Eating well at Localicious

Alliance Bakery | Strawberry Cake

Alliance Bakery's desserts were fabulous, but their centerpiece took the cake.

If you’ve never attended Family Farmed Expo’s Localicious party, it’s an event where family farms are paired up with chef-driven restaurants. The freshest local fare is put in the chef’s hands and magic happens. The dish is then produced for a swarm of attendees who snag food almost before it’s finished being plated in a chaotic rush to try everything.

And who could blame them? There’s some wonderful food at this event and an equally enjoyable list of local wine, spirits, and beer available. Find a complete list of chefs, alcohol producers and vintners here.

I started with dessert first because my strategy was to hit the back of the room before the press of hungry people fanned out. Localicious isn’t about building a sit-down meal, it’s about sampling! I sampled away at Ruth and Phil’s Gourmet Ice Cream. If you haven’t tried the sour cherry sorbet or the sour cream cinnamon ice cream or put the two together in the same bowl, then you’re not living life right.

Signature Room | Savory Cannoli

Signature Room's savory cannoli

Another of the highlights was the gingerbread cake served by Alliance Bakery. They topped it with spiced pears in a caramel foam and topped the whole thing with a black and white sesame brittle. I like fruity, nutty desserts so this hit on all notes for me. They also scored with an apple pave topped with shaved cheddar that was a great balance of sweet and salty. The food they didn’t serve was equally impressive — I’m still amused by the chocolate-drizzled strawberry cake Alliance used as a centerpiece.

I moved on to the more savory dishes, trying a remarkable beet ravioli from Trattoria No. 10 that contained no pasta whatsoever. The most striking dish came from Chef Patrick Sheehan — he served up a savory cannoli with ricotta, radishes, micro-greens and sprinkled with sea salt. Chef Jared Van Camp’s sardine dish was equally good and I’m resolved to return to Old Town Social soon.

City Provisions

City Provisions served up homemade chorizo.

Probably the favorite of the evening was Cleetus Friedman’s housemade chorizo served atop a roasted parsnip polenta. If that combination of spicy meat and smooth polenta wasn’t enough to convince people that local food is the way to go, then I’m not sure what more can be done.

Congrats to the Chefs and Farmers for putting the theory of local-sustainable-organic into successful practice for another year’s Localicious.

I attended this event for free as a member of the press.