In case you haven’t noticed, agritourism is thriving in the Wichita area these days. Multiple farms and ranches, that are just short drives away, have sprung up to help consumers get their local food fix. One of these places is Elderslie Farm.
Elderslie started out as a simple pick-your-own blackberry patch and breakfast spot back in 2012, then they added some farm to table dinners on a limited basis. Thanks in part to a lot of good press and word of mouth they have expanded. Last year they renovated their farmhouse and patio to accommodate more guests and improve their kitchen facilities. That has allowed them to expand their weekly growing season dinners as well.
Steph and I’s wedding anniversary seemed like a reasonable excuse to treat ourselves to one of the farm to table dinners. The evening started out on their patio and fortunately for us the weather was beautiful for the end of June. We were served wine and appetizers as we sat and gazed at native plants, open fields, and playful goats. The first appetizer was a simple puff pastry square baked with feta. The second starter featured goat cheese from a neighboring farm spread on a toasted bread and drizzled with honey. The goat cheese and honey combination was delicious. I would have been content sitting on the patio for the rest of the evening drinking wine and eating goat cheese, but alas we were summoned into the farmhouse to begin our dinner.
The second course could best be described as a whipped soup. The pureed turnips had almost a foam like consistency and were topped with a basil infused olive oil and croutons. Up next was another glass of wine and the pasta dish which consisted of Gnudi, zucchini ribbons, and burrata cheese in a light white sauce.
The gnudi was very similar to gnocchi, but made with ricotta instead of potatoes. It was wonderfully chewy and the addition of fresh herbs and the delicate sauce made it a delicious dish. The fourth course was a roasted beet, cucumber, and field green salad with crushed pistachios. I typically am not a big cucumber eater, but I found this salad tasty. The simple dressing helped highlight the flavors of the beets and cucumber and the pistachios added a salty crunch. Next came the main course which was roasted pork tenderloin with cauliflower puree, and lemony green beans. I was not overly impressed with the pork tenderloin and that is only because I am a pork tenderloin snob.
It would have benefited from a bolder rub or
marinade as well as better exterior crust. It was cooked to about medium doneness, which is better than most restaurants can manage. The cauliflower puree accompanied the meat nicely and was surprisingly creamy. Toasted quinoa added some crunch to the plate as well. The star of the dish was the sautéed green beans and the preserved lemon that accompanied them. The salty citrus flavor of the brined lemon paired perfectly with green beans and had me searching out a recipe for preserved lemons afterwards. At this point we were getting full so luckily the final course was up next. For dessert we were served a walnut shortbread with blackberries and cream. The shortbread was good enough I could have eaten it plain with its delightful salty and sweet flavors and crunchy walnuts. The blackberries were slightly sour and far superior to anything you can purchase in the store. Alongside a cup of Reverie coffee it was a great way to end the night.
We had a great evening at Elderslie enjoying locally grown produce presented in an upscale manner amidst a relaxed Kansas atmosphere. The service was top-notch from start to finish as well. At $70 a person this is on the higher end of dinners in Wichita, but considering you get three glasses of wine and quality food I think it’s worth the price. These dinners are popular so reservations are required and the menu will change monthly to allow different produce to be highlighted.