Are you looking for a summer culinary experience? Well we want to tell you about Strathmere’s Field to Plate Dinner series featuring menus inspired by their fields and created by Executive Chef Angelo Camposarcone of The Retreat Café. Located in North Gower, Strathmere opened up nearly 40 years ago and is a family owned business situated on a picturesque 200-acre property that includes a Confederation stone farmhouse built in 1860, a 150-year barn and a garden house. Most recently, they expanded and opened up a spa and wellness retreat offering spa services, yoga, outdoor hot tubs, nature trails, and The Retreat Café.
The Retreat Café is a 100% scratch kitchen, featuring handcrafted artisan food. All menus are seasonal and Executive Chef Angelo Camposaracone and Master Gardener/Grower, Colin Lundy work together to bring food from the fields of Strathmere to your plate.
Angelo Camposarcone started his culinary career at the very young age of 13, and within a year he could cut vegetables as well as any of the kitchen staff. By the age of 20, after years of working alongside very talented chefs, Angelo was promoted to Strathmere’s Executive Chef. He is self- taught and dedicated to running a scratch kitchen, working diligently within his philosophy of “Fresh, Local and Seasonal” | Source: Strathmere.
Colin and his wife, Eylie, joined Strathmere in 2004, in response to our search for an experienced gardener able to lead in growing fresh, seasonal produce for Strathmere kitchens. Under Colin’s leadership Strathmere has steadily expanded the gardens, adding an orchard, honey bees, perennial and annual fruits and vegetables, edible flowers, and herbs – and our flower gardens are more beautiful than ever | Source: Strathmere
Strathmere is currently featuring a field to plate dinner series happening on Wednesday nights with upcoming dates including: August 2 and October 4 at the new The Retreat Cafe. We were lucky to enough to be invited to come and enjoy this experience last Wednesday.
We were greeted on the Cafe's patio with a welcome cocktail made with Top Shelf Gin and we were invited to sit and enjoy it while other guests were arrived.
Around 5:30, were were invited on a tour of Strathmere’s gardens with their very own Master Gardener/Grower, Colin. During the extensive tour (don't wear heels) he showed us various areas of the grounds. Strathemere growns their own apples, fingerling potatoes, kale, beans, garlic, asparagus, and lettuce just to name a few.
After the garden tour, we are led back to The Retreat Café for the three-course blind tasting menu that featured an appetizer, entrée, and dessert. Each night is limited to around 30 people with the choice of communal table seating ($35/per person) or guests can choose the ultimate experience by sitting at The Chef’s Table ($70 per person).
Appetizer: basil, arugula, garlic scape, garlic chive pesto crusted raw beef carpaccio with mixed greens, arugula and radish salad with oregano oil and shaved parm.
Main course: Deconstructed summer stew. Rapini, kale, fingerling potato, Strathmere mixed beans, smoked ham hock, pork and sage sausage crumble with grilled roasted garlic nduja crostini
Dessert: strawberry rhubarb handpie with rose petal ice cream and sour cherry coulis.
This dinner was really enjoyable for us. We sat at the communal tables and were able to meet lot of people and chat with them throughout the evening. Chef Camposarcone came out and visited each table during the service to introduce himself and talk more about his menu, a nice touch. The meal was incredible and each course was fresh and flavourful. We would definitely recommend this if you are looking for a mid-week date night or want to get your friends together for a night out.
For more information or to reserve your seat at the next event, visit their website at: https://www.strathmere.com/calendar-of-events/field-to-plate-dinner-series-2/.
Disclosure: Ottawa Foodie Girlz were invited to attend this complimentary dinner/tasting event but was not obligated to write about it. All opinions about the event are our own.