Farm Foods at Farmstead
Farmstead restaurant is a part and parcel of Long Meadow Ranch Winery & Farmstead in St. Helena, California, and serves food that is local and regional – a cuisine of choice for the 21st century. Can you be any more local if most of your ingredients come straight from the farm, yards away from the kitchen?
Chef Sheamus Feeley, whose background includes working for Wolfgang Puck and Alice Waters Chez Panisse, uses the advantage of having organic produce, grass-fed beef, eggs, and olive oils from Long Meadow Ranch in his farm-to-table menu, built on freshly picked seasonal vegetables and herbs.
A short but strong list of Long Meadow Ranch reds leads the restaurant’s well-selected wine list.
The menu changes seasonally, featuring local tomatoes and avocados, apples and oranges. Root vegetables, like parsnips and beets, and vegetable and fruit preserves are served at all times.
We ate in a sunlit dining hall, decorated with agricultural tools, under a high cathedral (pardon moi – barn) ceiling, amuse bouche prosciutto sliders on decadent cheddar biscuits containing house-made apple jam.
Memorable first courses were beet salad and meatballs. The salad consisted of red beets, poached in apple cider vinegar, and covered with greens and a mixture of goat cheese and cream.
The meatballs were made with farm-raised, grass-fed beef, and garnished with caramelized onions, celery, carrots, and tomato marmalade.
Keeping up with the Sunday dinner crowd, the staff in the open kitchen worked like a well-oiled machine, pulling grilled meats out of a wood-fired oven and whipping up fresh salads with farm-grown lettuces and strawberries.
For our main course, a Berkshire heritage pork chop came with braised spinach, parsnip puree, and salsa verde, while the most delicious vegetarian entrée was made of California Arborio rice, black trumpet mushrooms, snap peas, garlic and onions, topped (on request) with a Long Meadow Ranch egg, sunny side up.
My dinner companion praised his chocolate pie with Scharffen Berger chocolate and whipped cream, while I enjoyed my lighter dessert of panna cotta with blueberry jelly and a caramelized lemon rind.
Farmstead restaurant is located at 738 Main Street in St. Helena. Call for reservations at 1-707-963-9181 or visit their website.