Last week we had the pleasure of being invited to Dinner In The Field at Eddy Farm hosted by Barcelona Wine Bar. If you're not familiar with Eddy Farm, they are a historic family farm in Newington, CT who grow vegetables, fruits, and flowers, selling them at their farm stand, the West End Farmer's Market and to local restaurants. They also hold floral design workshops utilizing the forty different annual flower varieties they grow on their land. In short, they're awesome and their land was a beautiful place to hold an outdoor dinner.
Upon pulling onto the property we were greeted by owner Andy Billipp, who informed us we would be parking and then walking "through those trees, past the houses, around to the left and past the flower fields," which was music to my ears. I cannot think of anything worse than going to a farm dinner and then sitting in sight of a bunch of cars, so this little hike was very welcome.
The first hour or so was filled with passed hors d'oeuvres by Barcelona West Hartford Executive Chef Eric Stagl, and of course their signature sangria, as well as wine. We munched on Pickled Beet and Pistachio Pinxtos, Tomato and Corn Bruschetta (shown), Stuffed Swiss Chard, Corn Croquetas with Garlic Scape Aioli (shown), Avocado Toast with Pickled Red Onion, and Deviled Eggs with Jamon Mangalica. Everything was light and flavorful, and if I wasn't trying to be polite I would have been eating the Stuffed Swiss Chard and Bruschetta by the handful. But ya know, manners.
After mingling, we were then ushered to sit and enjoy the first course. Chef Eric made a Heirloom Tomato Gazpacho with tomatoes from Eddy Farm, cucumber and smoked king salmon. He could not have chosen a better dish for a hot summer night. It was so refreshing and set us up perfectly for a more indulgent second course of crispy pork belly with fresh corn polenta, beets, apples and basil. This was my favorite course of the evening.
After the second course, Haley Billipp of Eddy Farm took us on a walking tour of the property while Chef Eric cooked the paella. It was a nice break to the dinner and gave us all some time to walk off that pork belly. While it's nice to be eating on the farm and seeing where the food comes from, I think also hearing about the arduous farming process made us all appreciate our meal a bit more. We explored their fields of flowers, vegetables and their greenhouses, all while learning about seeding, soil, and their farm stand.
The main course was paella of course, as it is Barcelona's specialty. While I've had their paella many a time, I've never had a vegetarian paella. But let me tell ya, it did not disappoint. It was made with corn, squash, Savannah beans, sweet peppers and basil and was as delicious as it was beautiful. The meal concluded with Summer Berry Trifle with crème anglaise, blueberries, blackberries and fresh whipped cream.
Overall "Dinner in the Field" was a really great night. I would highly recommend it as a date, a birthday celebration or just a night out with friends. You really can't beat a delicious meal and the ambiance of being on the farm surrounded by fields of flowers and string lights.
While this is the only farm dinner Barcelona is holding this summer, you can visit them at their locations in West Hartford, New Haven, Fairfield, Greenwich, South Norwalk and Stamford; attend one of their many other events throughout the year; or hold out for this event next summer.
Disclaimer: While we were invited to attend the Dinner in the Field, all opinions expressed above are ours and describe our personal experience at the event.