Getting Off the Farm Part 1: The Food
Last Friday night, My Baby and I got all gussied up, got off the farm and went out on a big date. A real date, where the man wears a jacket and tie and the lady wears heels, perfume and fancy undergarments. We are quite attached to our end-of-the-week routine of baking a pretty good pizza and curling up together to watch Washington Week in Review. It had to be a pretty enticing reason to dislodge us from our comfortable habit.
King Estate Winery hosted their annual Tower Club Harvest Moon Celebration, which is billed as their most special event of the year. The menu is what captured my attention:
Sea Scallops Cooked on Himalayan Rock Slab
Cured Salmon with Pickled Red Onions & Capers
Squash Ravioli with Nuts & Dried Fruits
Grilled Portobello Mushroom with Apricot Sauce
Assorted Harvest Pizzettes
Breast of Veal Stuffed with Pine Nuts & Raisins
Grilled Quail with Balsamic Glaze
Wild Mushroom Risotto with Lemon Cream
Roasted Carrots & Cauliflower
Assorted Harvest Desserts
King Estate has many things going for it, one of which is the wonderful restaurant and food they serve. Every morsel is thoughtfully prepared with many ingredients coming directly from their own organic farm. This menu, we had a strong hunch, was going to be dynamite and we didn't want to miss it.
The evening was enchanting. Every detail was attended to. My apologies now for the quality of some of these photos. The low lighting and my camera skills aren't on even par yet, but I still want you to see how special this time was.
May I say how much I appreciate a proper greeting upon arrival? King Estate always extends a a warm welcome and makes sure that you have a glass in your hand right away, as though they really expected your company. You immediately sense that you are in good hands, and that things will be fun.
Everywhere we looked, there were pretty vases of estate-grown flowers, harvest arrangements of fruits and vegetables, and lots and lots of beautiful warm candlelight.
We first moved outdoors under tents for our first delicious nibbles. The stunning local and imported cheeses wowed me from the beginning.
Bellwether Farms Carmody, Miramont French Brie, Rogue Creamery Smoked Blue, La Mariposa Chubut, and Ferns Edge Fresh Chevre
From cheeses, we moved on to King Estate's house-cured salmon with colorful heirloom tomatoes from their farm, pickled onions and capers. With it's extraordinary vivid colors, visually, this was my favorite dish of the night.
House Cured Salmon
My favorite dish for flavor and dramatic flair was the sea scallops cooked to order on Himalayan Pink Salt Slabs. The slabs were subjected to high heated from below, turning into a griddle of sorts. The pink salt just barely "melts" into the scallop, offering a subtle brine to the sweet scallops. I confess that My Baby and I ate more than our fair share of these delicacies.
Sea Scallops on Himalayan Pink Salt Slabs
Or maybe this was my favorite...
Duck Liver Pate with Brandy and Oranges, and Terrine of Oxtail, Estate Vegetables and Pinot Noir
There were many dishes that I didn't get nice photos of, but you should at least know that the stuffed veal, lamb-chop "lollipops" and grilled quail were complete treats.
The squash ravioli topped with glazed nuts and dried fruits was inspired.
Croquembouche, la Piece de Resistance
I'd only seen croquembouche in books and on television. It really is as stunning and delectable as I'd imagined.
Croquembouche "Topknot" of Spun Sugar
So as you can imagine, the setting and the food were spectacular. We were meeting some interesting people as well, listening to some terrific music, drinking some fine wines, and the evening ended with a magical, unexpected surprise. For that, stay tuned to Getting Off the Farm Part 2: The Wine Experience...