Why a dinner party? Because the Phillies were playing, and because my CSA was bursting out baskets. Pre-game we all sat down for dinner and wine and cheer, which helped us later, when we lost the game terribley.
I love spaghetti squash, and served it with a homemade heirloom tomatoe and roasted garlic sauce that I made in the summer and froze. Yellow and orange sweet potatoe were roasted with a touch of butter and fresh sage from the garden. Slightly bitter dandelion greans were tossed with an olive and truffle oil dressing and sprinkled with roasted squash seeds. Metropolitan made the bread, and an unpictured apple crisp lay in wait for later, when we ate it the hot cider and whiskey. B ad game, delicious dinner.
When I found out that Farmacia, a great local restaurant that focuses on seasonal, locally sourced food, had added a 1/2 off drink menu to both their happy hour and their brunch, I made my way over quick. Farmacia makes a great bloody mary, called the “Barn Burner” as well as some exciting mixed drinks using herb and fruit syrups and other unique cocktail inventions, including one of my favorites, “the garbanzo” with pear vodka and just a hint of lime and pineapple.
I’m serious about my bloody marys, but I’m also serious about my food. The happy hour bar menu offers an extensive vegetarian-friendly list of snack and sandwiches, all in suprisingly large portions. I shared the trio of spreads with sliced Metropolitan baguette. The white bean spread was bland and gluey, but the olive tapendade, filled with chunks of sundried tomato, was plenty flavorful, and the artichoke pesto was suprisingly complex and almost had a tuna texture. I should have stopped there, but I also orded the grilled goat cheese on sourdough sandwich. Unfortunately, the kitchen was running slow and I had to take it to go. 30 minutes later in the dark movie theater the sandwich was cold and greasy, but under such sad circumstances, I don’t think it’s fair to judge it!
Always ready to try some place new, I think I shocked all my brunch companions by agreeing to return to Farmicia just a few days later. It was the barn burner, I’m telling you (they make it just as spicy as I want and with a huge meaty green olive) and the fact that they offer brunch of Saturdays and a happy hour from 11-3 – you can’t get much more civilized! I ordered the Hacienda Eggs,two fried eggs, crispy tortilla, re-fried black beans, salsa, and sprinkle of queso fresco. I asked for the avocado salsa instead of sour cream, and our incredibly friendlyl and accomadating waiter said “no problem.” Drinks flowed, everyone loved their food, we had a lusciously large round back booth, and it was one of the best brunches I’ve had this year.