Friday, August 21, 2009

The Farm to Table Dinner

There are many idyllic places to eat a meal, such as: a boat, a forest, Grandma's house, but in the midst of a beautiful field at sundown, has got to top the list. So there I was, late at night, enjoying a completely organic meal, with my family and our friends the Cohens. The idea of the meal was that all of the food that was eaten there had to be organic, and from a 100-mile radius of New York City, therefore, benefiting local farmers. The meal was held at Katchkie farms, somewhere in New York, though I have no idea where. My mom's friend Liz Neumark was hosting the party, and her catering company, Great Performances was cooking on location. The meal included: Katchkie Farm Icicle Radish and Coarse Sea Salt, Katchkie Farm Tomato Water with Basil Ice, Potato Cakes with Hudson Valley Foie Gras and Apples, Katchkie Farm Pickled Vegetables, Mixed Greens, Tomato Jam, Katchkie Farm Veggie Burger Bite, Zehr & Sons' Wild Mushroom Tart with Warmed Nancy's Camembert, Katchkie Farm Beet Salad, Fresh-Snipped Rosemary, Flecked Old Chatham Blue Cheese, Baby Greens with Hot Bread Lavash, Grilled Pigasso Farm's Chicken, Katchkie Farm Roasted Turnip, Tomato, and Eggplant Salad, Roxbury Farm Sweet Corn on the Cob, Tomato and Tarragon Vinaigrette, Roasted Samascott Orchard Peach Tart Tatin, and Milk Thistle Farm Cinnamon Ice Cream. As you can see, it was a very comprehensive menu. All were excellent, but my favorites were the potato cakes, and the wild mushroom tart. Even though the tart was overwhelmed by the enormous amount of dough and eggs in the tart, the mushrooms had a very nice flavor. The ambiance of the meal was very nice, and the location was beautiful. We were able to explore the garden, tasting as we went. As the sun began to set, people began to leave the meal. I looked back where the 130 people had been before, and I remembered the highlights of the meal; the juicy, tender chicken paired with the buttery corn on the cob. The peach tart covered in cinnamon ice cream and blackberries, the cool beet salad paired with the warm Chatham bleu cheese. My mouth watered for more. One other highlight that had nothing to do with the meal was that we got to talk to an original Woodstock festival attendee, and I could relate between his story, and the book written by Michael Lang about the same exact thing. We left in the pitch black darkness, having eaten a meal in a field of dreams. I give the 100 Mile Menu dinner a 8.4/10.

Here's a link to their web site in case you want to enjoy one of these Farm to Table dinners yourself.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Texas Roadhouse

While my friend Matan is not the healthiest eater in the world, he does know a few restaurants that have healthy options. Texas Roadhouse was not one of them. (Personally I've noticed that my blog has featured some less "high-quality" restaurants. I have also noticed that I enjoy posting much more.) Anyway, walking in we heard music from the likes of Johnny Cash and Dolly Parton. It was vaguely refreshing. The floor was dusty with cracked and treaded-upon peanuts. This provided good and bad options. the bad was that it was rather easy to slip, and the good was that it was even easier to moonwalk. A few of the people there looked like the kind of people you would want on a bear hunting trip in Denali. With their wives and pubescent children.
We sat down, and our charming waitress Linda came to take our order. Linda was a middle aged woman who was actually quite attractive. She called everyone darling, and she seemed a naturally born Texan. I ordered an eight ounce steak with mushrooms and cheese. Some of the other orders included: ribs, barbecue chicken, a Cesar salad, chicken wings, tater skins, and jalapeno-cheese poppers. The jalapeno poppers were excellent and flavorful and I had three. Many firsts took place in this meal. It was the first time I had ever eaten jalapeno/cheese poppers, it was the first time that I had ever had tater skins with bacon and cheese, and it was the first time that I ever had, yes, chicken wings. All were tasty and unhealthy. All of the courses were excellent as far as I could tell, apart from my steak. It was dry and salty, as were the fries.
At the end of the night my mother got to ride on a saddle because we had lied to Linda, and told her that it was my mother's birthday. However, I was not surprised. Hoping to withhold some of our decency, we left without dessert, even though "Mom's big brownie" sounded tasty. I really enjoyed this meal, and I would really enjoy returning to Texas Roadhouse one day in the near future. I give Texas Roadhouse a 7.1/10. So, in spirit of the Texas Roadhouse's catch-phrase, "Saddle-Up!"