Ravenwood: Barn Gatherings

Squeezing in a May post (barely)! Happy to be back and patiently waiting for summer to arrive. So much has happened this month by way of travel and I was planning to post about our incredible trip to Italy, but decided to kick off the 'explore' portion of this blog with an exciting local event that took place this past Memorial Day weekend. We're very lucky to have friends across the river to keep us up to date on west side happenings. Ravenwood is a small farm located in Olivebridge, NY about an hour from us east side folks and our friends happen to be their neighbors. They typically purchase Ravenwood's fancy pastel colored eggs on weekends and soon learned about the seasonal dinners they were starting to host in their newly renovated 19th century barn. When I heard about the dinner there was no way we could pass up the opportunity to not only experience a great meal derived from fresh local ingredients but to support a local farm and local makers. There is such a strong creative community up here, which is a large part of what drove us to make this transition. That said, getting a seat at this inaugural dinner was not easy and sold out in about fifteen minutes! Rising early with an alarm set was key and we feel very fortunate to have been part of this beautiful night. Despite the crazy weather New York has been dealing with and produce getting a late start, the meal was so delicious and highlighted the inventiveness that comes with working alongside nature's unpredictability.

We started off with a delightful welcome cocktail incorporating cider from a local producer and a chance to mingle, explore the property and sit beside a cozy fire. Once we were seated, Dana McClure and Chris Lanier, Ravenwood's collaborative team, warmly introduced themselves and their amazing project. The dishes that followed included an enticing hors d'oeuvres platter, a bright salad of fresh greens, a playful take on pork and beans, a comforting lamb and polenta dish, and finally a yummy maple flan made with Ravenwood's homemade maple syrup (full menu via image above). In addition, we sipped on local white and red wines that paired perfectly with the meal while chatting among those sitting beside us at the lovely communal table. At the end of the night, as we introduced ourselves and graciously thanked Dana for this wonderful experience in front of the open kitchen, I couldn't help but want to return for every dinner that will follow, but am glad to have left with a very full belly and the memory of this one.