There's really nothing quite like dining in a field, with food filling your plate that was plucked mere steps away.
I had the pleasure of being a guest at Arcadia's farm dinner fundraiser Sunday afternoon, set in the middle of the nonprofit organization's vegetable-filled fields. Hosted by Arcadia parent Neighborhood Restaurant Group and Vermilion (and soon-to-be Iron Gate) chef Tony Chittum, the event gave diners an up-close look at the work being done on the farm and Arcadia's mission to promote a sustainable food system and culture in the DC area. The menu highlighted lots of other local farmers who Chittum works with regularly.
Arcadia regularly hosts school groups, and kids are encouraged to explore with signs like the one above.
The table is set for dinner, with more than 80 guests.
Chickens are a recent addition to the farm. They supplied the eggs, which were pickled and served with lettuce from the fields.
A gorgeous salad of edible flowers, lettuces and pickled hen eggs.
Chef Tony Chittum, left, checks on a stewed rabbit dish in the outdoor kitchen. Chittum will soon take over the historic Iron Gate Inn restaurant.
Berkshire pork sausages with pickled spring onions.
Dishes like this lamb with housemade Greek yogurt were a peek at what's to come on Chittum's new Greek and Italian menu at Iron Gate.
Pastry chef Tiffany MacIsaac provided a perfect DIY dessert: platters of sliced pound cake with bowls of Arcadia honey chantilly cream, strawberries, rhubarb and pecan granola.
Arcadia, located on the grounds of the historic Woodlawn estate about 25 minutes from downtown DC, is open to the public and offers volunteer opportunities.
And if you're interested in farm dining, listen out for Arcadia's next fundraiser this fall.