O.N.C.E. in Valhalla 3
O.N.C.E. (One Night Culinary Event) dinners are truly wonderful. All local food, prepared by the ever impressive JJ Gonson. O.N.C.E. in Valhalla is particularly fun; it's a 10-course culinary trip through the Viking afterworld, where you can eat and drink the food of the gods!
I met up with my good friend Mel, and we ascended the rainbow stairway to Valhalla, and were treated to delicious Island Creek oysters on the half shell, with Apex Orchards cider vinaigrette. Yum!
After finding our seats, we started in on the smorgasbord: Stillman Farm liverwurst, pickled RI herring, cured beef, rye hardtack, picked fiddlehead, pickled green beans, pickled ramps, a couple cheeses, and some fresh butter. It was all so tasty.
I picked up some Green River Ambrosia mead with blood of the gods added, making it extra delicious. It went very well with the parsnip soup with Soluna Farm's ras el hanout.
Odin came to the stage, to introduce us to Valhalla, and our next course: fire roasted leg of lamb from Stillman Farm, with butter roasted winter moon carrots and beets. This was SO good.
The next dish was ryeberry pilaf with Shady Oaks Organics' mushrooms two ways and house-made sauerkraut. I had to have a bit more mead, since we had reached the halfway point of the feast. I shouldn't neglect to mention that Slumbrew was there, too, handing out samples of their wonderful beers, and I definitely enjoyed a couple!
Young turkey, poached in Green River Ambrosia Cyzer, was next, and we were treated to an arm-wrestling match between Thor and one of our table-mates. Have I mentioned how fun Valhalla was yet?
The live music throughout the night was wonderful! And the most wonderful dish was up next as well: cheesy oats! They had Maine cheddar and Stillman ham, and were just as good as I had anticipated.
Next, the Lokis stole the show and we got to Party Viking Style. We were then refreshed with a lovely gastrique flavored with glacial sweet pear and bay leaf. Absolutely amazing.
Before introducing the next dish, JJ took to the stage to call up and thank a bunch of the wonderful people involved in putting on Valhalla and other O.N.C.E. productions. Everyone involved in these dinners works so hard, and it definitely shows! Beef stew was next, with Slumbrew Porter Square Porter braised Stillman Farm beef and Mary's Legendary Oat Cakes. This was one of the best dishes of the evening.
Before the final course, JJ took to the stage again, for more thanks. More wonderful people were pulled up on stage and given appreciation, and even I got called up on stage and thanked for my support, since this was my 20th O.N.C.E. dinner. It's not hard to support such a good cause though! Everyone should eat good, local food. We ended our delicious trip to Valhalla with the Blood of the Gods, a parfait with Sophia's Yogurt and Shelburne Farms honey.