The farm-to-table movement has changed the face of restaurant dining. And thank God. There’s nothing quite like the tastes of fresh produce and meat just plucked, just butchered, just served quickly.
It’s funny, but having been raised in the city, way before this healthier dining phenomenon, I never realized just how delicious a farm fresh egg could be. Or fish just caught early in the morning. But those who grew up on the farm, well, that was a different thing.
But farm-to-table has taken that ‘of the earth’, dirty hands grittiness and meshed it with an upscale dining experience. And I was lucky enough to have it, while celebrating my 29th anniversary this pat weekend.
Enter The Inn at Barley Sheaf Farm. Yes, it’s in Bucks County, PA. Holicong to be exact; just minutes from Peddler’s Village. But it could have been a lovely country manor somewhere in France, as we wound down the long, tree-lined driveway, toward a stone farmhouse and wooden barn, past a cobblestone court and European style fountain. The first impression was thumbs up. And the rest of the evening was two.
The dining room had an open view to the kitchen. That was quite cool for a self-proclaimed foodie to witness, as the chef emptied his fresh ingredients, straight from containers, into his pans. But aesthetically, the room was gorgeous. A French Provincial décor was complimented by a wall of windows looking out onto bucolic pastures. It was getting dark when we arrived, so not able to take full advantage of the 30 acre property.
The menu is compact, but it’s one of those places that knows what it’s good at, and does it even better. I had the Halibut; Mark began with the Sweet Potato Bisque then the Ribeye. All delicious; all in reasonable portions that allowed for a taste of dessert, without having to unbutton the pants. Mark went for the pumpkin donuts while I indulged my sweet tooth with the chocolate pudding cake. Yum.
A BYOB made it especially attractive and kept the bill within a range of restaurants with less care, less atmosphere, less kitchen experience. Are we going back? Most definitely.
Reserve yourself a seat on OpenTable.com or visit their website: www.barleysheaf.com.
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