I say field trip, you say?
4 course extravaganza at the River Cafe (wine pairings optional)?
I kid you not, that is exactly what we did for one of my classes last week, COMS 477 Food and Culture. Best course ever, right?
When we got there, they brought around sparking black currant soda. It was quickly downed by everyone.
We sat, waiting in anticipation for our feast. I think everyone was asking themselves, “are we actually allowed to be doing this for class?” At least I know I was.
First course; roasted tomato soup (made with local Gull Valley tomatoes). It was topped with camelina oil, sourdough croutons, micro basil and grated ricotta salata cheese. I’m not typically a fan of soup, especially non-creamy varieties but this was pretty good. Not too acidic and it had some texture to it.
Next up, salad. Or more specifically, heritage greens with sliced pear, huckleberry vinaigrette and a carta de musica flatbread. River Cafe loves their flatbreads. I know, I used to work at their sister restaurant Boxwood and every day I had to roll out tray after tray of quinoa crackers for the red lentil hummus appetizer. That being said, they know how to make some pretty fancy (and tasty) crackers.
The entree was probably my favorite dish. While everyone else was eating their duck confit with choucroute and root veg, I savoured my vegetarian option. Roasted spaghetti and delicata squash with Poplar Bluff carrots and parsnips, roasted hazelnuts and the best part, CHANTERELLES. It was actually pretty funny when our prof came around to ask how everyone was enjoying their meal. She is not a vegetarian and thus got the duck confit, same as everyone else. When I described my entree and told her it had chanterelles, her response was along the lines of, “what do you mean you got chanterelles? I didn’t get any chanterelles!” See, being vegetarian has its perks.
Sadly, our meal had to come to an end. But not before finishing off with dessert. Honeycrisp apple and plum cobbler with, get this, chai ice cream. I could have taken a pint to-go. It was garnished with sesame and poppyseed brittle, a good idea in theory but the caramel was slightly under-cooked which meant that it stuck to your teeth pretty seriously. No worries though, I just kept on eating that ice cream.
Now if only every class could be spent dining like this! I could get my degree in eating.