When you think of dinner on a farm, you might envision a long table set in the middle of a field, the way many local producers host summer visitors and showcase their bounty. A farm on the South Shore offers a more refined experience, tapping into a desire for city-caliber dining in a gracious rural locale. Even the wine isn’t an afterthought. You get advice from a wine pro for these bring-your-own-bottle affairs.
The setting is Just Right Farm, a 300-year-old spot in Plympton owned by Kimberly Russo, 55, and her husband, Mark, a veterinarian. On their 12-acre property, they offer multi-course, weekend repasts June through September, held in an elegant screened-in house that seats 36, softly lit by antique oil lamps, with floral arrangements adorning the room. Diners sit at one of three ashwood tables Kimberly Russo crafted herself (she’s a furniture maker by training). At this farm-to-table event, most ingredients traveled only from the field to the kitchen. “Eighty percent of what’s on the plate is grown by me,” says Russo, adding that bread, pasta, pickles, and desserts are also made here.
What you are eating is no mere picnic fare. These five-course prix fixe dinners ($140 per person) are prepared by Russo, chef Elaine Murphy, and assistant chef Marilyn Browne. A recent menu included chilled fennel soup, a locally raised pork rib chop prepared with sweet-tart flavors and plated with rosemary grits, and berries with chevre and caramel.
To complement the fare, Russo teamed up with a nearby wine pro.
Ralph Hersom, of Ralph’s Wines & Spirits in Hingham, designs pairings for every dinner. As the former wine director at Manhattan’s Le Cirque, he delights in personalized service. Guests can purchase wines at his shop before the dinner, or if they are coming from afar, Hersom will handle the transaction by phone, working within a customer’s budget. He delivers wines to the farm, chilled or decanted as needed. It’s a convenient arrangement because Hersom and his wife, Kim, a personal chef, frequently attend as guests. The first time they went, he recalls Kim’s delight. “She turned to me and said, ‘Kimberly Russo puts Martha Stewart to shame.’ ”
Another attendee, Peter Welsh, has dined at the farm twice, and is planning to return.
The Cohasset resident appreciates how Hersom’s advice has led to new discoveries, such as a barrique-aged dessert wine, made from raisined grapes, from Italy’s Veneto region. It paired splendidly one night with a dish of buttery pastry, berries, and ice cream. Welsh likens the experience to dining at a one-star Michelin restaurant.
“It’s a city meal in a beautiful pastoral setting,” he says.
Just Right Farm, 140 Palmer Road, Plympton, 781-936-5330, justrightfarm.com
Ralph’s Wines & Spirits, 211 Lincoln St., Hingham, 781-749-9463, www.ralphswinesandspirits.comEllen Bhang can be reached at email@example.com.