I had an incredible dessert on Monday. It was a dense, moist, maple-y apple cake called made by Lara Atkins at The Kitchen Table Bistro in Richmond. I don't have much of a sweet tooth, so it's rare for me to fall in love with a last course, but this one did the trick.
I was at the KTB for a "Farmers' Dinner." Throughout each summer and fall, the Vermont Fresh Network teams up with restaurants and farmers for this series of special meals. Most are multi-course fixed price deals, and involve supping on whatever local meats, cheeses and produce are available at that time of year. Most of the restaurants also offer optional wine pairings with dinner.
Most restaurants have only one Farmers' Dinner each year, but the KTB's first one, on November 14, sold out so quickly that they added a second one on the 26th. And that one sold out, too!
Here's the menu:
Treats from the Kitchen; Gruet Winery's Blanc de Noirs Sparkling
The treats included smoked chicken salad with cranberry and honey coulis, Yukon gold (I think) potato chips topped with beef tartare, bacon & blue cheese fritters and apple & cheddar fritters. All were delighful, but the tartare was my fave.
Smoked Bacon and Summer Corn Chowder; Brancott Vineyards Sauvignon Blanc
Roasted Pheasant with Cardoon & Onion Gratin, Pheasant Jus; Leitz Riesling
Braised Short Rib, Radicchio, Shaved Watermelon Radish, Honey Vinaigrette; Patricia Green Cellars Pinot Noir
Grilled Lamb Chops, Garlic & Yellow Eye Bean Ragout, Braised Red Cabbage and Boucher Farms Blue Cheese; Allegrini, blend of Crovina, Rondinella & Sangiovese
Grandmother's Apple Cake, Cider Sorbet, Warm Maple; Bonny Doon Vineyards Muscat
Each course proved delightful and the wine pairings were perfect. Besides the dessert, the dish that moved me the most was the braised short rib. It was so tender that I'm pretty sure it fell off the bone when I looked at it. The bitter radicchio balanced nicely with the meaty, fatty flavors, and the pretty watermelon radish added a splash of bright color to the plate.
I can't wait to go back.