As we walked up to the tent for the Hartford Urban Farm Dinner, Jeff and I both looked at each other and said “it’s hard to believe we’re in the middle of Hartford!” What seemed to be smack right int the middle of the city was a field of greenery with lots of fresh vegetables growing.  It was a beautiful fall evening and we were both ready to taste some fresh, farm-to-table eats.  And let’s not forget WHY we were there… to benefit the Hartford Food System.

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At checkin, there were mason jars filled with fresh flowers, along with great big pumpkins that really gave it a nice fall feel.  image[1]image[2]

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Then the passed hor d’oeuvres started!  There were many delicious things to try.  The first was “Cry Baby Cheese” wrapped in prosciutto.  image[4] image[5] The second was marinated grilled mushrooms.  image[6] At the bar, there was a beautiful display of fall flowers and with a cheese & crackers station with some roasted red peppers, mixed nuts, and olives. image[7] image[8] Even the beer & wine selection was something to get excited about!  I was VERY excited to have the Sharpe Hill Semi-Dry White Wine, which I’ve had before and really love.  It’s the perfect white wine, dry, but with little hints of sweetness.

Jeff was excited to try the beers from Back East Brewery, which is from Bloomfield, CT.  Both the Porter AND the Golden Ale were to Jeff’s liking.  So we’ll certainly be scheudling a trip to head up to Back East Brewery soon!image[9] image[10] The next app we tried was sliced baked pear with melted manchego cheese on a nice multigrain bread. DELICIOUS! image[11] Then came the soppressata with grilled pineapple skewers.  I honestly would have never paired the two, but it was quite nice!  The sweetness of the pineapple went nicely with the spicy, dried soppressata.

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Finally, I tried the egg salad with lobster chunks.  I have to admit that I really love egg salad.  I always have!  But with the lobster on top… ??? AMAZING.

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Here’s the line up before the food came out. image[13] And the MENU!image[14]The chefs hard at work.image[17] Fresh lettuce & herbs (parsely) growing on the farm.image[18] image[19] To set the mood, there was live music and a very talented painter, who auctioned off this piece after dinner was over.  image[20] Dinner time! image[21] Our plates.  My favorite was the beef, for sure!  image[22]I really liked the Portugese fish stew, however, I thought the broth was a bit lacking.  It just needed a bit more salt & herbs.  The fish itself was very good though.  image[23]The veggies had a lot of flavor.  My main bit of feedback is that I felt the things on the menu didn’t really all go together.  The variety in flavors and spices didn’t really match up to me.   But it’s always good to try new things!  image[25] The group of Whole Foods chefs at the end of the dinner.  image[26] And for dessert, fall harvest crisp made with apples & butternut squash.  The flavors were really nice and the fresh whipped cream was very delicious.  I thought this dish was nicely executed and an interesting spin on the traditional apple crisp.  image[27]All in all, it was a beautiful evening and we had a great time with new friends!  Jeff and I look forward to attending more of these types of farm-to-table dinners next year.

-Cristina