Thursday, August 6, 2015

Farm to Table Restaurants

Yum
It's time for another fieldtrip!
That's what summer is all about:  exploring your world.
I love, and I bet you do to, going to restaurants that have their own gardens or source a lot of their ingredients from local, organic farmers.   Over the summer we traveled to the beach.  It's 2 long days to and fro, so to break up the drive we stopped at a restaurant with their own garden.  Talk about a great way to break up a long drive!  So, we are going on a fieldtrip!  
Let me tell you all about this place.


Firefly Grill is located in Effingham, Illinois, about 3 hours south of Chicago.  A perfect respite on our long drive.  What is great about this restaurant and many other farm to table restaurants, is that it is organic...no herbicides or pesticides.  Many of the ingredients they grow themselves, right next to the restaurant.  The rest?  Locally sourced farmers join the team.  An open viewing kitchen is part of the dining area, they compost and use the pond to irrigate their gardens...I could go on and on.   Firefly is exactly what a farm to table restaurant looks like!


The structure itself is even made of recycled steel and reclaimed barn wood.
Right outside is the garden!


We even got a tour of the garden...shhh...the gardener let us sample too!
He talked about how the chef creates recipes to serve based on what the garden is producing and what can be found from local farmers.  Quite the operation!


The food was amazing!  Talk about seasonal simplicity!
We tried Garden Squash Blossoms.  These were tempura fried squash flowers stuffed with herbed goat cheese and a chili lime aioli.  I have never had this before and can't wait to try it next year.  I missed the blossoms this year.  Who knew they were edible and incredibly good! Totally part of my garden to table plans at my house next year.


My husband had a meatloaf sandwich made from grass fed beef from a local farm.


I had  a goat cheese and mushroom pizza made with Fontina cheese, goat cheese, truffles and Portabella mushrooms.  It was so good.  Since the cheeses came from local farmers and the mushrooms were grown right out back, I can't describe to you just how fresh and flavorful this all tasted.


I know what you are thinking.  I don't live anywhere near that restaurant.  That's ok.  My point is to seek out those farm to table restaurants in your area or while you are traveling.  You will never be disappointed by the freshness, quality and underlying purpose farm to table restaurants have.  They are all about fresh sustainable food.  

And...if you travels ever take you near Effingham, Illinois...definitely make Firefly Grill a stop.

Celebrate the little things that make life sweet,
Christine