M and I had the privilege to partake in a delightful dinner party a couple of weeks ago just outside of Charlottesville. The event was hosted by Forage, created by Megan Kiernan. There have been many Forage dinners since its founding in 2012 and each has a unique theme that is woven throughout the meal, from your first sip of the hand-crafted signature cocktail to your last bite of the second dessert. The dinner we attended was Alice in Wonderland-themed and was a great introduction to a fun and out-of-the-box dining experience.
The evening began with an elixir of tea-infused vermouth, gin, and Potter’s hard cider served in tea cups adorned with “Drink Me” tags.
Cocktails were served with festive hors d’oeuvres: beet-pickled deviled eggs, mushroom voulavent; and rosemary crackers topped with tomato basil jam.
Then it was time to move inside for dinner. A long table in a cozy attic was adorned with moss, keys, and dozens of teapots of all shapes and sizes. Forage dinners are BYOB (with the exception of that first cocktail I mentioned above). We brought a bottle from nearby Jefferson Vineyards.
Dinner began with fried oysters served over pickled green tomatoes with mojo sauce. Then we were served a rich ragu over pasta, made with pork belly and duck hearts. Beside the ragu was crisp bread that had been rolled with shiso foraged from nearby.
Every Forage dinner ends with two desserts. In this case, an apple tart and a chocolate almond bombe. The apple tart really stole the show.
Our first Forage experience was terrific. We met lovely people and I was so inspired by Megan and her team. They are producing high quality food in a convivial environment. I am happy to fall down this rabbit hole any time.