More Details About the Birchwood Cafe/SGT Earth Day Community Dinner on 4/17


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Last week, I wrote that Simple, Good, and Tasty would be co-hosting our first-ever Earth Day Community Dinner with our experienced, local-food loving friends at the Birchwood Cafe. This week, I'm excited to fill in a few of the details.

The event will start at 6:30 with a bit of mingle time, which will include several passed appetizers and tasty drinks. Chef Marshall Paulsen is feverishly working on the menu for our four-course meal as I write this post, and he says that meat-eaters will be served both meat and fish, along with a vegetable course and dessert. (Vegetarians should expect four vegetarian courses.) I'll share details about the menu as I get them.

Earth Day Theme: Get Your Food Directly From Your Farmers! 

 Tracy Singleton, owner of the Birchwood Cafe, and I spent some time talking about what Earth Day means to us, and how local food contributes to the health of our planet. We both feel strongly about supporting local and organic food and farmers, and we agree that buying food directly from them is a terrific way to support sustainable practices.

At this super-cool event, we'll be highlighting farmers who sell their food directly to consumers. That means you can come to the Birchwood for an amazing meal, a terrific experience, and the chance to meet local farmers -- and you can leave with a farm share, a cheese share, a half a cow, and more. Andy Peterson from Peterson's Limousin Farms has confirmed that he'll be there to tell us about what he does and why, and we're hoping to have several other farmers there too. (You don't have to buy all of their food directly, of course. We'll also be happy if you continue to support your local co-op when you leave.)

Here are the details:

  • What: EARTH DAY COMMUNITY DINNER at the Birchwood Cafe
  • When: Sunday, April 17, 2011, 6:30 p.m.
  • Cost: $60 for a four course meal and appetizers, including beer and wine (vegetarian options available)
  • RSVP: call the Birchwood Cafe at 612.722.4474 or email them at
  • Space: is getting more limited every day. Please don't delay!

We'll have giveaways, live music, great food, and other fun things. We hope to see you there!

Here's a look at the menu from Marshall Paulsen, featuring local food in snout-to-tail kind of way:

Four passed hors d’oeuvres

  • Oysters Rockefeller  – pernod, butter, spinach, parsley, crumbs
  • Artichoke Dip – purple endive, fried capers, quinoa cracker
  • Portabella Pate – parmesan, celery, lemon zest
  • Pig’s Head Terrine – olive oil cracker, wasabi white bean, cilantro

Featured cocktail

Rhubarb Ginger Ale with Prairie Organic Vodka

First course

Catfish & Crayfish - coconut lemongrass broth, daikon, kale, sriracha, fried okra


Smoked Tofu - tabouleh, raw zucchini, breakfast radish, spicy rhubarb, black olive oil, chives

Second course

Pork Belly & Skins - soft polenta, fiddlehead ferns, hazelnuts, apple & cinnamon salad, balsamic brown butter


Cavatelli - asparagus, fennel, chickpeas, arugula, roasted tomato

Third course

Beef & Chicken Bits - heart, tongue, avocado mashed potatoes, demiglace, fried onions, favas


Spinach Soufflé - porcini duxelle, preserved lemon oil, fried onions, favas


Grilled Honey Sponge Cake - gold raspberries, Riesling syrup, orange whipped cream


Chocolate & Cheese - chocolate birch bark & Star Thrower skyr, ricotta & honey, PastureLand aged raw cheddar & pear sauce, Shepherd’s Way blue cheese & maple marconas

Photos from last year's Birchwood Cafe Earth Day Community dinner courtesy of David Owen.


Lee Zukor is the founder of Simple, Good, and Tasty. Email him at