Discolosure: I'm acting as a brand ambassador for the R3 Prevention Summit 2014. I'm not being paid for this post, but I'm receiving free admission to the summit and to related VIP events. My opinions are my own.
I spent Thursday night under a canopy of oak trees, in the company of friends, and enjoying a meal made from fresh local ingredients. The R3 Prevention Summit Preview Dinner was held at Eden East, the farm to table dinner club over at Springdale Farm. The space is simple and beautiful, with a carpet of straw and wooden tables lit by candles and gas lamps. It is decidedly romantic, but the communal tables make the mood better suited to groups of friends than a pair of lovebirds.
We were treated to a five course meal, each small plate arriving one at a time. The pacing was very very leisurely, so if you go there, don't expect to eat and run. I wasn't aware of this, but a normal dinner at Eden East takes between two and three hours. The portions are also on the small side – another thing to keep in mind when planning your evening there. When dinner takes two or three hours to eat, you don't want to arrive on the brink of hanger.
Our night started off with cucumber vodka cocktails served from Eden's airstream trailer bar. While we waited for dinner to begin I chat with fellow bloggers, and got to know some of the editors from Prevention Magazine. We were also given the scoop on programming for the Summit. There are going to be some really great panels there, including plenty of cooking demos and tasting stations. There is even going to be a cook-off!
Healthy cooking is just one of the many topics that will be presented at The R3 Prevention Summit. There is programming scheduled on mind and body, fitness, beauty, and more. Speakers include Andi MacDowell, Callie Speer, and Sonya Coté. You can check out the complete schedule and list of speakers for R3 Prevention Summit on the event's site.
Now, on to the food! Lamp light doesn't lend itself awfully well to food photography, so my pictures aren't too great. <sad trombone> The dinner started with a Grass-Fed Meatball over mashed potatoes, with a wild mushroom sauce. That was followed with an itty-bitty Bibb Salad topped with crunchy almonds and radish.
The next dish was my favorite of the night: slices of roasted butternut squash and pickled golden beets with a smoked tomato chili sauce (which tasted like an amazing reincarnation of sriracha) and a little dollop of pecan butter. There's definitely something to be said for smoking tomato. This dish left me inspired to finally try my hand at homemade sriracha, using smoked tomato as the star ingredient.
The last dish I tried that night was a small filet of golden tile over bok choy. I found the bok choy to be a little on the bitter side, but the saffron shrimp stock it was sitting in had a great aroma. A pear spoon cake was served for dessert, but unfortunately I had to head home to feed my little guy before it came out.
Eden East does a lovely job of presenting local ingredients with a gourmet, supper-club kind of vibe. If you are prepared to spend an entire evening having dinner, and if you are an enthusiastic about locally grown food, I would suggest checking it out. It was a treat for me, as these days I don't normally have the extra time or cash to splurge on a three hour dinner. With those constraints in mind, I don't see my husband and I picking it for a date night anytime soon.
Have you been to Eden East? What did you think?