Monday, August 26, 2013

Heirloom Tomato Festival

Hosted by Terrain
914 Baltimore Pike
Glen Mills, PA 19342
(610) 459-2400

Because I was recently vacationing in Canada, I sent my field reporter, Dulceviv, out to cover this event, read on...

To be honest, when Philly Phoodie asked me to cover the Heirloom Tomato Festival at Terrain I had no idea what I was in for.

Upon arrival, I was greeted with the bloody mary table and then I knew I was in the right place. How can you go wrong with a choose-your-own garnish station? Not only were there perfectly seasoned bloody marys, but also a deliciously light and summery heirloom tomato tart to sample.

In addition to the the aforementioned bloody mary stand at hand, also the Happy Cat Farm was on site for insightful and thoughtful information about different types of tomatoes.

When we got to the salsa tasting table we knew we were on to something good. There were many types of salsas to try but most notably in my opinion was the pina verde. It had such a robust flavor with nice heat. The sweetness of the pineapple mellowed the hotness of the jalapeño. There was something for every taste on that table. Ranging from extremely hot to the less intense. The tomatoes were fresh and bursting with summer goodness.

The salsa station in all of its glory did nothing to prepare us for what came next. Chef Keith Rudolf (of Terrain Cafe) prepared an heirloom tomato tasting menu that was more than a mouthful. Who would have known that beginning the meal, the amuse (our “mouth amuser”): a shot of tomato/jalapeño water with halibut ceviche and a side rice cracker, could enliven the taste buds in such a way to prepare us for the following courses.

Our server whose name was never revealed, but whose smile and graciousness will live on in memory was just as excited about our meal as we were. He described the menu in a way that kept us on the edge of our seats between courses. We were presented with the summer panzanella. I cannot state how light and perfectly fresh every part of this dish was. The burrata had a bit of sweetness, which made the saltiness of the crouton a perfect experience for the tongue.

Second came the soft poached eggs with crunchy pole beans and smoked tomato oatmeal that held a creaminess that lingered after the perfectly cooked egg exploded on top of the smoked tomato oatmeal.

Next came the lobster tail with corn tomato pudding and house lardons and corn cream. I would be hard pressed to say that you can ever go wrong with lobster and house made lardons. Top that with corn tomato pudding and you have a sweet creamy, rich mouthful that will leave you wanting more.

And just when you couldn’t shake the thought of that delicious lingering lobster sensation, out came the bourbon glazed pork loin with summer ratatouille. Sometimes when you are expecting a pork to be delicious and moist and it comes out like shoe leather, this was not the case.

Lastly, the summer inspired peach, tomato cobbler with basil ice cream was a veritable dessert adventure. It was sweet, but not over the top. It was a perfect end to an incredible meal.

Chef Keith and his kitchen crew have a handle on flavors, textures and taste - making this experience one that will live on in my memory. I can say with full enthusiasm I look forward to next years Heirloom Festival.

Feel free to follow me on Instagram @dulceviv and look for an upcoming blog by the same name!

No comments: