Monday, April 7, 2014

Maine Monday: Farm to Flanagan's Table

Flanagan's Table is an under the radar dinner series held in a beautifully restored barn in rural Buxton, just 30 minutes west of Portland. The soaring space hosts one event a month, featuring a well known Maine chef and a five course dinner elegantly presented at Flanagan's Farm. Maine has a long farm to table history (check out this article from the Portland Press Herald) and there's no better way to experience it than under the twinkling lights that hang from the rafters over the rustic Flannagan's table.

We left the little C&Gs at home last night to attend the dinner helmed by one of our favorite local chefs, Steve Corry of Petite Jacqueline and 555. Both restaurants are favorites of the little C&Gs so they weren't too happy about being left out of the fun but we assured them it was a grown ups only evening affair.

Petite Jacqueline serves up cozy French comfort food and is a great way to introduce your kiddos to something new, plus the authentic decor lets you pretend you've crossed an ocean for dinner. The boys loved their kid friendly movie night recently and we've taken them on regular nights too and they've really enjoyed it. 555 is a bit more formal for dinner but the boys beg to go there for weekend brunches. It could be because the cinnamon rolls come bigger than their heads.

The menu last night showcased the best of the two restaurants with local and seasonal ingredients. Ginger foam topped a vibrant rutabaga and pear soup and Mr. C&G managed to get the foam recipe on our way out. Our neighbors at the communal table agreed it would be perfect floating on top of a cocktail and I think we've got some experimenting to do.

We had the pleasure of sitting next to a couple who have attended every dinner in the series so they gave us the inside scoop on past events. They told us each dinner truly reflects the skills and personalities of the chefs and the dinner with Masa Miyake was their favorite with Melissa Kelly of Primo a very close runner up.

An excuse to visit the restroom (not a problem with the generous servings of wine) is the perfect opportunity to walk through the kitchen and watch the courses coming together. Everyone remarked how calm and organized it was back there (amazing when you realize they're sending out 40 plus plates at each course) and it's a testament to the talents of Chef Steve and his wife Michelle. After the meal the entire staff came out and we got a chance to thank them personally for the lovely experience.

Reservations for upcoming dinners go quickly, usually within 10-15 minutes of going on sale. I realize that by sharing this I'm lowering our chances of attending another one but it's a wonderful cause (proceeds go to support the Maine Farmland Trust) and a not to be missed experience. If Maine is in your travel plans this summer I hope to see you at the farm. I'll be the one going up to the bar for seconds on the Prosecco.

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