Specialty Dinners: The Heirloom Tomato Jubilee

The Pittsboro Roadhouse’s owner, Chef Greg Lewis, was known for his wine dinners when he owned Errico’s an Italian Restaurant in Cary, North Carolina. An amazing five course menu would be developed and five amazing wines would be paired with them. A wine expert would inform about the origins and characteristics of each wine, for an educational and and delightful evening.

At the Pittsboro Roadhouse, on the occasion of the first anniversary, we paired with Deep Chatham Gardens’ Billy Mason for a dinner featuring – yes – “Heirloom Tomatoes!”

Billy Mason summed up the event thus:

The dinner sold out in reservations and several other people joined at the last minute.

Chef David Carlin made magnificent use of all 9 varieties of heirloom tomatoes I grew for the restaurant.

The appetizer was a balsamic tomato and strawberry bruschetta (on toasted bread). 
It was a great introduction to how creative David and the Roadhouse kitchen are on a daily basis as this was a regular item on their summer menu.

The first course was a sampler plate of each variety of heirloom tomato slices, so that everyone could see and taste the individuality of the varieties of tomatoes alone and were served with 4 flavored salts: kosher, Merlot, habenero and smoked. Every tomato slice elicited comments of amazement and pleasure  with the unexpected intensity and diversity of taste, aroma and texture variations of  each tomato.

The second course was a cold tomato gazpacho soup. The large bowl of red soup was crowned with a dallop of finely diced green tomato pickles that Chef Carlin had prepared. The gazpacho was full of creamy tomato flavors that the green tomato pickles opened and excited the palate to enjoy.

The entre’ course was a large portion of heirloom tomato and local veggie lasagna.
The pasta was handmade by Chef Carlin and enhanced the textures of the multi layered extravaganza of tastes and aromas. All who attended were entranced wondering what could do justice to all that had come before.

The dessert course was a scoop of heirloom tomato ice cream that Chef Carlin and Roadhouse owner, Greg Lewis had composed and refined over the course of several days. The presentation was beautifully enhanced by a basil infused short bread cookie and all was drizzled with a balsamic chocolate reduction sauce.

It was an astonishing culinary creation that no one had ever imagined as a possibility!
It was an amazing completion of a beautiful and delicious meal.

Specially chosen wines for each course were also available as well as mixed drinks that everyone enjoyed and commented on.

There was a welcome and introduction give by owner Greg Lewis, a talk about the conception and creation of the meal by Chef Carlin and a sharing by Billy Mason about his passion for Chatham County, organic gardening, heirloom tomatoes and working with the Roadhouse.

The attendees all conversed and commented with each other like a happy family meal, which is the essence of the finest qualities of Pittsboro and Chatham County.

This was the first Special Event Dinner menu at the Pittsboro Roadhouse Restaurant and more are in planning for the future.