Tuesday evening we had the pleasure of feasting and exploring Northwest ciders at The Herbfarm in Woodinville. The main purpose of the dinner was to honor Dr. Norton, Gary Moulton, and Peter Mitchell for their service to improving the quality of Northwest ciders over the past several decades.
This was our first experience with a 6-course, 4 ½ hour dinner event. To start the evening off, we toured their formal herb garden where we sampled various herbs and flowers that would be used with the dinner and heard a little bit of their story. The first course was a trio for cider which featured emmer blini with housemade fresh chevre and various toppings with a champagne-style cider from Finnriver. The second course featured farmstead rabbit paired with Wescott Bay’s traditional cider. The third course was squab paired with Wildfire Semisweet Ember and our own Cliffbreaks Blend. The fourth course – pork with Red Barn’s Burro Loco. We had a cheese and house-made prosciutto paired with Wandering Angus Bloom cider. For dessert, balsamic bing cherries with Bavarian cream paired with Blue Mountain’s cherry cider.
The presentation for each course was elegantly done and many of them had a cider reduction to compliment the entree. The portions were sized appropriately so as not to have overeaten. The Herbfarm did the best the best job that I have experienced so far in pairing cider elegantly with food. It was a very enjoyable time and it was hard to believe that it was after 11:00 when we left. The hard part was keeping alert for deer on the 3-hour drive home.
The dinner event at The Herbfarm was definitely a highlight to our dining experiences and a great opportunity to connect with other cider makers and enthusiasts. There were several people capturing photos of the evening, we'll try to connect with them soon and share the feast visually. A very big thank you to Nancy Bishop of Wildfire Cidery and Sharon Campbell of Tieton Cider Works for organizing such a wonderful event.