Farm to table is a concept that has grown in popularity over the years and has been the deciding factor, for some, when determining the restaurant of choice for the evening. In more recent times, this movement has moved closer to the farm, literally. During an evening hosted by Harold’s Restaurant and The Barry Farm, we were taken on a culinary journey that began behind the scenes at the farm followed by a grand dinner at the home of Renee and Geoffrey Smith. The delightful 6-course meal was prepared by Executive Chef Antoine Ware and Sous Chef Ryan Sawka with wine pairings by Sommelier Andrew.
Seamus tending to the lamb
The dinner began with a generous serving of three crispy pork rillettes placed on a bed of apple butter and balanced with an equal portion of apple salad. The diced apple added a bit of welcomed sweetness to the subtle flavor of the pork. The next course of Tasso and shrimp ravioli was a favorite of the table. The ravioli were filled with a mixture of ricotta, spinach, and mushrooms and tossed with lemon basil pesto.
The Peri Peri Chicken was up next, and after the description provided by Chef Ware (along with his undeniable excitement), we were all ready to dig into this family-style plate. As the heaping platter of chicken was passed from person the person, we each grabbed our favorite piece; some opting for the breast, and for myself, I chose a leg and thigh. This African recipe packed a nice heat and the roasted vegetables from Atkinson Farms were just as eye-raising.
Chef Antoine Ware describing the next course
A whole roasted lamb would serve as our main course, and although the lamb was quite flavorful, the highlight of this course was the smashed sweet purple potatoes. I think we spent about 15 minutes trying to figure out how they were prepared so perfectly (and oh so creamy), and I can bet several guests were in heavy pursuit of Sous Chef Sawka after our meal (who was the mastermind behind the side item) in an attempt to obtain the recipe.
Chocolate molten cake was the finale paired with a 10-year Taylor Fladgate Tawny Port. The wine pairings were spot on all night, and Beran Zinfandel from California was a conversation piece (and many requested seconds).
It was truly a fantastic dinner and the company made for the perfect evening. Not only did we enjoy the meal and the people, but we left with a more in-depth understanding of what it means (and takes) to source our food locally. If you can’t make it out to The Barry Farm to purchase your pork, lamb or chicken directly, you can be rest assured that you’ll find the same quality at Harold’s Restaurant.