One of many pre-cursors to Sub Rosa Supper Club’s formation was a series of orchard dinners I did with Old Hill Cider. The cidery would decorate a beautiful farm table set between the trees, we’d pick tomatoes from the greenhouse, apples and peaches from the orchard, source from northern Rockingham County farms, and throw one lovely dinner party. As it turns out, it’s a lot to have a working farm, a popular production cidery, hold events, run a tasting room, and keep several greenhouses growing and healthy. The Showalters decided to take down the greenhouses last year, but kept the tomato house and have turned it into a stunning event venue with jaw-dropping views. So of course we did a dinner there.
Jen had just returned from a trip to Hawaii and was inspired by the lush gardens, lavish spreads of fruit and veggies and fresh seafood and suggested we use the greenhouse to do a tropical dinner. It was a perfect fit for pairing cider and food, too, as the flavor profiles were a good match for mangoes, pineapple, curry, spicy fish, coconut and other menu ideas rolling around in my head.
Our table at this dinner was extra long to seat 42 guests. We had several pairs of tickets that were purchased at benefit auctions throughout the year—Second Home, Explore More Discovery Museum, Harrisonburg Education Foundation, and the Collins Center—that were cashed in to use at this dinner. Not to mention our own monthly donation to the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank. It felt good to have an event that benefitted so many in positive ways and to see full and happy hearts around our table.
OLD HILL CIDER
Tropical Fruit, Hibiscus, Virginia Strawberry Cider
PURPLE POTATO CHIPS
Crème Fraîche, Maui Onion, Macadamia, Chives
Apples, Roe, Roasted Chili, Wakame
Black Hawaiian Sea Salt
AVOCADO, MANGO, AND HERB SALAD
Compressed Melon, Grilled Shrimp
FRAGRANT THAI-STYLE CLAMS
Coconut Broth, Lemongrass, Keffir Lime
FISH SAMBAL IN BANANA LEAF
Rice, Paper Vegetables, Turmeric Eggs
Lemon-Ginger Granita, Cashew, Thai Basil
Photography by Sarah Featherstone.