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The Best Farm-to-Table Venues in the United States

SmarterTravel

This story originally appeared on Yahoo! Travel.

If you live in an urban environment, outdoor dining can be a bit of a letdown.

The search for a meal that can be enjoyed in the fresh air and sunshine often results in cramming yourself in a hot metal chair on a sidewalk while a city bus chugs by.

Need to get away? Check out six of the country’s best farm-to-fork alfresco dining venues, including a chic metropolitan rooftop farm and a sweeping ranch-side winery.

Outstanding in the Field

This tried and true “roving culinary adventure” makes stops from coast to coast on local, sustainable farms. Chefs from well-known restaurants jump at the chance to cook a five-course meal served during dusk at a very long table. Guests enjoy cocktails and a farm tour before dinner, and the tradition of bringing your own plate makes the family-style service feel like home. Tickets are steep ($250 per person), with the most coveted being the “Big Sur” secret-spot dinner, which usually sells out within minutes.

Tickets go on sale once a year.

Apple Street Farm, Essex, Massachusetts

Apple Street Farm in Essex offers a five-course meal and wine pairing enjoyed in a rustic, outdoor setting. The evening starts with a tour of the farm, followed by seasonal cocktails and hors d’oeuvres.

The celebrated chefs of Boylston Street restaurant L’Espalier prepare the organic dinner with seasonal dishes, such as pork loin with baby gem lettuce or grilled bass with corn pudding.

Dinners will be held July 11 and 12, August 8 and 9, September 5 and 6, and October 3 and 4. Call L’Espalier at 617-262-3023 for reservations. Tickets are $180 per person.

El Dorado Kitchen, Sonoma, California

Let the farm come to you at this upscale yet relaxed restaurant in California’s Sonoma Valley. Ask to be seated on the restaurant’s lush terrace and dine on farm-fresh poultry, fresh fish, and seasonal vegetables. El Dorado Kitchen embodies Sonoma’s laid-back vibe while serving produce that feels freshly picked from the backyard; the wine options are (of course) plentiful.

The current summer menu includes starters like roasted young beets and Wagyu beef along with entrees like lemon-ricotta ravioli, Liberty Farms duck confit, and seafood paella. Make sure you save room for dessert—the profiteroles are to die for.

The restaurant is part of El Dorado Hotel, and it offers breakfast, lunch, and dinner to all diners, not just hotel guests. Reservations are recommended.

Soter Vineyards, Carlton, Oregon

Opened in 2007, Soter Vineyards is a 240-acre property located on Mineral Springs Ranch, southwest of Portland. The vineyard specializes in Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and sparkling wines; for $20 per person, visitors can make an appointment to enjoy a small-group wine tasting in the lodge while overlooking the sprawling sustainable vineyard. (Bonus: The tasting fee is waived if you purchase a bottle.) Though snacks are not offered, this place is worth visiting for the breathtaking views alone.

Blackberry Farm, Walland, Tennessee

This sprawling countryside luxury hotel beckons guests who long for the life only seen in Country Time Lemonade commercials. Guests at Blackberry Farm can lunch on farm-fresh options (selections change daily) in the foothills of the Great Smokey Mountains, which in itself seems worthy of a long getaway.

The 62-room resort also provides the option of enjoying a full-service “Creekside Picnic” anywhere on the 4,200-acre property; near the boathouse or on Walland Pond are two popular locations.

Riverpark, New York, New York

If you just can’t escape the city, and that city happens to be New York, you can at least escape the sidewalk and take refuge at Riverpark. Located on East 29th and Riverside, Tom Colicchio’s urban rooftop-farm restaurant serves lunch, dinner, and weekend brunch with sweeping river views during summer months.

Cool off with a Summer Storm cocktail (white rum, rhubarb, ginger juice, and tarragon) before dining on seemingly endless dinner options, including ceviche, white-asparagus gazpacho, pea panna cotta with Peekytoe crab salad, and grilled rack of lamb with green chickpeas, cucumber, and mint.

Bring your friends and book a Farm Dinner, which includes three seasonal courses and is available for groups of 6–14. Farm Dinners are $85 per person.

(Photos: Apple Street Farm and Soter Vineyards)

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