Last weekend, just after we returned from the beach, we attended one of the most amazing dinners we've ever been to.
Way back in March, we -- along with four friends -- purchased tickets to an event called Outstanding in the Field. It's a touring dinner series that takes place literally in the middle of a field, at farms all across the country. The group travels around in a vintage bus throwing dinners that highlight local farmers. The signature feature of the event is a single, very long communal table plunked down right in the middle of the farm -- you really should take a look at some of the photos on their site.
The event we attended was in Purcellville, Virginia, a short drive from D.C., on Potomac Vegetable Farms. The chef was Anthony Chittuym, from Alexandria, VA-based Vermilion, a restaurant we've never visited (although, based on this meal, it's shot to the top of our list).
Much more about Outstanding in the Field -- including photos and the dishes we ate -- after the jump.
After that, we went and got settled at our tables. As we said, the table, as you can see above and in a photo below, is one very long table.
One of the delightfully quirky aspects of Outstanding in the Field is that guests are asked to bring their own plates to the dinner. (During dessert, the staff washes the plates and returns them to diners before they depart.)
After the wine and apps, the woman who runs the farm took us all on a little tour (who doesn't like checking out compost piles between hors d'oevures and the main course?!). Then we made our way to the table.
We were in for one amazing dish after another. Here's the progression of the meal:
First, a Greek "rustic salad," made up of summer tomatoes, cucumbers, red onion, oregano and a locally made feta.
The second dish of this course was a grilled ratatouille, made with summer squash, ricotta salata and charred tomato vinaigrette.
Next came spice-roasted chicken legs, with cherry tomato stewed shamrock okra and cast iron cornbread.
The next course featured three dishes. First up was a luganega sausage, made with farm egg noodles, caramelized sweet onions and roasted bell peppers.
Then came a flank steak with fingerling potatoes and an olive salsa verde.
The third course featured a show stopper: Lamb "porchetta," served with fried whole wheat bread and natural lamb jus.
Dessert was similarly spectactular: a goat cheesecake with graham cracker crust, concord grapes and a grape sauce. We literally could have licked our plates.
It was one of the most memorable meals of our lives. When the sun began to set on the amazing evening, the air felt cool and crisp for the first time in months. It was the perfect way to mark the end of summer.
We do have one more memorable event coming up, though: We're getting married this weekend! We are incredibly excited!
We'll let you know how it went next week. But for now, we're taking a few days off from the blog. See you soon!