I am in Miami for Turkey Day. Tonight the Galler family table will be surrounded by my parents, my sister and her boyfriend, my aunt and uncle (who also flew down from Boston), my cousin and her husband, my grandmother and a few of our closest family friends.
For those of you who read this blog regularly and think, "That Molly girls sure does know a lot about food. It's a shame she doesn't cook or post any of her own recipes." Well people, if you had grown up with my father as your chef, you wouldn't have felt the need to learn to cook either.
My father treats Thanksgiving like the Super Bowl of cooking. He drafts his best recipes (old and new) weeks before, he plots, he schemes and he demands complete control of the kitchen the 24 hours prior to game time.
While my dad is busy prepping for our annual feast, I wanted to share with you a feast I recently enjoyed in Newton Centre.
For the last few months I have been reading about a new restaurant opening across from the Newton Centre T stop called Farmstead Table. I saw the signs in the windows weeks before they opened while shopping at Folklorica, my favorite jewelry store a few doors down.
When one of my college besties got a new job I knew exactly where I wanted to take her to celebrate. We arrived at Farmstead Table for our 8:15pm reservation and as we walked up the street the silver sign shone above the doorway welcoming us.
From the sidewalk you can see a chalkboard that proudly displays each of the farms the restaurant sources its protein and produce from.
There is no waiting area at Farmstead Table. When you enter the front door you walk right into the middle of everything. The bar area is on your left and the larger dining room is on the right.
Over the dining room tables hangs a collage of crochet circles. On odd choice for decor, but they did remind me a bit of the Anthropologie home section.
The dining room is also decorated with seasonal items like gourds and pumpkins. Very festive!
The bar has four seats which were occupied all night. Couples seemed to prefer those seats to having to wait for a larger table.
Despite only being two, we were seated at a four top. We each had our own chair and a chair for our bags and coats. The best.
Our waitress brought us two menus: one for wine (which was extensive) and one for dinner.
We each ordered a glass of vino, pinot grigio for her and rose for me. Thank you to the bartender for these very generous pours!
While we looked over the dinner menus we were delivered a plate of fluffy bread with a round pat of butter. We were told the bread was baked by the chef's wife!
It was a very cold night so I decided to start with the spiced butternut squash soup. The soup was thick, creamy and bursting with fall flavors. I left the bowl completely clean.
My friend ordered the roast free range chicken which she said was, "Perfectly cooked. The meat was juicy and the skin was crispy - just like it should be. The gravy on the bottom of the plate was amazing." The chicken came over a bed of creamy, smooth parsnip puree and thyme seasoned Brussels sprouts.
I chose the pear and blue cheese salad. The pears were grilled and served warm over a generous pyramid of arugula sprinkled with crumbled blue cheese and walnuts.
On every table surrounding us were plates of fantastic smelling French fries. We decided we simply had to experience them.
The French fries were thinly cut, expertly seasoned and divine when dunked into cold ketchup. I would come back just for the fries!
Now you may be thinking, "Wow that looks like a great meal." Sit tight, friends. We've only just begun.
Since we were celebrating, we decided to check out the dessert menu for a congratulatory treat. We had a very difficult time narrowing down our top picks to just one, so we went for broke and ordered two.
The first dessert with described as a pumpkin cake, but it turned out to be a more of a pumpkin whoopie pie! The two pieces of cake were sandwiching a scoop of cream cheese. I am normally not interested in dessert unless it involves chocolate, but this was superb. The cake was light, the filling was sweet and the glaze on the plate was an excellent final touch.
We also requested the s'mores tart. I could stop right here and you'd already be fantasizing about what that might be, but I won't leave you hanging. The s'mores tart was a puffed up marshmallow over a layer of chocolate ganache, a layer of crushed Oreo cookies and a layer of graham cracker. To top it off (literally) they brulee the top.
This tart is one of the best desserts I've ever had. It tasted rich and decadent while also reminding me of all the fun times I've sat around a camp fire roasting marshmallows. That's what great food is about, bringing you back to happy moments. Remember that scene in "Ratatouille" where the cynical food critic has his heart melted by the miracle dish that reminded him of his childhood? That was me and this tart.
When we reached the point where we questioned if our pants could stay buttoned, we asked for the check. Our waitress came back with our bill in the most adorable hot pink farm basket. Cute touch.
By the time we finished, the restaurant had cleared out. On his way out the chef stopped at our table to introduce himself and ask how our meal was. He was incredibly nice and enthusiastic and while talking to him we learned that the restaurant is also open for lunch and that they are more than happy to make special dishes for vegetarians and vegans, beyond what is already on the menu. What a nice guy!
I wen to use the ladies room before we headed back out and it was so charming. You definitely get that rustic, farm house feeling from the decorations and paint colors.
For those of you who live in downtown Boston, Farmstead Table is definitely a hike, but let me tell you, it's worth it. The atmosphere is completely unpretentious, the focus is on fresh, locally sourced food and the resulting menu is outstanding. Be sure to leave room for dessert as those dishes are just as brilliant as the entrees.
Thank you to chef Chad, his wife Sharon (who is also the pastry chef!) and the whole Farmstead Table team for a wonderful evening.
Visit Farmstead Table at 71 Union Street in Newton Centre, directly across from the T.