Massachusetts: September 2008 Archives

Way back in March, we signed up for Outstanding in the Field's Boston dinner.  The purpose of this event?  To "celebrate food at the source." Last night, all the waiting was finally over!

The event was hosted by Allandale Farm, which is wedged between suburban Brookline homes, a golf course, a cemetery, and a school.  It's Boston's last working farm and has been family owned since the French and Indian wars.  (In addition to regular farming operations, Allandale farm has a seasonal retail store and a kid's summer program. Check 'em out.)

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Arriving at the farm was a strange experience. One minute we were stressed out by Boston rush hour traffic, and the next minute we were standing here:

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Immediately, we could see that the Outstanding in the Field (OITF) program is aptly named: All of the guests were out standing in one of Allandale's many fields.

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Fortunately, there was plenty of food and wine to keep us entertained as we stood in the field.  The folks from Island Creek Oysters shucked some freshly caught bivalves, while folks from Harvest restaurant in Harvard Square served goat cheese, herb, and tomato canapes... 

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and a bevy of pickled fruit and vegetables.  (The jalapenos were crazy hot and the peaches were savory -- not sweet!)

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After the appetizers, OITF's founder Jim Denevan (pictured) gave us a brief history of the program and then Jim and John, two of Allandale's farmers, gave us a tour of the farm.  (You'll notice a couple of people holding plates in the photo below -- apparently this called The Tradition of the Plates. From an OITF email: "We find that this is a wonderful way for each guest to contribute something of their own to the community meal and to create a unique setting for the dining experience.")

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After the tour, it was off to a long dining table, set of course in the middle of a field, where we discovered the evening's menu.

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The watercress, fig, goat cheese, and pine nut salad was fabulous!

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The blur below is Mary Dumont, chef at Harvest, working furiously to finish plating wild striped bass (the last of the season), grilled romaine, braised radish, zucchini, leeks, and orange saffron beurre blanc.

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Unfortunately, Haven was feeling a bit under the weather, so we had to leave before the dessert: twig farm tomme with marinated olives and membrillo (quince paste) plus sweet corn creme brulee with gingersnap cookies.

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This page is a archive of entries in the Massachusetts category from September 2008.

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