Just a warning: today’s post will make you hungry. #sorrynotsorry
Back in July I told you that we would be visiting Just Right Farm for my birthday dinner. We went Friday night and when I tell you it was amazing just know that I could be using so many more adjectives! The weather was a huge disappointment as it was rainy and windy and, in the words of my darling husband, “probably the worst night we’ve had this year.” He was pretty spot on with that description but Kimberly and the staff at the farm rose to the occasion.
Generally at these dinners the guests arrive and have a cocktail (it’s BYOB which is pretty sweet) while wandering the grounds, feeding the goats, and admiring the bountiful vegetables and gorgeous flowers. Since the weather was utterly uncooperative on Friday the cocktail hour was set up inside the antique farmhouse. While I would normally have been disappointed by this change, in this instance I was actually pretty happy about it. I mean, we had already toured the farm back in July but we hadn’t been able to go into the house. With this change, we got to see the gorgeous house, meet the chefs and the kitchen staff, and relax on couches while we waited for dinner. Win-win, I tell you.
Dinner was served in the screen house, as always. It was warm and cozy inside, probably made even more so because of the blustery conditions outside. We were greeted by this stunning arrangement of kale and hydrangeas.
And on the same table as the flowers was a big framed menu. I already knew what we were having (it had been posted on the website on Wednesday) but I love how they present the menu and I took this photo so you could see. Sounds delicious, doesn’t it?
The screen house is set up with long tables, encouraging conversations and meeting new people. I wondered how that would work – if we would have to secure a spot and how we would decide where we wanted to sit – but that was all taken care of as our seats were assigned. I was happy with that arrangement, honestly, and when we found our name we saw that the bottles of wine we had given to the bartender on our arrival were labeled and waiting there for us.
This is not the first course but rather a little extra something. Dale, being a wise guy, took a photo of this and posted it on Facebook saying how anxious he was to get to the rest of the dinner! It was so yummy, though, that I could have eaten another spoonful or two. It was chevre with a dollop of hot pepper jelly and a fennel blossom. So simple and a great combination of simple ingredients.
This is the first course and I have to say it was my favorite. Grits and greens with housemade smoked sausage. It was an explosion of flavors and they were all fabulous. The creaminess of the grits with the crunch of the greens and the smokiness of the sausage was just incredible.
Course number two, a sugar pumpkin and roasted onion soup, was Dale’s favorite. The bowls were placed in front of us with a sprinkling of pepitas and crispy bacon on the bottom and then the soup was poured into each person’s bowl by a server sporting a little carafe of soup. It kept it piping hot when it was served and added a bit of flare to the presentation as well. And it was very good.
Next up: beautiful tomatoes (grown on the farm, of course) along with an eggplant confit and fennel slaw. You know what? I grow tomatoes and they are good but these were fabulous! Sweet and vibrant and really wonderful. The eggplant was flavorful and the fennel with a bit of caraway was terrific. What a fun take on a salad! There was also a bread station set up at this point and the bread was amazing as was the herbed butter.
Finally, the main course, and as you can see I started eating before I remembered to take a photo. It was roasted cod with blistered tomatoes and a really silky and delicious lemon and shallot sauce. The cod was set on sliced roasted fingerling potatoes and it was perfectly cooked.
But wait! There’s more! Dessert! It was roasted apples with an almond cake with caramel sauce and bourbon whipped cream. It couldn’t have been more delicious. The apples were perfectly cooked, firm but tender and very very flavorful. The cake was fabulous, I love anything with almonds.
Then, for the chocolate lovers in the room, the chef came around with a chocolate ganache tart. Talk about fabulous! The chocolate was rich and smooth and so decadent.
And decadent just might be the perfect word for the entire evening. Luxurious, too. Everything was perfectly cooked and presented with style, it felt more like a performance than a dinner. I originally said we’d just go this one time because, let’s face it, it’s a big splurge. But now that I have gone and now that I know how amazing it is, I can promise that we will go back!