“7:30 should be perfect,” I texted Daniel, giving him the go-ahead to make our dinner reservations for the next day. It has become something of a tradition for us to go on adventures instead of dates, but most of those adventures tend to involve food nonetheless. I had been craving a quiet getaway and he had been craving good food (as usual), so County Seat in Livingston seemed like a natural choice.
We set out from the capitol around 7 p.m. that Saturday evening to make the trek to the country, and as it turns out, 7:30 really was the perfect time for our reservations. The buildings and bustle of the city faded behind us, giving way to rolling farmland painted gold by what was turning into a spectacular sunset. This delightfully pastoral drive immaculately set the scene for the unforgettable farm-to-table dining experience to follow.
We were seated at a comfortable private booth with the perfect view of County Seat’s open live kitchen and presented with the most delicious biscuits either of us had ever tasted. Perfectly fluffy while simultaneously being delightfully dense with an enticingly crunchy outer layer, these biscuits could be described as nothing less than life changing. County Seat had boldly set the bar very high from the get-go.
Our high expectations were met with our drinks – the Southern Fizz, a refreshing (albeit heavy-handed, but I’m not complaining) bourbon cocktail for me and the cocktail of the day, a beautifully in-season blueberry and bourbon mixture, for Daniel (always the adventurer). With our anticipation rising and inhibition lowering, we eagerly ordered the shrimp and crab gratin at the suggestion of our knowledgeable server to enjoy as an appetizer.
Shortly thereafter came the main event, the entrees that we had been dreaming about since making the reservation the day before. What we didn’t know, however, was that farm-to-table meant bringing the entire farm to the table. In a matter of seconds, our table was overflowing with roasted balsamic brussels sprouts, brie mac and cheese and spinach and mushroom risotto, not to mention Daniel’s perfectly-cooked filet and my zesty Gulf red snapper.
After picking away at this farm fresh feast for as long as we could, we finally accepted defeat and had the leftovers boxed up. We caught our breath and decided that we wouldn’t give up quite that easily, if only because Daniel can’t resist dessert. It seemed only natural to end the meal with blueberry cobbler topped with a refreshing scoop of vanilla ice cream.
With our bellies full and lunch for tomorrow packed neatly into a brown paper bag, we meandered back to the car. We drove with the windows down on the way home, letting the summer night air kiss our skin, listening to the soft bluegrass tunes serendipitously flowing from the radio and looking forward to the sound sleep that was sure to follow such an indulgent meal and restorative evening in the countryside.