Connecticut is blessed with so many amazing farms that are diligently bringing us fresh local produce. As icing on the cake, we have a high concentration of local chefs who respect and understand the importance of these farms and support them by bringing local produce to their dinner guests.
For me, the highest respect one can give local produce is to cook it in a simple yet elegant fashion that allows each ingredient to boldly shout out its natural flavors. Chef Michael Bick, of Some Things Fishy Catering, did just that last Sunday evening at a quintessential Connecticut farm that everyone knows and loves: Holbrook Farm in Bethel.
What a gorgeous, sunny day it was and what a perfect setting to eat an authentic farm-to-table meal. As we arrived, we were greeted with live music and Chef Michael’s signature beverages: A sweet White Peach Nectar with Terragon and a tangy Basil Lemonade. I could not decide which I liked better. They were both refreshing and delicious.
For passed hors d’oeuvres there were Hawaiian Sea Salt Dusted Diver Scallop with Green Tomato Relish and Radish Crisp, Sherry Wine Braised Oxtail with Chickpea Puree and Cilantro Drizzle in a Sundried Tomato Tartlet and Sundried Tomato Basil Risotto Cakes with Wilted Pea Greens and Smoked Mozzarella. I did not get to try the scallops, the Rissotto Cakes were very good but the Oxtail tartlets were simply divine! This tartlet was crisp and intensely flavorful and it was filled with moist juicy meat. Yum!
Our first plated course was Pan Seared Redfish with Apricot-Chili Butter, Organic Hot House Microgreens and Artichoke Fritters. It was a very juicy piece of fish cooked with appropriately delicate accents of flavors.
Main course was served family style, and it was such a great idea given the setting. We had Roast Chicken with Chervil, Mint, Tarragon, and Garlic Chive Pesto. On the side was a Spring Vegetable Melange of roasted Beets, Blistered Fava Beans, Turnips, Multi Colored Carrots. Speckled Quinoa with Young Dill and Sweet Peas completed the course.
Our dessert course was the most perfect finish to such a great meal. We had Green Tea Cupcake with Cream Cheese Buttercream and Rosemary-Kalamata Olive Cupcake with Vanilla Buttercream. I mean, WOW! Both the cupcakes were outstanding with unusual flavor pairings. Although, I have to admit that the Kalamata Olive one stole my heart! 🙂
I have always fantasized about what it would be like to eat a lovely, elegant dinner at the farm – well, let me tell you that this is exactly what I had hoped for and expected. PERFECTION!
The best part of this family style of dining is the chance of meeting fellow foodies. We were so happy to meet and eat with the dynamic duo behind OmNomCT and another very lovely husband and wife team behind LocalFoodRocks.com and TheNaturalPrincess.com.
Very reasonably priced (as compared to other Farm to Table dinners offered in the area) with a BYOB policy, this is one experience that you must have. According to Chef Michael Bick, there are plans for another such dinner in the second or third week of September this year when the delicious fall vegetables start to emerge. So keep your eyes and ears open, people!