Thursday, July 2, 2009

Farm Table Celebration at Evening Star

When David graduated from law school this spring, we wanted to find a place to celebrate with our families and share a delicious meal together. The owners of Evening Star in Del Ray (one of our favorite restaurants) also own a wine shop next door, called Planet Wine. This shop is beautiful, with dark wood shelves and wines displayed throughout and covering the walls. The owners have put a huge table in Planet Wine, naming it Farm Table. You can reserve the Farm Table for a night and get a special meal created by Evening Star chef, Will Artley, composed of seasonally fresh and local food.

David and I decided to see if we could get a gluten free Farm Table meal for our family during his graduation weekend. I contacted Clare Parker, who organizes reservations for Farm Table and she assured us that Will would be happy to create a gluten free meal for our law school celebration. Clare was super friendly and helpful throughout the reservation and menu planning process.

On Saturday, May 16th we arrived at Planet Wine with parents, brothers, sisters and spouses, and shared an absolutely delicious meal. Even though the meal was over a month ago, I remember it so well. The flavors came together perfectly and we had a great evening of food and togetherness. I have to tell you about the food itself, but just writing about it, will not sufficiently explain just how good it was.

We started with champagne and a canapé of Virginia Oysters on the half shell and beef tartare with spicy jicama and crispy yucca. I must admit that I was a little nervous about beef tartare but it was delicious and the different flavors and textures were perfect. The jicama and yucca acted like a crisp cracker that held the beef tartare.

After the canapé, we sat down and Chef Will Artley came out to chat with us and introduce the meal to us. The first course was a bibb salad with grilled asparagus, caramelized shallots and pancetta deviled egg. Wow! The deviled egg flavor was strong but went perfectly when combined with the asparagus.

For the main course, diners had the two options: grilled sea scallops with spring succotash and carrot emulsion or forever braised lamb shanks with fava bean ristotto. mushrooms and green peppercorn sauce. I went with the lamb shanks and it was quite possibly one of the best meals I’ve ever eaten. Will did a nice job of providing two very different options, so that everyone could find something they would enjoy.

The best part of the meal was dessert, which was of course gluten free! The baker at Buzz made strawberry rhubarb shortcake with vanilla ice cream. What a great finish to the meal!

So now that David’s buried in his study for the Bar Exam, I can’t help but think back to what a fun night we had at Farm Table. A meal made of fresh, delicious, gluten free food and our families together in one place. I love how food brings people together and Farm Table provided the perfect back drop for an evening of celebration.