A few weeks ago, we attended Feast in the Forest, an annual fall harvest dinner at the Restaurant at Patowmack Farm. It takes place in the most beautiful location, a family owned farm out in the Virginia countryside.
All the food is locally sourced and some of it even comes from the forest trees… more to say about that later.
See our pictures from a similar farm dinner event we attended last year.
The meal starts late afternoon with cocktail in the garden at the main house of the restaurant farm. The sweeping views of the valley looking out from there aren’t too bad, right?
After mingling with some of your new friends/dinner companions, you walk together down a long forest path to the dining area in the middle of the forest.
You sit at the long table next to people you’ve just met and share a family style meal. Usually, this is my favorite thing about events like this … you always end up next to the most friendly and interesting folks.
The path through the forest is lined with these charming lanterns. By the time the evening is over, it’s almost dark and the lanterns give off the prettiest glow.
Now, on to the food.
Once the meal starts, the dishes start coming out fast and furious. I managed to get photos of a few plates, but when you’re sharing with others, it’s not all that polite to say, “Wait while I take a picture!”
The full menu is below. I had some really delicious things I’ve never eaten before, and as mentioned above, much of it was harvested from that very forest.
These plates are the farro risotto (on the left, my favorite dish of the whole night) and the wood ear rice (on the right). Wood ear is a type of mushroom grown in that forest.Below is the broccoli with frost grape and fresh chevre. This was pretty fantastic… I don’t know how to describe the frost grape sauce except it was like a plum flavored puree. The plate on the right side is crabapple bread with whipped cheddar and walnuts in the middle.
Throughout the whole meal, I was keeping a list of my favorite dishes, but that went out the window when we got to desserts- chestnut macarons, the crabapple bread, and Paw Paw pie.
This pie was so delicious. It tasted like a cross between banana and mango pie with a drizzle of the caramel over it.
Never heard of Paw Paw before? Me neither.
It actually grows in long pods in trees. In fact, the chef harvested them from the very trees above our table in the forest.
Yes, we did some damage…
The whole event was really lovely, but the real special part happened at the end.
When we got back to our car, we found we had a flat tire (drove over a nail on the path up to the farm).
But not to worry. So many people offered us help changing the tire, even the chef of the restaurant.
And while we weren’t paying attention, someone left us an entire to-go container of those chestnut macarons!