All that Jazz
Crispy Squash Blossoms, Fava Beans and
Cherry Tomato-Roasted Garlic Vinaigrette
We have been trying to eat earlier, so we don't go to bed on a full stomach. Somewhere along the journey, I heard if you eat late, you convert that food into fat stores rather than use it as fuel. Also, we have been spending a lot of time in the Eastern Time Zone, so if we eat dinner at 8 pm Eastern, it is really only 7 pm Central. That is why we don't generally eat at F. Scotts because if we eat at F. Scotts, we want to do the Nine Dine. After 9 pm, the food menu becomes 1/2 price (except for an occasional special dish will be full price). What a deal. In visits past, I got lobster ravioli with lump lobster meat and saffron sauce for less than $15 with the full price being twice as much. At Nine Dine, we still got the same great service as 1/2 the price.
When we went in this time for Nine Dine, we saw most of the menu was local and local organic from some of the farms I source my food at home. If you recall, I did an "Eat Local" challenge for a week, when I ate only locally grown foods from 100 miles of my house. When I do cook at home, for a 3rd year in row, I am still using at least one ingredient or more that is local, within 100 miles. What I discovered is the local meats, veggies, fruits, bacon (OMG! so dang good!), eggs, milk, and corn meal all taste so much better than any industrially made foods. So, when I saw that F. Scotts' Chef Will Uhlhorn has made the same turn to local purveyors as I did, I was thrilled and knew I had to blog about this meal.
Here is a little tidbit of info that may stun you for a second, as it did me. Industrial butter pats, and industrial butter that is in bricks from restaurant food distributors have MSG and yellow dye in it. The MSG is a small amount, but none the less, MSG created in a lab as an additive (not naturally occurring MSG)! So, when you go out and want to slather the butter onto you bread at industrialized chain restaurants, it is because of the irresistible flavor enhancer MSG. So, Chef Uhlhorn makes his own butter from heavy cream he gets from one of the local organic milk providers. I couldn't tell how much better the real butter tastes at F Scotts. Thanks Chef for making real butter for me!
Anyway, this night, looking at the list of farms, Bonnie Blue, Doe Run, Emerald, Glen, Farmer Dave, Hap Heilman, Howell, Hungry Gnome, Timbertop, Benton's Smokey Mountain, Delvin and Eaton's Creek, I was impressed. I know about 1/2 of these farms and farmers, even been to see the farms, and I feel very comfortable eating these foods from these farms. I like to eat tasting plates rather than one large meal, so I got a bunch of appetizers instead of a large plate. In addition to the above photos, I got a salad made with grilled shrimp, avocado, Boston Bibb lettuce and a lemon sherry vinaigrette and crispy feuille de brek. The lighter than tempura squash blossoms were delicious. The local country ham wrapped goat cheese was a local organic take on Italian cheese wrapped in Parma Ham. I like them both, but I really like the local take on it because it tasted so authentic, real, and heart felt. The local country ham and local poulette egg was just a fantastic dish too, and it was such a great local organic take on eggs benedict. The dish I really liked was the pomme frite served in a Belgian kind of way. The frites this night was made with white truffle oil and Parma cheese, served in a paper cone. They are rich, and definitely are enough for 2 - 4 people to share. We brought some home, and the suggestion to heat them up was to grease the pan with some homemade, local or Amish butter, spread the frites on the pan evenly, and then heat in the oven until hot and crispy again. We did just that, and it was so dang good!
Yeah know, I really like F Scotts and Chef Uhlhorn's food. I still am thinking about that lobster ravioli (over a year or 2 ago), and I am still thinking about the frites as some of the best food I have had ever. I also want to say, every single time I have been to F Scotts for Nine Dine, I have had excellent service, excellent wine suggestions, and excellent food. I have had only delicious dishes here (not to be confused with SNL's Delicious Dish).