For Christmas we received a generous gift card from my mom for dinner at The Farm Table restaurant. We had been once before and loved it. Last night we had the rare opportunity to spend an evening out since Carlos was staying at my sister’s house.
The restaurant is housed in an 1800 colonial house located in Bernardston, MA at Kringle Candle. The Kringle Candle complex is on both sides of the street and you can smell the sweet scents of candles as soon as you step out of your car. The quaint buildings blend in with the colonial architecture of the Farm Table building. At night there are candles twinkling in the windows. It is so beautiful.
It is about a 40 minute drive north of where we live, but well worth the drive. We had a 7:15pm reservation and we arrived about 45 minutes early with the intention of enjoying a glass of wine in the bar. To our surprise they were able to seat us before we could order drinks.
The service is impeccable, formal yet friendly. We let our server know that we were not in a hurry and wanted to take our time between courses. Yes courses! I am very dedicated to watching my weight as I continue working on losing the last 12 or so pounds. I knew we were going to dinner so I planned my day accordingly to allow for this rare occasion. Another rarity is having a drink, but I do enjoy a glass of wine every now and then. We started the night with a glass of Torres ‘Vina Esmeralda’ Moscato – Gerwurtztraminer. I don’t know what most of that means, but I will tell you that it was delicious. Orlando and I are not wine aficionados. We like it white and a bit on the sweeter side. This was crisp, refreshing and not too sweet.
After looking at the menu we decided to get different dishes and share everything. We knew from before that the portions are not huge, but the food is intensely flavorful. We started the night with an appetizer of Warm White Bean and Rosemary Hummus served with Marinated Sun Dried Tomatoes, Oil Cured Olives, Warm Toasted Flatbread with Roasted Garlic Chili Oil. We both agreed that the hummus could have been eaten straight up with a spoon.
Next was the soup and salad course. We selected the Native Butternut Squash Soup with a Seared Day Boat Sea Scallop and Chive Oil along with the Warm Quinoa and Roasted Butternut Squash Salad with Maple Vinaigrette, Roasted Mushrooms, Carrot, Parsnip and Honey Crisp Apple, finished with Pepitas and Feta Cheese. We pretty much died and went to heaven. The soup was rich and creamy without being heavy if that makes any sense. The salad was perfect for this time of year. The flavors blended so perfectly that nothing overpowered the dish.
Break time! I’ll pause here like we did during our dinner and I’ll tell you a bit more about the restaurant. The restaurant’s motto is “The Way it Used to Be” referring to a simpler time when food was fresh, grown in a garden or obtained from a local farm. The restaurant itself has an organic garden and if the produce doesn’t come from the garden it is almost all from within a 50 mile radius. The menu changes with the seasons. I love knowing that the food I am eating is fresh and local.
After a lengthy breather we ordered our entrées. Although I do not eat meat I still eat seafood on occasion particularly when I eat at a nice restaurant. We ordered one of the specials Pan Roasted Cod and Saffron Butter Poached Lobster served on a Crispy Risotto Cake with Sauteed Swiss Chard, Smoked Paprika Oil and Rainbow Micro Greens. The other entrée was Pan Seared Salmon Lemon Ginger Beurre Blanc, Aged Balsamic Vinegar, Seasonal Vegetable Sauté, Curry Scented Quinoa. They were both delicious but I actually preferred the salmon dish. I loved the sauteed chard in the first dish and the lobster melted in your mouth, but the fried risotto cake was heavy and distracting. After one bite I ignored it and focused on the greens and seafood. The flavors in the salmon dish melded so nicely together. It was a lighter dish and less complicated which in my opinion made it much more enjoyable.
As I said the portions here are not meant to stuff you so we were satisfied but not uncomfortable. We sat for quite some time after dinner chatting before ordering dessert. This was my guilty pleasure for the evening. I love dessert, but my husband can live without it although even he agreed we should give it a try since everything else had been so outstanding. We had a sampling of the vanilla bean cheesecake and the hazelnut banana cake. The descriptions were much more detailed, but the dessert menu changes so it is not listed on the website. Both were delicious. I don’t usually like banana flavored foods, but the hazelnut banana cake featured real banana and a hazelnut crust. It was quite decadent without being overly sweet. Anything with vanilla bean is a win for me so I loved the cheesecake.
I felt like I was on Top Chef last night. It was insanely fun to really savor great food. I have never had a culinary experience quite like this. It also gave me some inspiration to use in my own kitchen.
If you could dine at any restaurant in the world which would you choose and why? I would love to dine at Chez Panisse, Alice Waters’ famed restaurant in Berkeley, CA. I am fascinated with the farm to table restaurants because of the creativity and spontaneity required by the chef. Food is a work of art crafted out of what is available and in season. I also really admire the work of Alice Waters.