Restaurant offers turnip specials for fundraiser
NEWFANE- For one night only, on Friday, December 6, the Four Columns Artisan Restaurant and the Friends of the Wardsboro Library invite everyone to celebrate the season of the Gilfeather turnip, Vermont’s state vegetable, with three special dishes added to the restaurant’s regular dinner menu.
The dinner menu specials for this one evening, which is a fundraiser for the Friends’ organization, include the same Vermont-grown ingredient: Gilfeather turnips from Dutton’s Farm in Newfane.
Nick Squires, general manager at the Four Columns, said the restaurant is honored to host the Gilfeather dinner. Chef de cuisine Erin Bevan said that the Gilfeather turnip is a remarkable vegetable in that it lends itself to both sweet and savory applications, and that it is so versatile, yielding a variety of different taste experiences depending on treatment.
Diners have two options for ordering from the menu. They may choose the prix fixe menu as a three course meal for $45, not including tax and gratuity, or order just one or two of the special Gilfeather turnip dishes.
For starters, there will be a warm Gilfeather sformato (sformato is an Italian version of a soufflé) with wild mushrooms, flax crisps, cider crème fraiche, pickled Gilfeather, and petit mustard green salad.
For those who claim to shun the flavor of turnips, the Gilfeather turnip has creamy texture, and because it stays in the ground until after a series of hard frosts, it is sweet and mild, without the typical bitter taste. Bevan has used this sweetness to its best advantage in each of the dishes she has created. For the main course, diners may try Gilfeather gnocchi, lightly-sauced in an oxtail ragu made from local beef, over a Trout River “Stout Trout” beer and Gilfeather puree, served with Dutton’s Farm kale, Parish Hill Reverie cheese, and for a bite of crisp, Gilfeather chips.
For dessert, Bevan is making Gilfeather Napoleons with Vermont maple syrup and Gilfeather crème, and Scott Farm heirloom apple gelee in a spiced puff pastry, garnished with bourbon-caramel and dark chocolate.
The dinner is, in part, a benefit for the Friends of the Wardsboro Library, recent hosts of the Gilfeather Turnip Festival. There is a suggested donation of $5 per check, which the Four Columns Inn has generously offered to match. The funds raised go to support the cost of the 1840s farmhouse and attached barn which houses the Wardsboro Public Library, a facility that is owned and maintained by the Friends. The third edition of the “Gilfeather Turnip Cookbook,” published by the Friends, plus some unique handmade turnip ornaments, will be on sale at the event. The cookbook contains more than 100 ways to prepare the state vegetable.
The Four Columns Artisan Restaurant is at 21 West Street on the Town Green. Dinner hours are 5:30 and 8:30 pm. For reservations for the Gilfeather Menu dinner event, call (802) 365-7713 or visit www.fourcolumnsvt.com.
Learn more about the lore, cultivation, and gastronomy of the Gilfeather turnip at www.wardsborovermont.com.