I've been fortunate to enjoy a number of dining experiences over the years that will stick with me. Well, it seems all my meals stick with me now as I get older, so I should say it's the memories of these experiences that remain fresh. At top of this list is my experience at Barn Kestrel in West Linn for the first Field and Vine event of the 2019 season.
Field and Vine dinners are an incredible experience for all the senses. While a delicious meal is a treat for the taste buds, these dinners ignite all of one's senses. Held at beautiful farms throughout the region, there's something truly special about enjoying a meal in the very field where ingredients were sourced.
From the moment that I drove up to Barn Kestrel, I was struck by its pastoral beauty. The farm sits on 10 acres outside of West Linn and is an in-demand event venue, especially popular for weddings. It also serves as the traditional kick-off location for a season of amazing meals served up by Pascal Chureau and his talented team. Upon arrival I was greeted by a beautiful Victorian house built in 1887, flanked by a massive sequoia towering over the home. It's the largest tree in Mt. Hood Territory and third largest in the entire state; it serves as a majestic guardian overlooking the entire scene. Just past it is the historic working barn constructed in 1900. I was also welcomed by several beautiful horses just to the west of the home. Literally, one of the horses walked right up to me and gave me a little nuzzle as if to say hello as I admired it and her friends. It was so perfect that it all felt like something out of a movie, carefully choreographed by a director with a keen eye for detail.
She was a friendly horse...
As everyone made their way to their seats for the evening, there was an excited energy in the air, as we all knew we were about to embark in a shared journey of culinary excellence. Small groups of friends merged with their neighbors creating whole tables of new friends. This only served to heighten the experience, as I found myself amidst a diverse group of people whom I had never met, but instantly felt like we had been close for years. The anticipation of each course was met with elation with each bite, as the perfectly matched wines enhanced every dish.
A roasted prawn bruschetta started the meal off, and as delicious as that starter was, each course kept getting better. There was a morel mushroom polenta with an earthy, savory flavor that had me reaching for a second serving. My favorite dish of the evening had to be the grilled bavette steak, a lesser known cut of meat that has recently grown in popularity. It was served with a red chimichurri and scallions that gave it a nice zing. The steak itself was incredibly tender, barely needing more than a fork to cut. It was the kind of dish that someone would choose if they were faced with the unlikely scenario of only being able to have one meal every day for the rest of their life.
I remember being a kid thinking dinner took far too long; I wanted to get back to whatever it was I was doing before. This evening was the complete opposite, I was enjoying myself so much that all seven courses seemed to go too fast. The servings were plentiful, but the flavors were so incredible that I never wanted it to end.
You can have this feeling too. If you have a special someone in your life who is a lover of fine dining, this event is the perfect way to treat them to an evening of food, fun and wine. Check out their schedule, and maybe plan your next milestone evening with Field and Vine Events.