Every year, my bf and I have a tradition of having a holiday dinner with just the two of us. The season can get busy - in the best way - with friends and family, so I love the idea of setting aside a night to dine somewhere special and celebrate together. Bf made reservations months in advance for The Herbfarm, an AAA 5-Diamond restaurant that grows its produce/herbs in the backyard farm and sources everything else around the Pacific Northwest. The menu changes frequently and is always 9-courses paired with 5-6 wines. It was an entire experience of lavish decor, delicious and thoughtful food, perfectly matched wines with unlimited pours, and live music. The dinner lasted 4.5 hours! We had so much fun. I'll let the photos speak for this.
An almost overwhelming number of silverware and glasses, but the excitement of the foreshadowed feasting and drinking helped me look past that. The interior was decorated so festively for Christmas!
Patricio Contreras on guitar. They also had carolers come to each table to sing a couple Christmas songs of our choice, which was a cute touch.
The 1st course paired with the aforementioned brut. The following photos go into more detail about each of the three.
Poached scallop with Yellowstone River Paddlefish caviar, dill, and scallop crema. The light preparation didn't manipulate the scallop much so it just melted in my mouth, and its natural creaminess was enhanced by the savory caviar.
Chilled poached oyster on salsify panna cotta, pickled wild Chicken of the Woods mushroom, and fried leek. Having just come back from Italy, I was stoked to see panna cotta, but I've never had it in this savory way. It added a smoothness that drew out the briny flavor of the ocean from the juicy oyster.
Alaska Spot prawn in Jerusalem artichokes and local saffron.
Seeded rye loaf and sweet milk buns with house-churned Holstein cow butter. And our pet rock bulldog.
2nd course: Albacore tuna confit from the St. Jude fishing vessel on Washington coast, tuna tartar with crushed celery root, fresh radish, fennel bulb, and Klipsun Vineyard Verjus vinaigrette. Wine paired: 2010 Efeste Sauvignon Blanc, "Feral" Wild Yeast, Evergreen Vineyard, Washington. I'm not usually a big fan of white but this went so well with the tuna, and aren't the colors presented so beautifully?
3rd course: Oregon hazelnut-fed pork belly, schnitzel, and hazelnut-smoked loin with mustard-braised turnips, lemon thyme spaetzle, vinegar-red cabbage puree, and live mustard greens. Wine: 2010 Dowsett Gewürztraminer, Celilo Vineyard, 1982 Old Vines Block. Considering the wine is older than I am, I had to have another glass.. and frying pork belly is genius.
A shot of the open kitchen with the staff working under Chef Chris Weber (not pictured).