Sunday, August 12, 2012

Farmhaus

I finally got the chance to pay back my friend Beth for taking me out for her birthday, so we both got to try Farmhaus for the first time. I was very surprised that the restaurant itself is very unassuming as it is very small with plain, white walls with interesting photography and art on the walls. All the servers were in plaid shirts and all the napkins were large dishtowels. Now I understood the real reason for the required reservations, very little room!

Now I had heard that Farmhaus was known for their piggy selection and yes, there were quite a few pork items such as the Butcher’s Plate and a salad that came with a bacon vinaigrette dressing. But our server informed us that the chef’s specialty was actually seafood since he is a passionate fisherman.

Of course, the best part about Farmhaus is that the menu is served on paper since it changes daily. Chef Kevin Willmann believes in partnering with the local community in order to have the freshest ingredients, other than the fish, which comes from the Gulf Coast.

Farmhaus has a handful of small plates and even the main courses are appropriately sized in order to share all the courses. This was definitely the best approach in order to try as many items as you can although I still overate regardless.

We started with the Summer Salad, which was a large plate of fresh vegetables (grilled corn, okra, sweet peppers, cucumbers, roasted beets, zucchini, squash, and heirloom tomatoes with Baetje Farms goat’s milk cheese) in Muscat vinaigrette. I wish there had been more cheese to go with every bite!

Next was the House Mozzarella Bruschetta, which was a crostini topped with Marcoot Jersey Creamery curds, heirloom YellowTree Farm tomatoes (such pretty colors!) with a balsamic reduction. Lovely amounts of cheese on the bruschetta! I probably could have gone for a whole plate just for myself.

The Smoked Fish Cake was a little small and I think both of us would have loved to have had one more all to ourselves. There was a sweet flavor to the fish cake thanks to the pickled fennel, Builla Farms tomatoes, and banana pepper vinaigrette, along with fried Louisana crawfish tails decorating the outside of the plate.

Our main course, if you want to call it that, was a grilled Grouper with more pickled green beans and tomato jam that was actually more sweet than savory. I would have liked a little more jam to go with the fish though. Even the spoonbread, served underneath the fish, was also another delicious sweet and savory combination.

And you can’t have a birthday dinner without dessert and luckily Beth agreed to the Peanut Butter Cup instead of all the fresh fruit options. A thin, circle of chocolate held the peanut butter mousse with a thick layer of peanut butter nugget on the bottom. It melted in my mouth! Oh my!

With all the fish that we had that evening, and since it was still a warm St. Louis summer day, I went with a refreshing 2011 Yealands Sauvignon Blanc Marlborough from New Zealand. At first, the wine tasted a little grassy and barnyard, but after it was opened, the wine calmed down and was a good match for all the pickled and savory flavors in the food.

Resources:

Farmhaus = http://farmhausrestaurant.com