Best of the Day: Alden & Harlow’s Whole Garden Dinners – July 22, 2015

Chef Michael Scelfo shines a spotlight on local farms with “produce-centric” dinners.

Welcome to Best of the Day, our daily recommendation for what to check out around town. If you do one thing in Boston today, consider this.


Alden & Harlow’s Whole Garden Dinners / Courtesy photo

Once upon a time, Quincy Market wasn’t full of herds of tourists—it was full of swinging beef carcasses. For nearly 150 years, New England farmers used to haul their meats and produce there to sell them to grocers. After the 1970s, though, the farmers were pushed out of the heart of the city and off to Chelsea. The move reflected Americans’ general relationship to agriculture: For decades, it’s been relatively rare for the average consumer to be able to get face time with the people actually growing their food. That’s changing, thanks to the advent of the locavore movement. But farmers still frequently find themselves the unsung heroes of the dinner table.

Not so at Harvard Square’s Alden & Harlow, where local farms taking center stage this summer. Starting this week, chef Michael Scelfo is bringing back his Whole Garden Dinners. Every Wednesday from now through early September, Scelfo will be serving up four courses—three savory, one sweet—of family-style dishes that shine a spotlight on local farms’ summer harvest. The “produce-centric” menus will showcase a slew of fellow Best of Boston winners, such as Island Creek Oysters, Formaggio Kitchen, Siena Farms, and Taza Chocolate. But you better pounce on those tickets fast: There are only 10 seats per dinner.

Here’s the full lineup:

July 22: Brambly Farms
July 29: Island Creek Oysters
August 5: Formaggio Kitchen
August 12: Siena Farms
August 19: Land’s Sake
August 26: Sparrow Arc
September 2: Taza Chocolate
September 9: Stillman’s at the Turkey Farm

Tickets are $80 ($110 with wine pairing), dinners start at 6:30 p.m., Alden & Harlow, 40 Brattle St., Cambridge, 617-864-2100, RSVP to