Fine Dining In A Relaxed Atmosphere At Farm Carneros
In the February issue, we featured stories about sampling the best of the Carneros region. Why Carneros? Because it’s beautiful country, it’s nearby, and the food, wine and scenery are every bit as excellent as we’ve come to expect of the California wine country.
Farm is another Carneros gem, for many of us, just waiting to be discovered, just off highway 12 at the luxurious Carneros Resort and Spa. Since Farm can’t be seen from the road, it’s easily overlooked. In the same complex as the Boon Fly Café, Farm is tucked away within the resort’s expansive grounds, serving resort guests as well as the public. With Executive Chef Aaron Meneghelli at the helm, Farm offers Sunday Brunch, a Bar & Pavilion menu and nightly dinner, in several expansive dining areas that also include outdoor seating in and around an all-season, open-air patio and terrace. It specializes in locally sourced ingredients and a quite substantial wine list.
A recent Sunday at Farm proved to be the perfect antidote to a hectic week, wiling away a warm, relaxing morning over the multi-course brunch. Tucked inside the resort’s captivating environs, one can feel worlds away. Families play Frisbee on the adjacent lawn while couples relax on benches or cluster in scattered seating areas, and visitors wander into the market for takeout picnic fare. In the main dining room, a fireplace is lit to take any chill off the early seating. And then there’s the food! For $45 per person, four courses can be chosen from a well thought-out menu of options, to be shared with the table. On our visit, we sampled an additional course, for a total of five items, plus an amuse from the chef. Although the courses are moderately proportioned, after the third one they begin to add up. Happily, there is ample space to wander after the meal to help aid digestion.
Whetting our appetites with mimosas, we began with the Avocado Toast, the best I’ve ever tasted, on crisp rye toast with an herb side salad. Not feeling at all rushed, we eagerly anticipated the next course. The Roasted Baby Beets and Warm Citrus salad, a truly remarkable dish we couldn’t get enough of, consisted of fresh, earthy beets atop garden greens, fresh ricotta, pistachio and an unconventional element: granola was sprinkled into the mix providing an appealing crunch. Next up was a dish of Seared Sea Scallop with Carolina gold rice, bacon marmalade and watercress.
One of my favorite dishes, seared scallops can sometimes be sadly overcooked, even in upscale restaurants. Not here: perfectly tender and pink inside. This is one dish I will return for. Rich scrambled eggs dotted with crispy bacon came next; the final dish and perennial customer favorite, Lobster Roll was the exclamation point on the sumptuous meal. We left with the knowledge that brunch at Farm would become a new favorite for a fun weekend escape. (Beth, I may add a bit more food detail info to this section later.)