I clearly have been leading you all to have a wrong impression of my night at the White Gate Farm. Yes, it was 2 hours away. Yes, it was pouring rain. Yes, I now have to throw out my favorite new comfy shoes (and my humongous umbrella – also not a match for a Connecticut rain storm). But you know what? It was awesome.
It really is too bad that the rain prevented us from getting a tour of the farm (this typically takes place in between passed hors d’oeuvres and the sit-down dinner) because it was so gorgeous. Acre after acre of beautiful lands growing delicious produce. The current owners include a wife who started her career as a psychotherapist and her husband whom was a former volcano seismologist. On one hand their tale of uprooting their lives and their jobs seemed so crazy. On the other hand it seemed sort of wonderful.
As we waited to check in we could see the bar that had been set up in hopes of a drier night. There were hand-picked sunflowers lining the bar-top and glasses stacked neatly into a pyramid, all untouched as the wait staff rushed around taking our drink orders and bringing it to us at our seats around these huge communal table (under a very dry tent). It was the wait staff that had a rough night of it because of the weather. Whereas last year, the hundred or so people that had gathered at the farm spent the hour before dinner either hanging out at the bar or stalking the trays of appetizers coming out of the make-shift kitchen, this year they were busy taking drink orders and making their way up and down the rows of tables to hand out the hors ‘oeuvres while trying to stay dry. By the end I think they all failed at the staying dry part.
But for our part, it was quite lovely. The appetizers included calamari, squid fritters, meatloaf crostini, tuna crudo, fried beet and risotto balls, and egg salad. Similar to last year, the dinner menu was set up at the front of the “room” and detailed out our six courses, all of which included only ingredients obtained in Connecticut (except for butter, salt and pepper).
Gazpacho with Beets, Onions, Tomato, Peach, Blueberry, Feta, and Basil
Spicy Thai-Style Tune and Swordfish Crudo with Corn, Grapefruit, Tomato, Purslane, Carrot, and Lettuce Salad
Orrechiette with Broccoli, Chard, Onions, Bacon and Cream
Quesadilla (I think they meant taco…)with Duck, Turkey, Pork, Purslane, Mole and Chiles
Wood-Roasted Monkfish with Squid, Carrot Puree, Sauteed Onions and Hot Chiles
And although not pictured, the best dessert I’ve ever eaten. I’m not the hugest dessert fan, but I definitely wanted seconds… and thirds… of this one: panna cotta with blueberries and day lilies. It tasted like heaven.
As soon as we finished gobbling down our last dish we took off for a harrowing trip back down to Stamford in the rain. But it was definitely worth the trip!