Pop-Up Dinner: A Scenic Feast
Pop-up dinners are a thing. Just when you think you’ve caught on to the latest trend, something else “pops up” to slap you in the face and tell you how much you suck at staying up to date with the cool kids. Generally, pop-up dinners are a way of having a fancy meal wherever the eff you want. Typically, pop-up dinners take place outdoors in a very scenic area. Think candlelight dinners on the beach, sunsets in the country, farm-side dinners on the horizon, etc. Pop-up dinners can be hosted by friends and family, or they can be hosted by restaurants. We found out about this concept by getting an invite from my sister to her boyfriend’s farm. The dinner was a true attempt of farm to table (like…table is on the farm).
The beauty of pop-up dinners are that anybody can do it anywhere…in theory. You just have to make sure you have a means of getting the food cooked and serving it to your guests. However, the options are endless in terms of decor and menu. At the pop-up dinner we attended, it was right next to the actual harvest of the farm. The scenery was the farmhouse on one side, and on all other sides were crops and farm life ranging from leafy greens and tomato plants to chickens and goats. The tables were under a few white tents, with strands of lights set up and a country-themed decor. Aside from being one of the most humid and hot days of the year, the scene was perfect.
One of my favorite parts of the concept of pop-up dinners is the menu. Hosts can craft the menu according to the setting. Whether it is a seafood while waterfront on a summer day, or fall harvest on the farm in the autumn, there are endless options in creating a menu that allows guests to appreciate the food in a different manner. At the farm in Maryland (Third Way Farm), The menu started with a charcuterie board followed by a salad made of all the crops harvested at Third Way Farm. The next course was a tomato gazpacho (from the farm) with berries, assorted melons, and spicy watermelon balls. Finally, the main course was a braised goat with the locally harvested vegetables from the farm followed by a bourbon honey ice cream over herbed peach galette.
The chefs at Laurrapin in Havre De Grace, MD came to the farm to cook the meal. While a lot of the food was brought over and then warmed, they tried to cook as much of the food as fresh as possible. They did a good job getting the food out hot for each guest and trying to incorporate the farm’s food into each course. The most challenging part of the pop up dinner is ensuring that you have the equipment necessary to serve your crowd. Planning is important for these kind of events but when done right, the reward is quite impressive! If you are bored of your regular restaurants and want to try something new and creative with some friends – pop-up dinners are a great way to jump into something hip and new!