An Enchanting Evening for Dinner on Dancing Ewe Farm

Monday, June 15, 2015
Where do you go when you want some delicious, authentic Italian cuisine, ambiance and atmosphere unlike anywhere you've experienced, a view of the sunset on a warm summer night where above the clatter of silverware you can hear the clanging of cowbells in the pasture below?  Sounds like a pretty tall order, right?  Well it's not.....all this and more can be found every Saturday evening at Dancing Ewe Farm in Granville, NY.
Dancing Ewe Farm
Dancing Ewe Farm in Granville, NY
Saturday evening my family had the chance to experience all this and more when we were hosted by Jody and Luisa Sommers for their Saturday Supper on the farm.  If you're picturing barbeque and checkered table clothes and hay bales, you might be correct at some farms, but at Dancing Ewe Farm dinner is nothing like what you might expect.  In fact, I can pretty much guarantee that it's probably quite the opposite of what you'd expect.   What we experienced was so far beyond our expectations in every way possible.  We had an evening that we'll be talking about for a long, long time!
Dancing Ewe Farm

When you make your reservation for dinner at the farm, you'll be expected to arrive at 6:00pm.  Upon arrival, you'll spend a little time getting acquainted with the other dinner guests, enjoy a little wine and have some time to take in the beauty of your surroundings.   And beautiful they are!

Dancing Ewe Farm Tuscany Style Dining
Although normally the dinner crowd consists of 30+ guests, last night's group was an intimate 15.   While we sipped on wine and enjoyed the view,  Luisa served some pizza, again not what you'd expect in pizza.   It was light and airy, a little crispy and loaded with delicate flavors and the perfect start to our evening.
Dinner at Dancing Ewe Farm in Granville NY
By 6:30 Jody brought us all together for a 30 minute tour of the farm. Beginning with some Sheep Keeping 101, Jody explained the basics of raising sheep, the process of milking the herd, and introduced us to the farm herding dogs.  William was more than happy to say "cheese".  Sorry, I couldn't resist that.
Our tour continued with a tour of the cheese-making areas of the farm where Jody and Luisa produce Pecorino (which means "using sheep's milk") using a technique derived specifically from a region in Tuscany called "Maremma".  Aside from a few types of pecorino, they also produce ricotta as well as salami, capocollo and pepperoni. Hearing about the cheese made us all hungry and by the time we got back to the dining room, it was time to begin our first course of the night, Antipasti.
Dancing Ewe Farm
This Antipasto Misto consisted of two kinds of their homemade cheese, their own homemade capocollo and salami, three types of bruschetta, a frittata with their own ricotta, and a deviled egg unlike anything I've ever tasted.  This plateful of antipasto was not only crazy delicious, it could have easily been my entire meal.  This plate serves ONE person.  Each guest was served this plateful of sinfully amazing delicacies.

Granville NY, Dancing Ewe Farm
The tour was fascinating!  If Jody ever retires from his farming business, he could get a job as a tour guide.  I'm pretty sure no one else could make sheep keeping sound so fascinating - and entertaining!  If you were thinking you could live without this part of the experience - you are mistaken.  Being able to see and hear all about the source and making of the food you are about to eat was definitely one of the many highlights of the evening!

  Once the tour was over, we returned to the barn for dinner.  I use the word 'barn' loosely because although we were definitely in a barn, you'll be hard-pressed to feel like you're dining in a barn.  The dining room Jody and Luisa have created is elegant yet rustic.  From the white tablecloths to the sparkling glassware to the fresh flowers on the table.....this dining experience is about as far from 'eating in a barn' as you could imagine.  Yet, what is the most enchanting part of the night is sitting 'in the barn' at this long dining table overlooking a lush, green pasture full of sheep.....all of which make you realize you are indeed dining in the most beautiful barn, in the most picturesque place ever. 
Dancing Ewe Farm
As beautiful as the surroundings and magical as the atmosphere, let's not forget we were here to eat dinner.  And what a dinner it was!!  Jody and Luisa cleverly pace your four-course meal because they know that unless they did, there's no way anyone would be able to eat everything that is served at this event.....and it is an event!  So after some time, our Primo Piatto was served.  Tonight's selection was Risotto with Pancetta and Mushrooms.
It was silky and creamy and so delicious. You could hear everyone at the table sighing as they took their first bite.  Your eyes don't deceive you - this is a HUGE serving of risotto served on a dinner plate.  My first thought was, "this would serve a family of four!"  After my antipasto platter, I knew enough to only eat a few bites and take the rest home because there were still two courses to come!
In between courses while the other guests enjoyed conversation, I took time to snap a few photos....because honestly, how could I not???  One of the highlights of the evening was that I finally got to meet a fellow blogger, Pattie Garrett.  Pattie writes a wonderful blog called, My Saratoga Kitchen Table.  She and I were in our element.  There was no shortage of photo ops at Dancing Ewe Farm.
Dinner Wine at Dancing Ewe Farm
Dancing Ewe Farm
Before long it was time for our Secondo Piatto e Contorno.  To us common folk, this loosely translates to our main course, but let me say, there was nothing common about anything tonight! 
This photo is courtesy of Pattie Garrett.....for a moment I forgot I was documenting my meal and began eating before shooting.  Thanks Pattie for having self restraint and terrific photography skills!

For our main course we were served chicken thighs cooked in olive oil and herbs served with potatoes pureed with their own homemade cheese and baked in these beautiful little puffs.  OMG!  There are no photos that could come close to conveying the ridiculously amazing flavors that were present in everything we were served.  Every morsel was filled with fresh, perfectly seasoned goodness.  There were no salt or pepper shakers on the table and I'm sure no one missed them.  As you might imagine, by now I was feeling beyond full and could barely handle more than a couple of bites of my chicken and potatoes.  Thank goodness Luisa provides take-home containers!
As the evening progressed, the sun lowered in the sky and the romantic glow of wine bottle lanterns and luminarias enhanced an already beautiful view.
Dinner on the Farm - Dancing Ewe Farm in Granville NYDinner at the Farm at Dancing Ewe Farm in Granville NY
After we'd all made our best attempts at our main course and had some time for more relaxed conversation and storytelling, it was time for our Dolce!!!  By now we were all stuffed to the max but when dolce was served.....everyone at the table ignored our tightening waistbands and ate like we were eating our first course.  As amazing as our entire meal was, our dessert was to die for!
This simple but elegant plate of Pannacotta di Ricotta con Mirtilli was out of this world.  With a delicate blueberry topping, this pannacotta was perhaps THE most delicious thing I've ever tasted.  Everyone agreed it was simply divine and the perfect ending to a most perfect night.  Regardless of how full we all were, everyone cleaned their plate.
Our evening ended a little after 9:00 and although I had a few reservations about having dinner and driving over an hour home, I can say it was most definitely worth the drive.  It was not just dinner out, it was a most enchanting evening that piqued every one of our senses.  From the beautiful views of the pastures and mountains beyond, to the ambiance inside the barn, to the wonderful meal and the warmest hospitality you'll find anywhere......dinner at Dancing Ewe Farm is a truly magical and unforgettable experience.  Jody and Luisa are two of the warmest and hardest working people I've ever met.  How they manage to keep such a pristine farm, produce so many gourmet products, attend farmers' markets each weekend and put together these dinners is beyond comprehension.  But they do and they do it all to the highest standard.  I promise you will love it as much as we did! 
If you'd rather enjoy a daytime experience, Jody and Luisa serve Sunday lunch on the farm too.  Lunch consist of a 3-course meal, but honestly.....I wouldn't trade our sunset experience for anything.  I can't imagine anything better!  Please use the link below to check out their website for more information and to make a reservation to visit soon.  It is worth every penny and remember....this is not like going to your local chain restaurant for dinner.  This is an entire evening in an authentic Italian dining experience filled with tradition, atmosphere, homemade ingredients made on the premises and served fresh and steaming hot with a view that is nothing short of breathtaking.  Do I sound overly enthusiastic?  Probably, but I promise you will be the same when you tell your friends about your evening at Dancing Ewe!  It is just that good!
Dancing Ewe Farm in Granville NY Thanks for reading and come back soon to Life As I See It.  Don't forget to use the links below for more information on Dancing Ewe Farm and to check out Pattie's terrific blog, My Saratoga Kitchen Table.  If you know someone who would enjoy dinner at the farm, please use the share buttons below this post to share with a friend, either on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter or email.

To read my blogpost on my earlier visit to Dancing Ewe Farm during the Washington County Fiber Tour, click on this link:
Olive Oil made from olives harvested each August by Jody & Luisa in Italy!

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