Essex Harvest Feast

Posted on: Monday, October 6, 2014

This past weekend, K and M reunited for a special dinner up on Cape Ann. Growing up in Manchester by-the-Sea, we spent lots of time in the neighboring town, Essex and were so pleasantly pleased to see it linked to the Boston-based high-end culinary scene. Frank McClelland, proprietor and chef of the ever stunning, AAA-Five Diamond restaurant, L’Espalier in Boston, hosts five-course dinners prepared by L’Esaplier chefs throughout the summer at his farm, Apple Street Farm. The dinners feature the freshest, seasonal ingredients straight from the farm and neighboring ones. We were giddy with anticipation when we blocked off the Essex Harvest Feast on our calendars a month back.
We arrived at Apple Street Farm a little past 5:30pm. The light drizzle and misty fog made for an eerie yet oddly pleasant, mystical vibe. While sipping apple cider, rum, bourbon, thyme simple syrup, lemon and cinnamon cocktails, and nibbling on lamb and Brussels sprouts skewers, and smoked Gouda eclairs, we walked around the farm, greeted the goats, turkeys and chickens, and admired the vast gardens.
We entered the white dimly-lit dining tent and were welcomed by two long tables adorned with autumn gourds, candle-filled lanterns and foliage. We peeked at the whimsically printed menus at our seats and were so excited and in awe for what was in store. . .
Amuse Bouche
Wellfleet oysters, Apple Street Farm wild grapes, Maine seaweed and black pepper

First Course
NV Dibon,Brut Rose, Cava
Pumpkin, orange and saffron broth with lobster, mussel, and shrimp salad; our apples and scallion oil

Second Course
2013 Armas de Guerra, Blanco, Bierzo 

Roasted cod in herb crust with Puy lentils, Apple Street Farm ham, green tomatoes, and chanterelles; spiced carrot juice
Third Course
2011 Chateau Haut Monplaisir “Tradition,” Cahors
Wood fire roasted saddle of lamb in North African spices and sausage with piperade, pickled eggplant, and fresh dug potato in goat cream; garlic anise hyssop jus


Honey-ginger glazed plum with almond macaroon and burnt honey ice cream
Each dish and wine pairing was so meticulously plated and balanced with textures and flavors. We could not have dreamt or imagined a more perfect and memorable tasting menu.


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