Farmhouse Inn, Forestville - WOW!
Saturday night my husband and I celebrated the birthday of a good friend with her partner at Farmhouse Inn. (I'll insert a caveat: my friend's partner is a friend of chef Steve Litke, and also was acquainted with the house manager.) Wow! What an experience. I had dined there once before and remember it very fondly, but I really think they have improved in the last year or so. The service was incredible. Utensils were replaced promptly and unobtrusively, the food came at a nice pace, the waiters were knowledgeable and helpful, the sommelier also able to answer all our questions and guide us when we were undecided.
We began with an amuse bouche of a thai-influenced tuna poke and lobster carpaccio. Amazingly fresh, with just the right amount of seasoning to highlight the fish without ever overwhelming it. (In fact, I never touched the salt or pepper throughout the whole meal, which is unusual for me, the pepper lover!) My husband and I both had the soup next, a cold cucumber, melon and coconut milk soup with a mound of delicious Maine crab at the center. It was light and refreshing for a summer evening. Like the amuse, the flavors of the soup perfectly highlighted the delicate crab. I tasted the birthday girl's burrata, it was heavenly. With the amuse bouches and soup we had a rose champagne. When he brought the amuse bouches, the waiter commented that they "had rose champagne written all over them". I'm pretty sure that the chef was informed what we had ordered and were drinking and concocted the amuse bouches to compliment it. (Sorry all, I didn't do any of the wine ordering and neglected to take any notes, so can't give you labels.) That was followed by another amuse bouche, demitasse cups of a hot crab and corn soup that tasted like summer.
I had the halibut next. I know, I had a lot of seafood, but I am a great fan of seafood and so I was very happy. The halibut had that perfect crust with the most delicious, moist white fish inside. It sat on a bed of fava beans, morels, ramps and snap peas in a butter sauce. The vegetables were so perfectly ripe and delicious that I alternated between eating one at a time to savour the individual flavors, and combining the components to discover the new ways that they complimented each other. The others had the filet of beef, pork tenderloin and the signature rabbit three ways. I had little tastes of each, and each was divine. With that variety of mains, the sommelier suggested another rose. It worked with the halibut, and everyone else said they enjoyed it with their mains too.
My two friends each had the poached peach dessert, and I had the chocolate souffle. Although my husband only ordered coffee, they brought him a souffle too. I didn't taste the peach dessert, but the souffle was ethereal. I guess chocolate souffle is kind of cliche, but it was heavenly just the same. I had a port and the birthday girl had a sauternes (I think - I didn't taste that either) with dessert. We were thrilled when the chef came out to greet us and wish my friend a happy birthday. She did have a very happy birthday, and we were all very happy she invited us to share it. Total for four with tax and a generous tip was $440.00 - we were amazed that it was so little for so much!