Let me start by thanking Joe and Shari at the Wilson Café for squeezing us in by getting us two last-minute tickets. Sunday night was the best dinner I have had all year long.
This past Sunday, Brittany Sims and I had the pleasure of attending the first Farm Dinner hosted at the Grange by the Wilson Café. It was a, dare I say, magical evening filled with lots of laughter, great food, wine and the best company we could have asked for. Southern hospitality at its finest. Before I get to the food, let me just talk about that magnificent building we were in. The Grange is a newly remodeled seed barn that doesn’t leave any detail out. The logo painted on the floor, full kitchen, the large metal prints on the walls, murals in the bathrooms, fresh flowers everywhere, the upstairs overlook, herb garden right out front, the gorgeous colorful landscaping – this place is smashing.
We arrived at 6 p.m. for cocktail hour. Not quite knowing what to expect, we entered the Grange and were eagerly greeted by the chef, Joe Cartwright, and ushered upstairs for cocktails. Cocktail hour featured your basics, red and white wine, along with some specialties: a vodka lemonade and orange juice bourbon drink. Brittany and I reached for a cocktail and started to mingle. While we were sipping on our drinks, we were able to watch the chefs start to prepare the food for the evening while listening to the live music for the night, Idle and Wild. They were a great little duet with nearly perfect harmony. They provided a great mix of cover songs all night long.
7 p.m. – Time to feast. Everyone grabbed his or her drink and headed to the tables. We got to the table and the first thing I wanted to do is grab my phone and take a picture of the place setting because it was so charmingly sweet. There were wine glasses for each course and an elegant menu tucked in the napkin with a sweet flower on top. It looked like something out of Southern Living.
The first course was a hearty green salad with local blueberries and raspberries, Bonnie Blue goat cheese and candied delta pecans with muscadine dressing. It was paired with Santa Margherita, Pinto Grigio. This salad was so delicious looking that I forgot to take a photo and instead ate the whole thing. The fresh greens were perfectly balanced by the sweetness of the muscadine dressing and the tartness of the berries. The crunch of the candied pecans were the icing on top. I knew this was going to be a meal to remember.
The second course was Lake’s Catfish with a sweet potato and okra salad with tomato confit paired with Ferrari-Carano, Fume Blanc. After I devoured most of this, I remembered to take a picture, luckily. The catfish was grilled to perfection while the vegetables provided the perfect complement of crunch. The tomato confit was tangy and delicious on both the fish and veggies.
The third course was Roasted Pork with fried Arkansas fingerling potatoes, snap peas and sweet corn milk paired with Meiomi, Pinot Noir. This was my favorite dish. That sweet corn milk was the nectar of the gods. I would slurp it from a spoon. The pork was so juicy and tender while the snap peas were so crunchy and earthy. Everything about this dish is making my mouth water as I write.
The fourth and final course was sweet biscuits with strawberry preserves and Chantilly cream paired with Lardetto, Prosecco—perfect dessert for this meal. It was so sweet and light and flawless.
This meal was the best meal I have had this entire year. Hand’s down. It doesn’t get much better than locally grown food prepared by local chefs. I’m declaring right now that I want a standing reservation for all future farm dinners.