I love farm dinners. A beautiful summer evening, a long communal table set exquisitely with the season’s flowers, friends (new and old) enjoying delectable cuisine from talented local chefs. And, no one does it better than Arcadia Center for Sustainable Food and Agriculture.
Sunday, Chris and I had the pleasure of celebrating our third official Arcadia farm dinner with our dear friend Julie. Joining the celebration were my dad and his lady, Shirley. The warm summer evening was redolent with the smell of delicious food and the simple green smell of the land.
This dinner was an evening with the crew of The Partisan, a new endeavor in Penn Quarter from the Neighborhood Restaurant Group. Chefs Nathan Anda and Ed Witt created a tasty seasonal menu, paired with fizz, red wine, beer and rye from distinguished producers, Thibaut-Janisson Winery, Early Mountain Vineyards, Bluejacket and Catoctin Creek Distilling Company.
The dinner started with paper thin cut Red Apron Charcuterie paired with a rhubarb confit, pickled Arcadia kohlrabi, fresh tigelles (the flatbread common to the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy and a specialty of Chef Nathan) and Earth n’ Eats wildflower honey.
My favorite dish was the “Fields of Athenry” Lamb Tartare with a coddled egg from Arcadia’s grand chickens. Chef Ed outdid himself with this delicately flavored dish paired with crusty bread. BTW, I intend to interview him to share with my beloved readers this amazing recipe. My mom made an amazing beef tartare. And my favorite here in D.C. is prepared by Chef Cathal Armstrong of Restaurant Eve. This lamb tartare something completely different in texture and combination of flavors, but equally delicious.
Next came a mackerel escabeche over kale, breakfast radish and sugar snaps all sourced at Arciadia. I’m not generally a mackerel fan, but the combo of the kale, radish and sugar snaps balanced the oilier nature of the fish.
The final main course was a grilled pork shoulder from Leaping Waters Farm, paired with two distinctly different grilled sausages: Luganega and Grilled Fennel. Paired with a farro salad and a combo of tarbais beans, broccoli raab, garlic and calabrian chile, this last entrée made the meat eaters of the crowd particularly happy.
Well-known pastry chef Tiffany MacIsaac put in an appearance with her delectable macerated strawberries, rhubarb compote, crème fraîche biscuits, whipped lard (yup, you read that right!) and lemon cream. Sigh. Wonderful, just wonderful!
Arcadia offers a whole host of foodie related events and classes, a farm to school program , a mobile market, a food hub. If you’ve never been to a farm dinner, this is the one to go to!