Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Local Farm Dinner

The Celestial Cafe is a little restaurant near our house. We've eaten there a number of times and have really enjoyed ourselves. But, they've come out with a monthly Local Farm Dinner, where each course is made of all local ingredients, and it's made us regulars there.

This past weekend, we went to our sixth straight Farm Dinner and it was, once again, fantastic! Our friends tolerated me and the camera phone during dinner so I could snap some pictures and share with you all, something we've made a little monthly get together for the past 6 months.

So..I present to you this month's Farm Dinner...but before I start..in fairness to the Celestial Cafe, I forgot to snap a picture of my first course...a Butternut Squash and Maple Bisque..which was delicious!

Second Course...Cornbread Salad...made of hearty winter salad mix from Ledge Ends Produce and tossed with Kenyon Grist Mill cornbread, onions from Shartner's Farm, with a red Sakonnet wine and herb dressing...

Third Course...one of my favorites...Mini Burger Appetizer...two sliders made with Carpenter's Farm beef topped with Narragansett Creamery cheese, a smoked pepper aioli, Nana's Pickle Mix and mini fries...a vegetarian version with Farming Turtle Shiitake mushrooms was also available..

We couldn't decide who's dish looked better....I think my burgers were beefier

Fourth Course...Winter Lasagna...this knocked all of our socks off...I'm not sure what was better..the whipped sweet potato filling or the sauce...This was made with Whipped Shartner Farm's sweet potatoes, with Narragansett Creamery Ricotta, and layered with homemade pasta made with Pat's Pastured eggs, local kale,  and an herb and garlic drizzle..hmmmm

Lastly..Nana's Apple Pie made with Barden Family Orchard apples and homemade vanilla gelato made with Pat's Pastured Eggs and Rhody Fresh Cream...no offense to Nana, while the pie was good, my apple pie is better.

So, why do I love this dinner so much? I'm over the moon with a restaurant that utilizes local farmers. I also love the menu, where each course has all the ingredients listed, so you know what's in the food you eat. As someone who tries to buy our food locally and support the local farms, I'm familiar with most of these places and know that the meat, eggs, and dairy are all hormone free and I like to help keep these local businesses afloat by supporting them through this Farm Dinner.They also make each dish vegetarian friendly..for example you could get mushroom sliders vs. the beef and the main dish is usually meat optional as well. You also get a glass of a local beer or wine as well!

If you're reading this and you don't live near RI...you can also go to http://www.eatwellguide.org/i.php?pd=Homese or click Here. This website lets you plug in your zip code to find restaurants near you that use local and organic products so you can eat well and support local farmers in your area.

If you're a local RI'er or feel like taking a road trip, check out the Celestial Cafe at www.celestialcaferi.com or click Here and join them for their upcoming February Farm Dinner. (if you're put on their email list..you typically get the menu about 2 weeks beforehand!)

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