Several weeks ago, S and I had the opportunity for a pretty unique dining experience, one that’s popping up around the country. Spice of Life Catering, who put this one on, calls it a plated landscape (I’ve heard it called different things by different people), but it’s basically a meal held at a farm, and dinner consists mostly of food from that farm. So, just like picking some stuff from my garden and brining it in for dinner, just a lot fancier. My food, I mean.
They do maybe eight or ten of these throughout the summer at various local spots, and this one was held at Valley Ridge Farm in Hunting Valley. Affiliated with Case Western Reserve University, this is one of two adjoining farms that were donated to the college years ago. Several classes and programs are held here, and they recently started providing some of the food that they grow for the campus’ dining services. Before dinner, we were given a tour by the farm’s director, Ana, who (along with her husband, Ivan) was very gracious and welcoming. The farms are open to the public, and since we didn’t have a ton of time to explore, we do plan on going back again sometime to look around some more.
The five-course meal is cooked on-site, and, as expected, was fresh and delicious (two of C’s favorite words right now). We started with a creamy sweet corn soup, followed by a mixed greens salad with fresh tomatoes and a nice goat cheese. The heartier dishes consisted of a grilled chicken thigh and ratatouille, then a pork tenderloin, sausage, Swiss chard, and potato salad. Dessert was a paw paw custard and shortbread cookie. Without getting into too much detail, everything was outstanding – no complaints about the food whatsoever. There was also a glass of wine served with each course, so it’s a good thing one of us was pregnant and unable to imbibe anything… Now for some pictures.
This was a totally cool experience. It’s a bit pricey, but worth it for a special treat.