Plated Landscape Dinner at Valley Ridge Farm

We started off this blog over a year ago with a review of the first Plated Landscape Dinner that we attended at Brunty Farms in Peninsula.  We decided to try another one this year at a different location.  Valley Ridge Farm in Hunting Valley is owned by Case Western Reserve University.  It was a beautiful night, and we enjoyed a few hors d’oeuvres and a cocktail of camomile infused gin, lemongrass and citrus while mingling with friends.  After a tour of the farm, dinner began.

Sweet Corn Soup, lobster salad & chive creme fraiche paired with Domaine de Charmoy, Chablis, France ’11

He said…The soup was a great way to capture the spirit of the evening.  Specifically, the freshness of the corn was evident in the soup.  The lobster salad was a nice complement to the dish.  Overall, a very tasty and refreshing start to the meal.

She said…I loved this soup.  It was silky, sweet and fresh.  A perfect beginning to the meal.

Mixed Greens, sweet onions, cherry tomatoes, Humboldt fog, croutons & roasted pepper vinaigrette paired with L’Angevine, Rose D’Anjou, France ’11

He said…Again, the chef took advantage of the great ingredients and produced a great dish.  Normally, I’m not as big a fan of goat cheese as She (then again, who is?), however, I loved the creaminess and unique taste of the cheese.

She said…I don’t often rave about a salad, but this was fantastic.  It was, of course, right up my alley with the Humboldt fog goat cheese.  The cheese was creamy and lucsious with just a bit of tang, but it wasn’t just the cheese that made this salad so good.  It was also the combination of the fresh quality ingredients and just the right amount of bold dressing.  Superb.

Tea Hills Grilled Chicken Thigh, ratatouille & basil oil paired with Domaine des Corbillieres, Touraine, France ’11

He said…I really liked this dish.  The chicken was cooked and seasoned perfectly.  The ratatouille and basil oil brought the dish together nicely.  I would have been perfectly content ordering this dish at a restaurant.

She said…I really enjoyed this dish as well.  The chicken was crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside.  The vegetables were fresh and tasty (cooked long enough to give them great flavor, but not so long that they were mushy), and the basil oil added a nice little punch to the whole dish.

Pork Two Ways, swiss chard, potato salad & rosemary jus paired with Marc Bredif, Chinon, France ’10

He said…Of course, I’m a meat and potatoes type of guy and I loved this dish.  The pork tenderloin was a nice medium rare and the rosemary jus was fantastic.  The pork sausage was very good, however, I would have preferred a little spice in the sausage.  The swiss chard was great with this dish, especially with the rosemary jus.

She said…This was probably my least favorite dish of the night, but not because it wasn’t good.  I’m just not that much of a meat and potatoes kind of gal.  I did love that they chose to do a potato salad, and it was a good one.  The meat was cooked well, and I did enjoy the chard with this dish.

Paw Paw Pot du Creme, shortbread cookies paired with Chaucer’s Mead, CA NV

He said…We had to Google paw paw when we saw this on the menu.  The dish was a fitting finish to the meal.  The pot du creme was smooth, delicious and not too sweet.  Normally, I’m not a huge desert person, but I could definitely have eaten more of this dish!

She said…I had no idea what paw paw was when I saw it on the evening’s menu.  It’s a fruit, sometimes called the poor man’s banana, that is native to North America.  It’s been described as mango meets banana. Whatever it is, this pot du creme was smooth, not overly sweet and the perfect ending to a very enjoyable evening.  I thought the wines were paired very nicely throughout the meal.  I even enjoyed the dessert wine, of which I am normally not a fan.

We gave the first Plated Landscape dinner a luke warm review.  This one was a huge improvement in our opinion.  As with the previous dinner, the service was great and the setting was lovely.  We will certainly try another one in the future, and based on the food this time around, we look forward to trying Spice Kitchen and Bar.

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