Bites: The Fareground pop-up dinner, tomato tasting, Garin Apple Festival

Scene from a past Fareground dinner. Photo: Lorren Butterwick

LEAVES AND FLOWERS FAREGROUND DINNER The Fareground is the brainchild of Lorren Butterwick. Through her work as the assistant winemaker at Berkeley’s biodynamic winemaker Broc Cellars, Butterwick has always been interested in the people — the farmers, winemakers and foodmakers — who craft the ingredients of all that delicious stuff we get to eat in the Bay Area. She started an intimate pop-up dinner called The Fareground as a way for these local makers to tell their stories over a meal that complements their ingredients. The featured maker or farmer sits at the table with diners over a multi-course dinner prepared by chef Juliet Orbach, with wines chosen by Butterwick. Butterwick told Nosh that she hopes through meeting the farmers and makers, diners will better understand the hard work, dedication and passion that goes into making the food they’re consuming. And at the end of the meal, guests will have the opportunity to buy the products of the featured makers, to enjoy in their homes. So far, there have been two Fareground dinners, with Martha Stoumen Wines in June and Flatlands Oil and Mills in July. For the upcoming third edition of The Fareground on Sept. 30 (the date was recently changed from Sept. 16), Butterwick has invited Leaves and Flowers, a Berkeley-based loose-leaf tea company started by Anna Morton and Emily Erb. Both Morton and Erb will be at the dinner to share their infusions of wild herbs and flowers, as well as discuss how they choose and source them. As of now, the menu is still being solidified, but Butterwick hinted that Orbach will probably be poaching chicken or fish in a special tea created by Leaves and Flowers for this dinner. Orbach, who is half-Iranian, finds inspiration in Persian food, and many of her dishes incorporate the cuisine’s fresh herbs and bright flavors, which should pair naturally with herbal teas. Butterwick said for the upcoming dinner, she’ll be choosing light-bodied reds, rosés and white wines that won’t overpower the teas or the dishes for the night. Although menu details are still scant (Butterwick said the menu will take shape a couple of weeks before the dinner, when she, Orbach, Morton and Erb will all sit-down and discuss ingredients and flavors), it sounds like the makings of a dinner to remember. Tickets for the meal are $60 (seating is limited to 25 people, max). Fareground 003 // Leaves and Flowers takes place at 5 p.m. on Sept. 30 at an undisclosed location in Berkeley; the exact address will be revealed to diners once tickets are purchased online.  

Apple tasting at the Garin Apple Festival. Photo: Garin Regional Park

GARIN APPLE FESTIVAL The end of summer means saying good bye to all those juicy berries and stone fruits, but fortunately, we’re just about to hit peak apple season. If these crisp fruits are the apple of your eye (sorry, we couldn’t help it), you’ll want to hit this week’s Garin Apple Festival in Hayward, where you’ll find an antique apple orchard rife with about 200 heirloom varieties, some of which you won’t find anywhere else. The fest takes place at Garin Regional Park, the site of the former Garin Ranch, which was sold to the East Bay Regional Park District in 1966. This annual apple festival celebrates its special agricultural history with some old-timey fun, including apple tasting, hand-cranked ice cream and apple cider pressing. There’ll also be family-friendly games, crafts, live folk music and naturalist-led talks about the park’s history as a ranch. The festival is free, but parking is $5. The Garin Apple Festival takes place from noon to 4 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 9, at Garin Regional Park, 1320 Garin Ave. in Hayward.

TOMATO TASTING Of course, we couldn’t forget that other fruit that’s currently in season — the tomato! If you’re fortunate, you’re already growing a bounty in your garden, but if you’re not a green thumb (yet) and still have questions about how and what tomatoes to grow next year, you’ll want to stop by the Berkeley Horticultural Nursery this Saturday, where you’ll have a chance to taste a variety of tomatoes. There’ll be samples of 25 different varieties — including Cherokee Purple, Striped German and oh-so-Berkeley variety, the Berkeley Tie-Dye —  grown by Kassenhoff Growers in Oakland and Starberry Growers in Nevada City. Local guitarist and songwriter David Gans will provide the soundtrack for the late morning tasting. The tomato tasting takes place from 10 to noon at Berkeley Horticultural Nursery, 1310 McGee Ave. (between Hopkins and Rose), in Berkeley.

TOMATO-FRIENDLY WINES You know who’s excited about tomato season? Kermit Lynch in Berkeley, that’s who! So much so, that the wine seller has compiled a 12-bottle sampler of wines that go well with tomatoes, whether they be fresh off the vine, straight from the can or stewed for hours into your favorite sauce. To get an idea of what comes in this sampler, here are three of the 12 bottles: La Viarte Friuli Colli Orientali Pinot Grigio 2016, Roland Lavantureux Petit Chablis 2015 and Charles Jouget Chinon “Les Petites Roches” 2014. The tomato sampler is $173, which is 25% off the price if you bought all 12 bottles individually — so, not cheap, but if you live for tomato season, this could be that treat-yo-self splurge you’ve been waiting for all summer. Kermit Lynch is at 1605 San Pablo Ave. (at Cedar) in Berkeley.


Feed the Hood. Photo: The East Oakland Collective

FEED THE HOOD If you’ve been wondering how you can help people who are currently living on the streets, here’s a community event worth adding to your schedule — Feed the Hood. Community group East Oakland Collective (EOC) and nonprofit Struggle 2 Bubble Foundation are joining forces to host this event, where participants will assemble and distribute bagged lunches and hygiene bags to people living in homeless encampments throughout Oakland. The group is asking those who’d like to participate to either donate food items (e.g. loaves of bread, lunch meat, juice boxes, cases of water) or personal care products (e.g. socks, feminine hygiene products, travel-size bottles of lotion or mouth wash), or make a monetary donation so that food and supplies can be purchased. RSVP at http://bit.ly/feedthehood2Feed the Hood takes place at 7:30 a.m. on Sept. 17 at San Antonio Park, 1701 E. 19th St. (at 17th Ave.), Oakland. 

FRIDAY NIGHT PINTS + PINBALL And finally, here’s one for all you pinball wizards: Scarlet City Espresso Bar has a new weekly offer just for you. Last week on Instagram, the café announced that on Friday afternoons customers will get a free game of pinball with every pint of draft beer purchased between the hours of 4 and 8 p.m. The current line-up of machines at Scarlet City (a known hangout for pinball fanatics and sci-fi lovers) includes Creature from the Black Lagoon, Radical!, the Sopranos, Star Trek, Star Trek: The Next Generation and TRON: Legacy. Beers on tap include brews from Line 51 and Federation Brewing. Scarlet City Espresso Bar, 3960 Adeline St. (at Yerba Buena), Emeryville.