PHX - Locavore 3 at Tapino
Is anybody going to Locavore 3 (8/5 and 8/6)? A group of us have reservations for tonight. Anyone else?
Dos Cabezas is the featured AZ wine, and one of my favorite chefs - Payton Curry from Digestif - will be guest chef so it looks like there is charcuterie on the menu!
Locavore 2 discussion:
I'm going with some friends. My husband unfortunately is traveling, he's very disappointed as he was really looking forward to it. My sister was very excited about the charcuterie when I showed her the menu!
We're trying to decide what time to leave Chandler. Is the meet and greet worth being there for? we were all goign to carpool so i could drive(since I won't be enjoying the wine) but one couple can't be at my house until close to 5:30 so if we all go together the rest of us would miss most of the meet and greet.
It's a great idea - serving a menu specifically focusing on local food and wine. We had only been here a week (moved from Boston) when I read about Tapino's first one in February, so of course immediately made reservations! It was such a success that they added a second one, and this most recent third one has been extended to two nights, but is still completely booked with a waiting list.
As you can see from the past links, they feature different local AZ wines, ranchers, and farmers, and do it in a fun social setting so that everyone can meet and talk. I'll post the next one when they announce it. I should add that even aside from the Locavore dinners, Tapino is one of my favorite restaurants - friendly staff, nice atmosphere, great food.
More info on the locavore movement on Tapino's website:
From Tapino's most recent newsletter, Locavore 4 is 10/7 and 10/8, and you can be personally involved:
"Locavore 4: Cultivation. On October 7th and 8th, join us for a five course wine dinner, where every bite and sip will come from an Arizona farmer, rancher, food producer and wine maker. This time, we need your help! On Saturday, October 4th, we'll be heading to local farms to pick the produce we're using for the dinners. Sign up for Locavore 4, and let us know you want to be part of this truly unique dining experience."
There's one dairy in Chandler Heights which sells raw milk directly off the farm (its at Higley and Riggs) and through a vendor (Maya's maybe?) at the Phoenix Farmer's Market. There also is a dairy near Arizona City that brought milk down and sold it at the Gentle Strength Co-op (before it went out of business). I'm not sure if they have other customers in the Valley.
And with all such discussions, I'll remind everyone there is an inherant risk in drinking raw milk, especially when you yourself didn't milk the cow.
I won't speak for everyone, but I felt that Payton Curry's charcuterie plate was phenomenal. All from the same pig, all done in house, and all very, very good. Actually, it was all good, but that was the highlight.
Rubee, it was nice meeting you and I'm sorry I didn't get a chance to catch you after the meal. I hadn't talked to some of the other farmers there in a few months and got caught up in the conversation. Most amazing of all, I found out that Julie Murphree's (from the Farm Bureau) father used to work cattle with my great-grandfather (who has been dead over 50 years). Talking to him first-hand about the old man was really neat. I hope to see you again at some other event around town.
Julie mentioned that to me - what a heartwarming coincidence! And thanks to Julie, or I would never have met you in the crowd. It was nice to get a chance to meet you and your lovely wife, and I hope to see you again.
I agree that Payton's charcuterie was a highlight. I'm a big fan of his, so when I saw that he was guest chef, I was hoping there would be charcuterie on the menu. He said for the vegetarians, he had made a wonderful vegetable pate, being sure to use agar-agar instead of gelatin. I would have liked to try that also! I loved the head cheese, and it was a great introduction to those at our table who had never had it. He mentioned that James made the sausage. I've had a chance to chat with him at Digestif, but I told him last night I never knew he was so funny ; ) I'm sure Digestif is going to see some new customers in the coming weeks, he made a great impression.
Everything was delicious and I really enjoyed the Dos Cabezas wine, represented by Todd Bostock (and his wife and beautiful new baby). Some other highlights were the cucumber and tomato martini. I thought it was a perfect intermezzo with a pure taste of summer. The Ash Creek beef cannelloni was very good (and it was a pleasure to meet the friendly woman from Ash Creek Ranch also), and I loved the creamy goat cheese flan with date caramel.
The only glitch was that somehow between Tapino calling and confirming a party of 7 on Friday, when we were to be seated they had us down as a party of 2 (we ended up being 6, as one no-showed - I'm hoping he didn't call and been told the reservations were only for 2). The ever-gracious and accomodating Wendy did some quick scrambling and her best to add a small table to the end of a larger group, but it was a bit cramped for 6, especially for my husband, so put a slight damper on the comfort level while dining.
Here's the menu for last night:
Superstition Farms farmer's cheese with basil oil, micro and licorice basil, and mache, served in a Chinese spoon
McClendon Farm's sweet red Campari tomato poached in Queen Creek olive oil
Dose Cabezas "Pink" 2007
Mother Nature Farm's artisan-style pork charcuterie of country pate, head cheese with stuffed Padron pepper, and warm sausage
Doz Cabezas "DC White" 2006
Chilled lemon cucumber and tomato martini
Arizona pecan wood-roasted Visser Farm leg of lamb with Ash Creek Ranch beef cannelloni and native tepary bean ragout
Dos Cabezas "Toscano" 2006
Duck egg and Fossil Creek goat cheese chocolate flan with Sphinx Date Ranch caramel
Dos Cabezas "El Norte" 2006
Due to sponsors, all this was only $49 per person. For those who were unable to get reservations this time, Chef James Porter of Tapino mentioned that they are already planning the next Locavore dinner. For those having dinner tonight - lucky you!
We hadn't been able to make either of the previous dinners, so this was our first. It was all just outstanding! I don't think I could pick a favourite course. The charcuterie was so clean-tasting, & I loved the little pepper with the head cheese. The lamb was so tender & tasty, & the flavour in the beans from the stocks was amazing. And that flan was so yummy, with all the different, delicate flavours playing together.
Both James & Payton seemed to be having all sorts of fun talking about the food. "Two Chefs & a Pig". Tee-hee.
Everybody going tonight, you'll love it!
What a really lovely event! We all had a wonderful time last evening. Can't add much to what's been said here - we enjoyed everything presented. The chacuterie plate was indeed phenomenal and we really enjoyed our discussion with the chef about it when he came by the table. I could eat the bean ragout everyday and never be tired of it, I'm hoping the chef will share his recipe. I wish I could have taken home a bottle of the date caramel sauce.
I didn't partake in the wines, except for a very small taste of my sister's "pink", due to being the driver and being medicated from fighting the crud for the last ten days. But I did very much enjoy listening to the discussions about them and reading the tasting notes. The winemaker himself was delightful. All of us ordered some wine and we're planning a field trip down to see him and have dinner at Canela in the area.
All in all, a wonderful evening. We're all looking forward to the next one. I first heard about this hear on this board so thanks to everyone for the reports from the previous dinners!