On Saturday evening, Matthew treated me to a birthday dinner that wasn’t just a dinner, it was a total experience. We attended the Spice Kitchen and Bar Plated Landscape dinner at Killibuck Valley Mushroom Farm.
When we arrived, we were greeted with music from Dead Sweaters, tasty cocktails of apple cider, spiced rum, and honey, and small bites of black walnut soup with truffle oil, Spice’s famous mushroom beignets, and watermelon slices with black sea salt. We also met the farm’s friendly pets, including two dogs (Searchlight and Moose), a cat, and various chickens.
Next up was a tour of the farm given by owners Tom and Wendy, who were the most gracious hosts! They allowed us to forage for mushrooms and spice berries to be used in our dinner.
We also got to see where the oyster and shiitake mushrooms are grown indoors.
Then it was time for the dinner, served at a long table encouraging conversation among the guests. Our first course was a mushroom wonton soup, with baby winter onions, spinach, and fresh ginger from the farm.
The wonton was stuffed with chicken mushrooms, which was just the start of the creative ways Chef Ben Bebenroth used mushrooms throughout the dinner. The soup had a wonderful spicy bite from the ginger.
Each course was expertly paired with Italian wine, selected by Spice Kitchen and Bar’s bartender.
Next up was a mixed greens salad, with pickled mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, goat cheese, and a truffle vinaigrette.
Our third course was lobster ravioli, with zucchini and tomato coulis.
The “lobster” in this dish was actually lobster mushrooms, which showcased how different mushrooms can be in both texture and flavor. This could honestly have passed for “real” lobster ravioli!
Our fourth course was Matthew’s and my favorite: grilled venison loin, served with braised cabbage. carrots, the mushrooms we foraged that day, and morel sauce.
The rich, earthy flavor of the mushrooms complimented the venison perfectly. The cabbage added a nice texture, too. This was the perfect dish!
For dessert, we had chocolate bread pudding with shiitake caramel ice cream and sugar beet anglaise.
It was such a fun evening of delicious food in a beautiful and unique setting. Stay tuned for more Plated Landscape dinners from Spice Kitchen and Bar next summer. And look for Killibuck Valley mushrooms at the North Union Farmers’ Markets at Shaker Square and Crocker Park.
Thanks to Matthew for picking out a wonderful way to celebrate my birthday!