Showing posts with label Heather Ridge Farm. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Heather Ridge Farm. Show all posts

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Fall Bites 2015

Colder temperatures definitely call for comfort food, as if that wasn't enough of an excuse to indulge in a few extra calories. Here's a look back at some of our favorite fall bites:
Cider Sunday: Ninepin Ciderworks organized a PYO apple and cider festival at Samascott Orchards. It featured a delicious pig roast by Lovers Leap Farm complete with sweet potatoes and and corn right from the farm and an icy glass of fresh pressed cider and apple cider doughnut for dessert.
Things got pretty meta when we started drinking in the orchard. Nine Pin sources a majority of their apples from Samascott and it was pretty awesome drinking in the very place where the fruit comes from. 

Twin Peaks Coffee & Donuts: We found ourselves at a doughnut shop while exploring the Catskills and its beautiful foliage. On a whim we stopped by this charming place in Tannersville for hot old-fashioned cake donuts. Each batch is fried to order by a donut robot and freshly glazed as it comes off the conveyor belt . Couldn't go wrong with the maple bacon but it was the Boston creme and samoa doughnuts that had us devouring half the order. 
TC Paris Bakery: Our favorite French bakery is back after a brief hiatus. You can now find them inside the Pavilion Grand Hotel serving breakfast and lunch daily alongside their decadent confectionaries. For the ultimate comfort food duo, go for the buttery mac 'n cheese made with imported gruyere and aged cheddar and a to-die-for ham and cheese croque monsieur made with a rich and creamy bechamel. Oooey gooey cheese hits the spot. Be sure to leave room for a macaron or two. 
Bees Knees Cafe: After Supper Club, I knew I wanted to return to Heather Ridge Farm during the daylight to not only enjoy the fall foliage but the weekend brunch. The menu changes every weekend and on this particular day we enjoyed a farm-fresh egg breakfast plate with and house-made corned beef hash and Irish bangers braised in cider with local potatoes and side of brown bread to mop it all up. Flavors were so fresh and knowing the meats were made from pasture-raised and grass-fed animals right from the farm made the experience even more special. 
Cafe Capriccio: I can't believe it took me 8 years to finally make it here. This Capital Region institution has been serving regional Italian cuisine for more than a quarter century and and we only recently made it here for THE BEST plate of pasta. Handmade tagliatelle is tossed in a robust ragu made with tender, melt-in-your mouth wild Icelandic lamb, root vegetables, garlic, cabernet, and tomatoes. The fresh pasta was a wonderful canvas for the sauce. Each bite unfolded layer upon layer of flavor. You'll be seeing us carb loading into the winter months at Cafe Capriccio. 

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Heather Ridge Farm Supper Club

It's always an adventure when dining with FUSSYlittleBLOG. I was lucky enough to dine with Daniel as his guest at Heather Ridge Farm's "Why a Duck?" Supper Club in Preston Hollow. This past Sunday's dinner was all about poultry and Chef Rob Handel designed a 5-course meal with the best of the farm's own pasture-raised birds combined with locally farmed and foraged ingredients. 

Soup: Guinea fowl consomme with guinea fowl confit, foraged goosefoot, and winter squash gnocchi. The broth was wonderfully complex and flavorful but it was the gamey confit that elevated the dish. If you've never had guinea fowl, it's very duck-like.
Salad: Massaged kale, marinated beets, and roasted parsnips tossed in a pear and hazelnut dressing with goose sausage. I'm obsessed with beets but the highlight of this salad was a well-executed and skillfully prepared sausage. Instead of a traditional casing, Chef Rob stuffed the goose sausage into the skin of goose neck! The creativity was mind-blowing. 
Cheese and Charcuterie: Local brovetto cheese, house-made seckle pear mostarda, and turkey and chesnut terrine with foraged garlic seed mustard. I wish this dish could make an appearance at this year's Thanksgiving. The terrine had a delightful center of funky pate that I couldn't get enough of and was savoring every bite of.
Palette cleanser of house-pickled plum.  
Entree: Cider braised chicken with heirloom apples, served over polenta with roasted brussel sprouts. The chicken was fork-tender and braised in house-pressed cider with apples straight from the farm. I'm going to start stealing this recipe for my own chicken dinners.

Dessert: Fives spice cake with Grenada Chocolate Co. ice cream and smoky duck fat caramel. Never would have thought to use a savory spice blend in a cake but the flavors worked so well as a dessert but what I really came for was the duck fat caramel. Don't knock it til you try it! It's as decadent as it sounds. Duck fat adds an incredible richness that dare I say is even better than butter, and transcends caramel to a whole new level.

By the time we arrived, it was pitch black so we weren't able to explore the property but Heather Ridge Farm and the Bees Knees Cafe is open year-round for brunch on the weekends. Learn from our adventures--avoid the GPS-led mountain road at all costs! It'll take you up a "seasonal road" that all the locals know to avoid. If you're not in a military vehicle of any sort, you'll be forced to pray that there's a spot for you to do a three-point turn to back into so you can safely come down the road of death without falling off a steep cliff, or get mauled by an wild animal in the middle of nowhere with no cell or data service.  Props to Daniel for driving us back down safely though. Follow these ones instead, have the farm's number handy in your phone, and have backup directions. Survive and you'll be rewarded by a wonderful and delicious farm-to-table experience!