Farmstead Table in Newton Centre, Massachusetts has been on my to-try list for quite some time, in part because it has been difficult to get a dinner reservation at this popular eatery. So when my cousin, Joyce and I planned to meet for lunch a few weeks ago, I suggested we meet at this cozy place to give it a try. It was on Joyce’s list too and we were not disappointed as you can see from the smile on her face! Joyce is also a professionally trained chef and is the owner of her own catering company, Relish With Zest.
Farmstead Table has been opened since 2012 and is co-owned by husband and wife team, Chad and Suzanne Burns who serve as Executive Chef and Pastry Chef, respectively. Chad’s culinary experience includes time at Radius, Aquitaine Bis and The Catered Affair while Suzanne trained at Anago, Tea Tray in the Sky and Grill 23. According to the website, Farmstead blends “French technique and new world innovation in a classic American country kitchen”.
The decor at Farmstead is minimalist. White walls, wood tables and mismatched chairs all painted in the same shade of green create a clean look to the restaurant. Tables are spaced relatively close together lending an intimacy to the dining experience. A small but cheerful bar seats 4 with the entire restaurant holding about 48 diners (according to our server, hence the reservation issue!). Folksy artwork and other whimsicals adorn the walls.
We started our meal with a delicious iced tea served farmstyle in a mason jar. Presentation is everything!
And while we were contemplating the menu, we were served a plate of Suzanne’s amazing spelt bread that just melts in your mouth, especially when slathered with some butter. We felt compelled to order one of Farmstead’s signature popovers to sample. Cooked to order, these are a prized item at Farmstead and are available “while they last”! It made us very happy. Perfectly cooked, crispy on the outside, rich and buttery on the inside. Absolutely delicious.
Our server was friendly and very attentive. She was also well versed in the menu which has something for everyone. It’s one of those menus that you read and say “thank God, real food”. We had a choice of two Special Soups, a tomato bisque or a brothy caramelized onion. Petite Fare included cauliflower with tahini yogurt and sumac (which our neighbors ordered and it looked delicious), whipped feta on toasts or Kennebec steak fries. For Entrees, our options ranged from a fritatta prepared with spring vegetables and goat cheese, a pasta with chicken tenders and brocoli rabe, a sophisticated grilled cheese with red wine mushrooms, and an array of proteins including a fish of the day (Cod), a Cornish Game Hen and our choices, Duck Breast Frites shown here
Duck breast was cooked medium-rare, sliced and served over arugula with a side of shoestring sweet potato fries. Joyce remarked that the duck was delicious and perfectly cooked. She would have preferred a thicker fry, but thought these had delicious flavor.
And my choice, the All Natural Half Pound Burger served with house-made beet pickles which are hiding underneath the tomatoes. Didn’t I just mention that I will never completely give up red meat in my post about Black Bean Burgers?
The burger was cooked medium and served on an onion bun with a thick slice of cheddar. I opted for a side salad instead of steak fries. The proportion of bun to burger was spot on and I would highly recommend it if you are in the mood for a substantial lunch. I really loved the beets – they were still crisp with all the wonderful flavors of a dill pickle. Hmmm, maybe I will try to make them at home.
Farmstead is closed on Mondays, but open for lunch and dinner Tuesday through Friday and brunch and dinner on the weekend. The brunch and dinner menus can be viewed online here.
While I was waiting for Joyce, the hostess mentioned to me that “lunch is nice, but dinner is the real deal”. I am eager to give Farmstead Table another try after dark!