Every time I am fortunate enough to get a spot at a Dai Due Dinner, I am truly thankful. These wildly popular dinners sell out within minutes of being announced via email. This particular dinner, sold out in 11 minutes.
I have attended 3 other Dai Due dinner events, two at Hotel Saint Cecilia, and one at Fino. This was my first farm dinner, and it happened to be at my happy place, Springdale Farm. When I got there, I was immediately taken by the setting, lovely, well appointed tables, set in a big circle around what must be one of the most fabulous oak trees in Austin. (click on pictures to enlarge)
With the farm in full glory as the backdrop, and chickens scratching nearby, it was lovely.
I hadn’t pondered the food much, aside from perusing the menu at The Austin Wine Merchant, who graciously picked out our wine pairings for the evening. The entire meal would need to be cooked outside, as there is not a fully functioning kitchen in the farm stand building.
We were greeted with Green Plum Punch, then everyone mingled and explored this wonderful East Austin Urban Farm. Once seated, I noticed the attention to detail in the table settings. Wine glasses, flowers on the tables, silverware, cloth napkins – this was not a picnic by any stretch of the imagination. The oil lamps that adorned each table were a special touch.
Once seated, the first course arrived: Smoked Catfish Terrine with Bowfin Caviar, and grilled Baguette. This terrine was creamy with Full Quiver Neufchatel, and smoky and absolutely delicious spread on the baguette.
Next Course was Grilled Shrimp with Tomatoes, Seaweed, Fried Shallot and Mint. I snapped a photo of Jesse grilling the shrimp:
They arrived to our table on the most gorgeous plate of Springdale Farm tomatoes, with fried shallots and mint.
The next two dishes were whole grilled fish: The first was Almaco Jack with Green Beans and Parsley Sauce.
This tasty fish was complimented by a delicious parsley sauce, with a hint of sweetness, which created a great balance with the fish and fresh beans.
Next was Grilled Blue Runner with Dill Cream and Potato Leek Salad.
I was unfamiliar with this fish, (as the one before) and found it to be oilier and a bit stronger tasting than the first. The Dill Cream balanced that out, as did the potato, leek salad.
The third fish, Mangrove Snapper on the Halfshell, with Peppers, Onions and Oregano, blew me away. We were told that the skin was very tough and not to eat it, so we carefully scooped out our portions leaving the skin behind. This fish was buttery and delicious, unlike any other snapper I’ve ever had. Complemented by the soft cooked onions with oregano, this was my favorite bite of the night.
Next up was the Squid and Corn Soup. I was pretty full at this point, and still so blown away by the snapper, I just skipped the soup.
The local cheese course followed, with amazing Pecan Bread. The cheeses were Pure Luck, June’s Joy a peppery and slightly sweet chevre, Vintage Granbury from Eagle Mountain Cheese, and Full Quiver Mozzarella, which Jesse smoked. All were delicious, and the pecan bread from Amity Bakery is always a treat.
Dessert was Angel Food Cake with Blueberry Compote and Cream. Tart, not too sweet, creamy and delicious. It was the perfect end to a fabulous evening. Once again, I am in awe of the food and the farm.
For more information of these supper clubs, or the Dai Due Butcher Shop, check out http://www.daidueaustin.com. You can get on their email list for weekly Butcher Shop items, found at the SFC Farmer’s Market downtown, as well as these supper clubs.
Springdale Farm operates two farmstands weekly, Wednesdays and Saturdays from 9:00 – 1:00, on Springdale Lane just a mile or two East of I-35 off of 7th. Right now their farmstand is loaded with some of the best tomatoes around. Go on out and get some, check out this gorgeous farm, and meet some of the nicest folks around.