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Berlin to experience farm-to-table with dinner

Produce from the Berlin Farmer’s Market is on display during a recent event this season. There will be a Farm-to-Table Dinner on Sept. 18 at the Atlantic Hotel in Berlin.

By Rachel Ravina, Staff Writer

(Sept. 12, 2019) Residents can experience the true farm-to-table experience during a dinner next Wednesday at the Atlantic Hotel in downtown Berlin.

“I just think it shows what Berlin is about. It builds community,” said Ivy Wells, Berlin’s community and economic development director. “Who doesn’t like to eat outside with your friends and neighbors under the stars?”

The farm-to-table dinner will start with happy hour with drinks and hors d’oeuvres from 5-6 p.m. on Sept. 18. Dinner will start at 6:15 p.m. at the hotel on 2 S. Main St.

Admission costs $50, and includes an appetizer, a salad course, a main course, a dessert, a non-alcoholic beverage, and a free carriage ride around town. Only 100 tickets are available, and sales end this Friday, Sept. 13. Interested parties can visit the “Berlin Farm to Table Dinner” event on Facebook and buy tickets at

George and Pat Bilenki will also perform that evening.

Wells said that the dinner will be held outside of the Atlantic Hotel, weather permitting, and will be moved to the hotel’s ballroom should the weather not cooperate.

“I’m looking forward [to] having dinner with all of my friends, and just being able to eat some delicious food that I didn’t cook myself,” Wells said.

Wells said she approached food suppliers who have participated in this year’ Berlin Farmers Market about the dinner, and they were receptive to the idea. Event proceeds will benefit the Berlin Farmers Market.

“I’ve wanted to do a farm-to-table event here,” Wells said.

Toby Gilbert, owner of Gilbert’s Provisions in Berlin, features his signature sourdough bread during a recent Berlin Farmer’s Market. Gilbert will bring molasses sourdough bread to the Farm-to-Table Dinner next Wednesday at the Atlantic Hotel on Main Street. Gilbert will also prepare an appetizer for the meal.

Wells said the following farms agreed to contribute food for the upcoming dinner: Baywater Farms in Salisbury, Bratten Farms Produce in Pittsville, Chesterfield Heirlooms in Pittsville, and Cross Farms in Berlin.

Wells added additional ingredients would come from J&M Meat Market and Grille as well as the Atlantic Hotel. Additionally, DelVecchio’s Bakery would provide dessert and Gilbert’s Provisions will provide molasses sourdough bread. She also said that Masterpiece Flower and Bluebird farms would donate flowers for the evening.

Atlantic Hotel Chef Leo D’Aleo and Gilbert’s Provisions Owner Toby Gilbert will prepare the food.

“Any event when people are out and about and eating is good for Berlin,” Gilbert said. “It’s a small community, so it’s always good when people get together.”

As for the menu, guests can look forward to a quartet of culinary flavor:

The appetizer course will feature an early fall vegetable bruschetta, fresh herbed goat cheese with French bread, pickled asparagus and Brussels sprouts, dilly beans and pickles, as well as sweet and spicy jalapeños.

A salad of mixed greens, heirloom tomatoes and Gilbert’s fermented garlic ranch dressing will serve as the second course with a side of sourdough bread.

Stefanie Barfield, co-owner of Chesterfield Heirlooms in Pittsville, shows off ripe tomatoes during a Berlin Farmer’s Market earlier this season. Barfield will contribute produce to the Farm- to-Table Dinner next week at the Atlantic Hotel on Main Street in downtown Berlin.

Guests will have a choice of pasta with peppers and butternut squash as a vegetarian option, or a roasted and rubbed herb New York strip steak with a shitake mushroom demi glaze and roasted potatoes.

For dessert, guests can choose from a variety of baked goods, kettle corn and fresh fruit.

“It’s just a really great way to kind of bridge the gap between those two worlds,” said Stefanie Barfield, co-owner of Chesterfield Heirlooms in Pittsville. “It’s just a nice way to get to know people that are actually consuming what you grow.”

Tim Fields, manager of Baywater Farms in Salisbury, said he loves when different producers get to work together during events like this one.

“It’s always great to see other people’s products at work and see that good cohesion happen,” Fields said.