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Dinners at the Farm

August 27, 2012

I can’t believe I’m just getting around to telling you about this…I’ve been busy enjoying these precious last few weeks of summer!  Anyways, a few weekends ago we had a fantastic dinner experience I’m so excited to tell you about. A few years ago, I saw something on TV about a series called Dinners at the Farm in Connecticut. A chef from a Connecticut restaurant started the program six years ago – he and a team of chefs cook dinner at a local farm. It looked interesting and I thought it would be fun to go but life got busy and I forgot about it. Then, a few months ago I was perusing CTBites and saw a link to Dinners at the Farm. A lightbulb went off in my head and I remembered the program from a few years ago and bought tickets for dinner right then.

Let me just say, it was awesome. I expected it to be a great experience with good food but Conrad and I were both blown away…the setting was beautiful, the hosts gracious and the food incredible. It was a very hot day but when we arrived at the farm in Madison, CT the air had cooled down a bit. There were several white tents set up: the main one with long communal tables, another for the kitchen and one for the bar. Isn’t anything involving a big, white tent so fun and festive? The coolest thing about the kitchen at the farm is this antique red pickup truck that was converted to a kitchen (and yes, the chef was working up there).

Appetizers and cocktails were served for the first 45 minutes. We enjoyed sangria with fried squash blossoms, baba ghanoush with preserved lemon on crostini, roasted pork spring rolls, melon with swordfish ceviche, okra with bacon mayonnaise. All were flavorful, creative and seasonal. There were also clam fritters and a crostini with chevre and peaches we didn’t get to try (you had to be a bit aggressive to secure some hors d’oevres).

Then, at 6:45 there were two tours of the farm: one of the gardens and one of the animals. We opted to go on the animal tour and walked up the gravel driveway and back to the barns. I was surprised by the lack of smell (!) and the number of animals. There were two Jersey cows which are used for milk, many sheep and more chickens than you could possibly count. The animals were friendly and we were all invited to pet them and walk around their space.

Once the tours were done we sat down under the big tent for dinner. I’m not usually a fan of communal tables but we had great people on either side of us. I guess there is a common interest to spur conversation and make it less awkward.

Every course was delicious and incredibly fresh.  First there was a ceviche with scallops caught on a day boat from Stonington, then fresh mozzarella with blueberries, blackberries and beets (this was a GORGEOUS presentation!).  Next was a delightful corn chowder, then grilled swordfish with caponata.  The entree was a carrot risotto with an incredibly flavorful meatball and dessert was whipped ricotta with fresh fruit.  I can’t even pick a favorite out of the six courses!  It sounds like a ton of food but the portions were appropriately sized.  By the end I was full but not overly so and incredibly satisfied.

We’re already planning to go to another Dinner at the Farm in September at a different farm. It will be neat to see the difference between the menus from early August to late September and I’m excited to visit another working farm. If you can’t make it this year, I definitely recommend making plans for next year!

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Gail permalink
    August 28, 2012 8:23 pm

    I had never heard of this! What fun. Thanks for sharing…. If it doesn’t embarrass Conrad too much, we need more food photos.

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