Last night we attended a dinner at an organic farm here in New Jersey. The organization that throws these events is the name in the title of the thread. I had high expectations based on how they described the dinner, they us e the produce from the farm in question and bring in local chefs to cook. There were probably 100 people at one very long table. After a tour of the farm we were seated and the family style meal began. We were asked to bring our own plate and nothing more. First course was ripe tomatoes with burrata (local) dressed with pesto and olive oil finished with Maldon salt and microgreens. The fruit is at peak ripeness and the dish was simple but excellent. That was the highpoint. They served salmon roasted on a wood burning grill that was under seasoned and uninspired. The cavatelli and broccoli side was very good but again, nothing special. Next course was gumbo with farm grown rice. I have to say it was a little strange eating soup off of a plate. The gumbo was very good but it left me with a mess and no way to clean it up. Next course was short ribs with a mash of squash and carrots. It was also uninspired. The dessert was peach pie and everyone said it was excellent (I passed, too full).
The wines were from New Jersey. I stopped drinking altogether about 5 years ago on doctor’s orders and I was thankful. I took a sip and spat from each glass. Horrid rose, Cab Franc, and Pinot Noir were what they served.
Price per person was $350. A huge overspend to hang out with friends. It’s an interesting concept and I believe, with more thought, it could have hit the mark. They do these all over the world so the traveling circus may make it to a town near anyone who reads this board. I wouldn’t go again.
Based on raves from a friend, I attended their dinner in Galena, IL in 2021 and thankfully had a much better experience.
It is still expensive for what you get in terms of food, but it was far less than $350 a head for that one (I don’t recall what it was, but I know I wouldn’t have spent that), and you’re paying for a unique experience that goes beyond just the food (in our case, the long table was right down the center of main street in the historic town).
We quite enjoyed the food and the wines were all from Coterie, which has since become a Berserker Day (or NewbiePalooza) participant, and they were all quite tasty.
I would do it again as an occasional splurge, at least at the Galena price. At $350 a head, I’m out. But I will also keep your cautionary tale in mind. They do use a different chef at each event, so it seems from your experience that there are some misses along the way.
A pure summer pleasure
Had a good crop of home grown this year
Jersey corn is my far and away favorite though
A few more precious weeks
Maybe the proper name should be
Out Standing in the Field
We’ve made more Mexican street corn this summer than ever before. I’ll keep at it until the supply dries up.
I’ve tried a similar concept (we grown our own food) several times and I haven’t always been that impressed.
I think there’s very little addition in doing everything by yourself vs having a good network of growers and the economical power to have them allocate (and and tailor) a certain part of their production to you.
The idea that you’re always better than anybody else in every field, you just have to put your mind to it, is not great.
My grandfather had a garden and grew a lot of stuff that was better on avg compared to what you could find at big supermarkets, but they weren’t something out of this world (and he was retired so had all the time to care about the garden).
I’ve been to four of their events… chef’s are always different, I always found the food good to adequate, but it’s more for the experience (views, farm, etc.) and the social aspect than the culinary reason why I go. Not one of the dishes has been life changing or super memorable. It’s gotten very expensive over the years though, comparable to a good Michelin star restaurant.