Continued from Circle Farm Tour Abbotsford: Mt. Lehman Winery
After a long day of sampling local food and wine, it was time to sit down for a meal sourced from the shops that we visited over the course of the day: Tave’s Family Farm, Lepp Farm Market and Mt. Lehman Winery.
Our final stop was at Restaurant 62 where we continued to drink Mt. Lehman wine, but now paired it with multiple, hyper-locally sourced dishes. Our meal also included those which weren’t in our particular tour, but that are part of the self-guided Circle Farm Tour: Farmhouse, Smit & Co.w, Missing Goat Farm, Goat’s Pride, Fraser Valley Duck & Goose, and Neufield Farms.
Alicia, one of three restaurant owners, greeted us at the door as we entered, followed by many “hellos” from those crafting cocktails behind the bar as we made our way to our table. That’s certainly one way of making someone feel like a VIP.
The decor in the restaurant doesn’t scream “local”, as it’s arguably more upscale than what you’d expect in Abbotsford, a city more reputable for agriculture than fine dining. That said, the art is from local artists and the decor is sourced from local artisans and shops. Of course, the food is local too. With an abundance of farms to choose from, Executive Chef Jeff Massey and Restaurant Chef Bonnie Dueck take great pride in serving regionally-inspired, seasonal dishes.
Stuffed bell peppers from Tave’s Family Farm
Lepp Farm Market farmer sausage with Crisp Organics kale and feta
Paired with: Mt Lehman Winery’s 2012 “Symmetry” White Blend
This dish included everything that I need in my diet: vegetables, cheese, meat and wine. The feta was the dominant flavour, but all of the fresh and flavourful ingredients contributed to an overall satisfying couple of bites.
One Love Organic Farm‘s garlic scape veloute soup with leeks and zucchini
I think I dreamt about this soup for a couple of nights after eating it, and I can almost taste it as I look at the image now. Thick, green soup is not really an appealing thing to shovel into your mouth, until one tries something as creamy, rich and delicious as this soup. Full of garlic and drizzled with truffle oil, this is definitely a dish that I’d order again to whet my appetite for my entree.
Charcuterie boards with Smit & Co.w Farm Cheese and Goat’s Pride cheeses
Lepp Farm Market salami and sausage with Missing Goat Farm rhubarb jam (loved the jam)
Paired with: Mt Lehman Winery’s 2012 Unoaked Chardonnay
Meat and cheese is pretty self explanatory, but I was impressed by the delicious assortment of both that we were provided. I was surprised to discover how subtle the Stinging Nettle cheese was from Smit & Co.w, but I was impressed with the idea nonetheless. And since stinging nettle is so good for you, the cheese must be good for you too…no? Wishful thinking.
My favourite cheese was Goat’s Pride’s Brie, but I also love their Tomme de Chevre.
Fraser Valley Duck and Goose duck breast (cooked medium)
Crisp Organics swiss chard, asiago and pine nut pie and Tave’s Family Farm poached heirloom tomatoes
Paired with: Mt Lehman Winery’s 2011 Pinot Noir Reserve
A lovely pairing. The flaky pastry was filled with an aged asiago giving the chard a nice “baked with parmesan” taste, that was further complemented by the earthy, nutty flavour from the pine nuts. The duck was wonderfully pink inside, juicy, and with a simple consommé that allowed the flavour of the duck to shine.
Lepp Farm Market roasted pork loin
Tave’s Family Farm eggplant tiene and braised kale from Crisp Organics
Paired with: Mt Lehman Winery’s 2008 “Pioneer Reserve” Red Blend
Not my favourite dish. The pork was tough and lacklustre, and since it was the focal point it couldn’t be redeemed by the roasted vegetables.
Neufield Farms fresh strawberries, Mascarpone cheesecake
This was the perfect size for a dessert, especially after so many courses.
It was plated beautifully and tasted delicious. The cheesecake itself was smooth and light and was accompanied by a vanilla custard, strawberry coulis, fresh strawberries and a brown sugar graham cracker sprinkling on top that was a nice touch for added texture.
Leaving on a good note, we finished our wine (if we had room in our stomach) and hopped on the bus back to Vancouver. A successful day all and all, especially since many of us had purchased goods along the way. It’s not often that I venture out to Abbotsford, but coming back with bags of fresh produce, meat, wine and cheese makes the trip seem worth it. Next time, I’ll try to bike it.
Other stops on Abbotsford’s Circle Farm Tour include: Rockweld Farms, Goat’s Pride Dairy, Clayburn Comforts Soap & Body Works, Fraser Valley Trout Hatchery, Maan Farms Market and Estate Winery, Neufeld Farms, Bakerview EcoDairy, Birchwood Dairy and Granny & Grumpa’s Antiques. Abbotsford Farm & Country Market and Sparkes Corn Barn are seasonal, like The Applebarn Pumpkin Farm at Taves. Find out more information here.
For more photos check out my Circle Farm Tour Abbotsford set on Flickr.