Smile Politely

Allerton Farm-to-Mansion dinner

After a busy weekend at Pygmalion X and Made Fest, an evening in Allerton Park awaited me and my husband. Drawn in by the promises of bacaro-produced foods, and local beers and and wines from businesses and people we have come to love. Guest chef Thad Morrow (of bacaro) highlighted flavors of autumn with the help of those who produce fresh fruits, vegetables and herbs at the University of Ilinois Sustainable Student Farm, as well as fresh meats from Triple S Farm located in Stewardson, IL. Ticket prices were $100 and all proceeds went towards stewardship and educational efforts in Allerton’s natural areas.

Live music and a cocktail hour set the mood right when you walked in with drinks being poured at the bar. Mingling and looking at the different tables lined out with descriptions were there to tease you with what was to come. We were able to meander throughout the hallways and upstairs, which is usually off limits to park visitors, making it feel special.

A brief presentation was given introducing the owners/curators for the businesses that had a hand in creating the event.

The bar was set up with eight pairings: half beer, half wine. Allerton paired up with JT Walker’s for the beer which highlighted local talents; KO Fusion Gose (5.8% ABV, 10 IBU) made with fresh lime basil at Big Thorn Farm in Georgetown, IL. Tumble Inn India Pale Ale (IPA 6.3% ABV, 44 IBU). Crane Alley, Crane Machine (Porter, 6.7% ABV, 31 IBU), which teamed up with Flying Machine Coffee to add fresh ground espresso. Probably Pablo, a smoked Saison (5.8% ABV, 18 IBU) from Black Dog Smoke and Ale House, was seriously smoky.
The wines featured came from the Sleepy Creek Vineyards, in Fairmont, IL. Wines included: Dreamer, a semi-dry wine made from from Seyval Blanc grapes; Sour Puss, a citrusy semi-sweet white wine made from Vignoles, La Crescent and Traminette grapes; Calavera con Gato, a smooth, lightly oaked dry red wine made from Noiret; and Hen Pecked, a sweeter red wine made from Frontenac and Concord grapes.

The night of tasting began as soon as presentations were finished and nine tables were set up throughout the area with a new offering in each room. We started with the carrot soup, which had scallions, radish, kohlrabi, and soy.

Chicken Liver Mousse; smoked pepper relish, basil, tabasco cracker.

Pork Meatballs; leeks, heirloom tomato sauce, parmasean.

House Smoked Triple S Pork Loin; collard greens, ham hock, pork biscuit.

BLT Crostini; triple S bacon, tomato, head lettuce, aioli.

Bacon S’more; smoked marshmallow, bacon chocolate, graham cracker, sea salt

Apple Pie; Caramelized apples, cinnamon streusel, bourbon crema

My favorites were the carrot soup, which was creamy, crunchy, with tang and a bit of spice. Pork meatballs were classically prepared and delicious. Green bean and potato salad, with the perfect amount of crisp onions and salt, was another. Apple Pie won the dessert round, with the buttery crust and cinnamon streusel.

Great weather, amazing food, and spectacular drinks concluded an eventful weekend in Illinois. Can’t wait for the next one!

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