So, last night, amidst the news of hurricanes, wild fires and earthquakes, I got the other end of Mother Nature–a farm to table dinner at the oldest working farm in Boston, Allandale.
A dinner like this has always been on my bucket list, but one of those things that I never seem to get tickets to. My friend flagged me months ago, when September seemed too distant to actually plan for, but I was happy to click on “buy” and have something to look forward to throughout the summer. And last night, the crew from Outstanding in the Field and the Chef Tony Maws from Craigie on Main created a dinner I’d like to have every night for the rest of my life.
We were told that it’s a tradition that each person bring their own plate so that each place setting would be unique. They washed your plate after dinner and you retrieved it on your way out. (I wish this happened in my house after dinner.)
First appetizers, beer and wine in a grove of pine trees. Then a little walk around the farm to learn about its crops with John who has been farming the land for the last 35 years and had retired only the day before. And then, we were lead to a long table for all of us to sit, all 175 of us, in a field that was as promised, outstanding.
From the onion dip that I wanted to bathe in, served with baby tomatoes and Iggy’s crusty bread to the spectacular everything-in-the-garden salad with tomatoes the size of my head and feta dressing, to the special spicy tomato soup I had in place of the Portuguese Stew everyone else was served, on account of fish makes me vomit, to the main course of short ribs rubbed in a myriad of spices with a kick-ass sauce and onions and eggplant and carrots to the grilled carrot cake, all paired with beautiful wines, we were all dizzy with delight and satiated not only by the beautiful food, but also by the gorgeous nature that surrounded us.
The servers were friendly, gracious, knowledgeable and solicitous. The setting was out of a Pinterest board. The weather was perfection.
Darkness finally came and we were lead back to our cars by a path of candles. To say it was a perfect evening wouldn’t even come close. Gratitude for Mother Nature’s good mood, good friends and good food. Oustanding. Really.