Farm 255: foodie heaven in Athens, Georgia

I am so happy that I got to go to Farm 255 tonight with a bunch of cool people from code4lib.

The mixed olives (house-marinated with fennel and orange) and pickled eggs (with wild onion chives) were, collectively, the best $5 I’ve spent on food. Yes, the bowl of olive was $3 and the bowl of pickled eggs (two, split in half) was $2.

Jodi’s orecchiette with hedgehog and shiitake mushrooms in a roasted garlic and cream sauce ($13) was, dollar for dollar, almost that good, and that’s like saying that having the second-best orgasm in history is almost as good as having the best.

My ‘veg plate’ ($14) was a sampling of five things, presented in a meter-long trough as if it were a deconstruction. From left to right:

  • Spicy vegetable slaw: they’re not kidding, this tasted like cabbage and onions pickled in jalapeño, but in a good way.
  • Braised collards: a good-sized serving, cooked thoroughly but not to steam-table extremes, salted just enough to bring out the flavor.
  • Sautéed mushrooms: a bit dry, a bit chewy, not as flavorful as I’d have hoped.
  • Steamed creamer potatoes: unremarkable, mostly flavorless.
  • Petite salad: immaculate greens with pickled onion slivers.

We shared our olives with the table, and they shared with us a taste of two red wines (I don’t remember which) and five delicious cheeses:

  • Nellie Bell’s feta with pickled onion: this may be the only onion dish Jodi has ever enjoyed.
  • Luna’s fresh chevre with lambrusco jelly: delicious, though a sesame bagel with cream cheese and peach jam this morning was very good in the same way.
  • Truffle sottocenere [redundant for emphasis, I’d imagine] with local honey: Jodi had the last bit of this; I think we’ve had it at Wild Oats and could probably find it again.  She loved it.
  • Nevat with fresh thyme: I don’t remember tasting this, actually.
  • Tilston Point blue with raisin chutney: very tasty, well paired.

We also shared a molten chocolate cake (really a souffle of eggs, butter, and cocoa — and perhaps a speck of flour) with crème fraîche, and had some delicious coffee.

The bill was somewhat sinful, but the experience (two to three hours of excellent food, drink, and conversation) was worth it.

And, as a bonus, after I put a couple of bucks into the guitarist’s case and asked him if the song he’d been playing was by Eliades Ochoa (it wasn’t originally, but he thought Ochoa’s recording was the best he’d heard), he played guajiro music all night.

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