We have been wanting to do this Dinners at the Farm thing for a while. But with the cost a bit high we never could justify it. Then my neighbors invited us to join them and we decided what the hell.
Dinners at the Farm takes local, fresh ingredients and fantastic chefs and puts them together at a farm in CT. You sit under a tent and enjoy good food, friends, and drinks. They also have beneficiaries who get donations from these dinners, not to mention local farmers reaping the benefits as well.
It's really a great thing for our community and the farms.
Here is where the problems happened...
Jared worked with our neighbor to book the tickets. All the while I was going on the first date they gave us - July 12. It was so ingrained in both our minds that no matter what the tickets said - which I never saw - it was on July 12.
Last night at 5:45 my neighbor calls. And let me set this up for you...
I had been out ALL day with Lyla and was sticky, sweaty, and tired. Not to mention filthy. I was just about to make dinner for Lyla and Jared wasn't home yet.
So my neighbor calls and asks if we want to carpool. I said to what? He informed me that the dinner was happening in 15 minutes. OH SHIT!!
I was so not concerned about how this had happened and more concerned about how I was going to pull this off. Meanwhile I was laughing at myself for just securing my mom earlier in the day to babysit for Lyla next week for this dinner.
Here is the way the rest of the night went (and I've kept all exaggeration out of this timeline for sure):
5:45: I called Jared and left a panic stricken message with the news.
5:46: I called my babysitter telling her my bind and she was able to drop everything and be at my house in 20.
5:47: Called Jared again.
5:47: Texted Jared "911 call me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" But accidentally texted this to my friend who then calls me freaking out.
5:48: Texted the right man "911 call me!!!!!!!!"
5:49: Jared calls back and says he'll try to be home in 5.
5:49: I made Lyla dinner - ham and cheese slices on a plate, leftover corn, and blueberries - yum
5:50: I ran upstairs, dropped my filthy sweaty clothes, throw on a sundress, fix my hair, clean my face, and grab my clutch.
5:51: Get Lyla's jammies ready, towel for bath, and other misc crap.
5:52: I ran back downstairs and furiously pace while I await the husband and sitter.
6:00: Jared got home.
6:05: Sitter has arrived.
6:07: We walk next door to the neighbors.
6:15: We are at the farm dinner.
6:20: I got my first drink.
7:15: I was a little giddy and I got fed.
8:30: I was wasted.
9:00: I was FULL.
10:00: I arrived home.
As for the dinner itself, it was just okay. In fact I was a bit disappointed - enough that I probably won't do it again. The mission was great and instead of doing the dinner again, I'd prefer just to donate to the beneficiaries. We paid $200 total and the food was just okay. I think they were trying too hard to make it fancy and it didn't taste good to me.
Plus on top of that, the few appetizers offered were good but they were just that, a few. No matter where I stood or where I went, I couldn't get my hands on any! I had 2 appetizers of the 4 they were offering for over an hour. I totally got ripped off there. Plus between the gnats that were constantly in my eyes and the wooden benches digging into my legs, it was not too comfortable. I love the idea of this Dinner and the location at the farm. But I think it can be run better and the food simplified a bit more. Don't get me wrong, I'm a HUGE foodie and River Tavern is my favorite restaurant. I have never had a bad experience there and everything has been amazing. But this menu just wasn't my fav. Jared agreed as well.
But let's break it down...
mozzeralla, mint, beets and blueberries
Overall I liked this, minus the beets as I'm not a beets fan. You could tell it was fresh.
Cool carrot soup with spicy shrimp
This was good. A little spicy but I liked the flavors overall.
Beet/lemon risotto with squid
I don't usually dig risotto and this was not an exception. Risotto was a bit bland. The squid was not bad but I could only eat a bit.
This is the course I was looking most forward to. Turkey meatball.
It was just eh. It was a tad bit too salty and I didn't like the consistency of the meatball. Too dry.
Yup that is right, we got one scallop. That was the most disappointing thing. It was not too small but I'd love to have had another. They flavor was not too bad but not my favorite.
Pana-cotta with blueberries
Best course. I never like custard-type desserts. But this was great!
My attempt at a self portrait after too much wine.
Overall it was a great night with a great atmosphere. We had good conversation and despite not being prepared AT ALL to be there that night, we made it work. I'd have preferred to have a better dinner experience overall but alas I'm too snobby I suppose. Like I said, I'd probably not do this again but I would be interested in donating for sure as it's a great mission. I recommend you try it out for yourself if you're local.
But bravo to the people who put this on as it's for a good cause.