I have never before been to a dining event where a herd of horses was staged to enter the pasture abutting the banqueting area during the cocktail hour. Does that make me plebeian? While utterly impressive, it was not even necessary to have the beautiful animals silently nuzzling one another and generally looking sleek and majestic, given that all else was picture perfect in terms of ambiance. It was a balmy September evening; the women needed only light sweaters, men were experiencing that rare feeling of actually being climactically comfortable in collared shirts. The grass, soft and pliable, somehow did not cause heels to dig into the earth. Two guitar players strummed under an enormous tree as the sky’s hue changed to a soft pink behind them. Champagne and bacon Bloody Marys were passed. Blinis smeared with avocado cream and piled high with crab meat and rice paper-wrapped rolls filled with luscious chunks of watermelon, rare beef, and bleu cheese were whetting palates. A long table was set up on the crest of a knoll overlooking the enormous and gorgeous estate in the distance. See: who needs horses?
I was looking at The Biltmore House in Asheville and I was attending the seasonal suppers they offer called “A Moveable Feast.”
Chef Damian Cavicchi started us off with a fabulous poached lobster tail, and the sweet corn panna cotta should be available in bowls as far as I am concerned. The menu is below, but another highlight was the wood grilled steak, accompanied by oxtail-porcini pot pie, and dwelling on a creamy bed of Mississippi comeback sauce. I had no idea what Mississippi comeback sauce was (maybe I really am plebeian), so it was rather a surprise when my new friend/the diner to my left almost exploded with fervor and enthusiasm over explaining it. The sauce is Thousand Island meets remoulade and she was cheerleader team captain meets crazed drug addict.
But it was really good sauce.
Biltmore offers these dinners on different locales on their property several times a year. Go because the venue will be stunning, the food delightful, the company diverse and fun. I can’t promise you horses and I am sorry about that. Unnecessary, yes. But pretty spectacular too.
Menu for A Moveable Feast on Dry Cow Hill at Biltmore
Friday, September 13, 2013
COOL POACHED LOBSTER TAIL
Sweet Corn Panna Cotta, Cucumber, Basil, Shishito Pepper Vinagrette
DUCK LIVER TORCHON
Charcoal-roasted Stone Fruits, Cardamom Honey, Quinoa Biscuit
Icy Sorrel and Pink Peppercorn Infused Limoncello
HERITAGE FARMS PORK COTECHINO
Spelt Dumplings in Broth, Grilled Fennel, Gochujang Chili Sauce, Chopped Peanuts
WOOD GRILLED TERES MAJOR STEAK
Oxtail-Porcini Pot Pie, Rapini alla Romana, Mississippi Come-Back Sauce
BRINED PEACHES AND GRILLED POUNDCAKE
Blackberry Curd, Rosemary
DARK CHOCOLATE OLIVE OIL CAKE
Preserved Cherries, Pistachio Chantilly
For more information, visit biltmore.com/visit/calendar/moveable-feast.asp