasonal, local, fresh ingredients and have a constantly changing menu that reflects the seasons.  I have been to the River Tavern many a times, in love with their food, and I worship their date pudding.   you can read about my love for date pudding here.

Every summer they organize a five course dinner at various local farms.  When I heard about this (last year) I knew I had to go and I attended the event with a fun group of friends.  I had such an amazing time last year and jumped at the opportunity to spend another dinner at the farms. 

White Gate Farm is a certified organic farm in East Lyme.

River Tavern set up their beautiful tent(s) and hosted a beautiful dinner on this beautiful farm. (yes I overused beautiful a little- but it was!)   When you walk into the farm you are welcomed by green grass, the sounds of chickens, and a bar. 
My kind of Sunday 

I grabbed a glass of sparkling rose and enjoyed my wine 
with passed appetizers on the farm.  
I am not a rose fan but this was dry and delicious !


The appetizers were outstanding but unfortunately, over two hundred people and a few servers passing small trays of appetizers meant for a struggle to sample the deliciousness.  

I did try the lobster spring rolls and they were absolutely scrumptious, and quite spicy. 

While River Tavern prepped the food (in one of their many tents and on their famous truck), the owner of the farm gave us a lovely walking tour of the farm. 

We learned about the 100 acre farm and about the various produce and poultry the farm produced.   We walked by fields, hoop houses (different from a greenhouse) and passed by squabbling hens and turkeys.  

After the tour we sat down for dinner under a beautiful tent.  Sitting at the end meant I had plenty of room and a beautiful view of the farm. 

We all went to our seats and conversed while enjoying endless supplies of wine  listening to speeches from chefs, owners, and farmers. It was really nice to hear from all of the different people who made the night possible.  This was their last dinner of the season and their 100th dinner to date.  Dinner at the farm donates money to charities, aids in healthy eating in schools,  and of course supports our local farms. The menu was posted and we all drooled in anticipation-

First up:  A summer vegetable salad with scallop crudo.
It was light, delicate, and delicious. 

Next was my favorite dish of the night:
 A lobster clam and corn chowder.
Large chunks of lobster made the dish.  

Third course was a meatball with fresh corn polenta and an onion bacon hash.  
I devoured it before I could take a picture.  
Fourth course was a grilled swordfish with a tomato salsa and squid.  It was good but not my favorite.  It was heavily grilled, leaving the beautiful fish with a heavy charred flavor.  I also wish they picked a more sustainable local fish.  The idea is to support local sustainable food so I was a little disappointed with their choice. 

The fifth course was this mouthwater peice of panchetta with walnuts.  You can never go wrong with any bacon product, can you.  The pork melted in your mouth and the walnuts gave the dish a nice crunch.  

Dessert was a whipped ricotta with peaches and berries.  This was good but enough, not great.  Berries and cream... seemed like an easy way out of dessert when all I wanted was a warm chocolate cake, or some date pudding.  

All in all, it was another fantastic farm dinner.  I was not as impressed as the first one but still enjoyed a great meal (and lots of great wine).  At $150 a ticket it is not a cheap night, but a beautiful night on a beautiful farm with good food, wine, and friends. 

If you consider yourself a foodie, lover of food, farms, and anything delicious,
 then you should find a farm dinner near you. 
 And then tell me all about it :) 

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