Explore Your Hometown Eats with Restaurant Week

August can be a rough month for DC locals. It’s usually unbearably hot and humid, and many of our friends and family have managed to skip town. One great way to beat the heat and enjoy our great city this month? Take a stay-cation from the daily grind and explore our hometown eats during Restaurant Week.

From August 13-19, Farmers Restaurant Group will be participating in this annual tradition at five of our DC area restaurants: MoCo’s Founding Farmers (*note: MoCo runs from August 10-19), Founding Farmers Tysons, Farmers Fishers BakersFarmers & Distillers, and our newest location, Founding Farmers Reston Station. Each restaurant will offer a special three-course lunch for $22 and dinner for $35 – both menus will include one of our delicious desserts.

About 250 local restaurants will join Restaurant Association Metropolitan Week in what is one of the best food offerings of the year, and a great way to enjoy DC in August.

Join us and give yourself a late summer in-town break. It is sure to bring a breath of fresh air into an otherwise muggy season. We always recommend getting a reservation, if possible.

*Founding Farmers DC, located at 1924 Pennsylvania Ave., is not taking part in Restaurant Week 2018.

Welcome Founding Farmers King of Prussia to the Family

Today is a big day for us. We opened our first farmer-owned restaurant outside the DC metro area.

Located in a lively suburb of Philadelphia, we call Founding Farmers King of Prussia our modern Pennsylvania farmhouse.

Similar to its siblings, almost all of our delicious food and drink – from our fresh baked bread and house-churned butter to our craft cocktails featuring our proprietary spirits – is made from scratch, using high-quality ingredients direct from American family farms.

Today’s ribbon-cutting ceremony included brief remarks from Co-Owner Dan Simons and a gathering of some of our partners who help us provide our delicious scratch-made goodness for our guests to enjoy. Helping us celebrate today: Kevin Keany of Keany Produce Co, who supplies our fresh vegetables; Margo Sechler of Bell & Evans, who supplies all of our chicken; Rich Gallant of Leidy’s, who supplies our pork; Martin Dale of Trickling Springs Creamery, who supplies some of our dairy products; Lester Martin of Martin’s Quality Eggs, who supplies our farm-fresh eggs; and Chris Keith of Bubba’s Sweet Nectar, who supplies some of the delicious honey for our food and drink. The celebration even included a reception with some of our favorite foods.

Also in attendance was Congressman Tim Briggs from the Pennsylvania House of Representatives and new friends from the Upper Merion Township Board of Supervisors, the PA House of Representatives, Montgomery County Board of Commissioners, King of Prussia Business District (KOP-BID), as well as the Valley Forge Tourism & Convention Board.

On the first floor of the restaurant is our First Bake Cafe & Creamery where we bake all of our bread and pastries and churn all of our ice cream. Here, guests can get some of our menu items, including light fare, coffees and scratch sodas, fresh baked bagels, donuts and pies, and our famous house-churned ice cream, all available to go or to enjoy at our counter or one of our cafe tables.

Founding Farmers King of Prussia is now open for business 7 days a week, for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with brunch on Saturdays and Sundays.

Please help us welcome Founding Farmers King of Prussia to the family. Take a break from the hustle and bustle of DC and check it out. If possible, we always recommend making a reservation.

Breaking Bread with Farmer Talk at Restaurant High

Co-Owner Dan Simons participated in a panel at “Restaurant High: United Tastes of America” last week in downtown Washington, D.C. He joined hundreds of restaurant leaders, policymakers, investors, and supporters from across the United States to “break bread” at this two-day restaurant summit.

The “Building Successful Relationships with Farmers” panel focused on the challenges and opportunities farmers, chefs, and restaurateurs face in finding ways to work together. They also discussed how the concept of Farm to Fork could be successfully applied to multi-market operations. Simons spoke about working directly with our farmer owners of Farmers Restaurant Group and leveraging these relationships to connect with other family farmers across the U.S. The panel led to an invigorating and informative discussion.

Other panelists included Pamela Hess, Executive Director of Arcadia Center for Sustainable Food & Agriculture; Bennett Haynes, Chief of Product at Beefsteak Veggies; and Tucker Pforzheimer, Managing Partner of Martha’s Vineyard Mycological.

Restaurant High hosted a varied curriculum of panels and presentations including real food for everyone, expanding high-quality food across all parts of America, teen and young adults in the work force, food transparency in the age of fake news, and food trends.

Farmers & Distillers hosted an after party following the United Tastes of America Food & Job Mixer.

Young Washington Visits Mount Vernon

For a few hours this past Saturday night, Mount Vernon’s iconic lawn overlooking the Potomac River was filled with fine duds and mysterious masks for a moonlit Mount Vernon Masquerade party.

One guest, however, remained unmasked although some would say he was still in costume. Our Young Washington, who has become colloquially known as George with a Man Bun, left his home at Farmers & Distillers to be on display at the event. Artist Nathan Loda, who we commissioned to create this contemporary take on George Washington, was also in attendance. He spoke with guests, sharing the story behind the portrait.

The Farmers & Distillers team escorted Young Washington to the event and served one of our oft-featured craft cocktails, the American Buck, made with whiskey, aperol, lemon, ginger, and cane syrup.

It’s the Bee’s Knees Raising Money for Honey Bees

Buzz on over to one of our restaurants this week – Founding Farmers DC, Farmers Fishers Bakers, and Farmers & Distillers – for a taste of the Bee’s Knees. This delicious, Prohibition-era cocktail is being served as part of a nationwide effort to raise awareness and funds to support honey bees and other pollinators.

Between September 25th and October 1st, we are joining other restaurants and bars across the country in this year’s Bee’s Knees Week. Sponsored by Liquor.com and Barr Hill Gin, Bee’s Knees Week brings attention to the honey bee, not just for the tasty honey they provide for our drinks and food, but for their important role in our food supply and its biodiversity.

Join us for a Bee’s Knees and tell your friends and families (#DRINKBEESKNEES) all about the importance of our honey bees and other pollinators, and ways we can all celebrate and protect them this week and every week.

Farmers Restaurant Group will be donating a portion of our proceeds from the sales of this cocktail to the Pollinator Partnership, whose mission is to promote the health of pollinators through conservation, education, and research.

Bee’s Knees Week is just one piece of our ongoing efforts to protect the honey bee and the future of our food supply. We support research on honey bees at our urban apiary at George Washington University. We also support other education efforts, such as our partnership with Sweet Virginia, which works to inspire and educate children about honey bees.

Much Ado About Something: Community Partnership Night at DC’s Shakespeare Theatre

Farmers & Distillers helped the Shakespeare Theatre Company thank their community partners last night at a special reception in downtown DC. Local area corporations, law firms, members of Congress and Capitol Hill staffers, and individual donors all gathered for a night celebrating Shakespeare Theatre’s outstanding programs and performances.

Our team served a favorite craft cocktail, the Farm Daisy, hand-mixed from lemon, lemongrass, green chartreuse, and Founding Farmers Gin. Farmers & Distillers was among a group of other DC-area restaurants providing food and drinks for the event.

At Farmers Restaurant Group, we are always looking for ways to support our neighbors and neighborhoods. We are especially delighted to support the arts and the amazing cultural landscape of our city.

The Shakespeare Theatre Company is a DC cultural institution and has a number of programs designed to bring their programming to new and diverse audiences across the city and surrounding areas. One popular summertime tradition since 2009 is Free for All, which supports two weeks of free performances of Shakespeare works that wouldn’t otherwise be possible without many of the partners at last night’s reception. This year, Othello is playing through August 27th at the Sidney Harman Hall in downtown Washington, D.C.

 

Let Farmers & Distillers Wine and Dine You

You are officially invited to our delightful Wine Dinner at Farmers & Distillers on Thursday, June 22nd at 7 pm. Beverage Director Jon Arroyo joins winemaker Ben Jordan of Early Mountain Vineyards for an exquisite six-course dinner in our exclusive private dining room, the General’s Parlor.

Prepare to be wined and dined as we serve an array of decadent offerings from our Farmers & Distillers menu, including Kung Pao Chicken Dumplings, Crunchy Ahi Tuna Bites, Dry-Aged NY Strip and Parmesan Grits, and top it all off with our tasty Affogato dessert featuring house-made ice cream. Each course will be paired with a wine from Early Mountain Vineyards.

Farmers Restaurant Group, which owns and operates Farmers & Distillers, collaborated with the talented team of vintners at Early Mountain Vineyards in Madison, VA to handcraft our Virginia Vines Rosé. As our video tour of their vineyards reveals, their commitment to sustainable agriculture was a natural fit for all of our restaurants. We are delighted to bring more of their delicious wine to our guests for this special evening.

Tickets for the Wine Dinner evening are available for purchase here for $120, pricing includes tax and tip. Space is limited, so if you are hoping to join us, buy your ticket(s) today. If you can’t make it but want to join us at Farmers & Distillers for a meal paired with our delicious wine offerings another time, we always recommend making reservations.

Sip to Support Slow Food, All Negroni Week Long

Monday marks the start of Negroni Week, which runs June 5-11, 2017. This annual fundraiser put on by Imbibe magazine and Campari is no small affair. To date, $900K has been raised for charities nationwide.

A classic Negroni is made with gin, a bitter aperitif (such as Campari), sweet vermouth, and finished with an orange twist. Our challenge, led by our very own Jon Arroyo, was to join the celebration with our famous handcrafted flair using our very own proprietary spirits.

Our Negroni Sour is a smooth and creamy mix of amaro, Founding Farmers Gin, Campari, lemon, orange, and egg white. The Negroni Swizzle is a delightful mix of amaro, FF Gin, Campari, cinnamon, and lemon. We will also be serving a restaurant favorite, Buck’s Choice, which combines amaro, FF Gin, and aperol. (And, if you can get to Farmers & Distillers, these cocktails will feature our Founding Spirits Arroyo’s “Never Bitter” Amaro.) Each cocktail is available for $14.

All of these cocktails and more will be available at our DC Founding Farmers, Farmers Fishers Bakers, and Farmers & Distillers. Come give them a taste. We think you will agree that our takes on the traditional Negroni are worth the trip, even without the added bonus of raising money for a great charity.

This year, we are supporting Slow Food, a global, grassroots organization, founded in 1989 to “prevent the disappearance of local food cultures and traditions, counteract the rise of fast life, and combat people’s dwindling interest in the food they eat, where it comes from and how our food choices affect the world around us.”

Slow Food’s mission aligns with all of us at Farmers Restaurant Group, and we will be sharing part of our proceeds with this provocative global movement involving millions of people in 160 nations.

What more do you need to know? Join us next week! Come on down and sip to support Slow Food, all Negroni Week long.

Farmers & Distillers Reveals New Art That Honors Our First President’s Chefs

Last week, Farmers & Distillers and Galerie Myrtis joined together to host the unveiling of two portraits commissioned for the restaurant by figurative artist Ronald Jackson of the remarkable, enslaved cooks–Hercules and Old Doll–who worked at George Washington’s Mount Vernon estate during the mid to late 1700s.

The sold out event, held at our Mt Vernon Square restaurant, brought together guests from all over the DC area, including members of the art community, historians, and foodies, to celebrate and honor these two chefs and their contributions to our nation’s history and current culinary landscape.

Presentations included Dr. Joanne Hyppolite, Curator at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History & Culture, who discussed contributions of African Americans to America’s food culture; and Dr. Susan Schoelwer, Curator at Mount Vernon, who explained what is known about the extraordinary lives of Hercules and Old Doll and the plantation’s current exhibition on slavery, Lives Bound Together.

Hercules worked in Washington’s presidential kitchen in Philadelphia and on the Mount Vernon plantation. Jackson’s portrait honors him as the first presidential chef and a gifted culinarian. Old Doll, the plantation’s head cook, preceded Hercules in Washington’s kitchen. Jackson’s portrait pays homage to Old Doll’s cultivation of Hercules’ culinary skills and influence on American cuisine.

In creating Farmers & Distillers, we looked to George and Martha Washington and Mount Vernon for inspiration, and in the process, Hercules and Old Doll figured prominently. We wanted to share what we’ve learned and tell the story of our first president, his chefs, and our country’s past as clearly and honestly as we can. We hope our guests will see these portraits and read our menus, and be reminded that our founding father, the innovative and important George Washington, was a slave-holder and that his slaves worked under grave duress in gruelingly difficult scenarios. This is part of our nation’s history that must never be forgotten or overlooked.

Ronald Jackson embraced this project using his visually poetic style and keen interest in these chefs as individuals. We worked with him to help us tell their stories, honor their contributions to our country’s culinary history, and recognize them for what they would be today, celebrity chefs.

Both portraits will be permanently installed in the main dining room in the coming weeks, joining an expansive array of original art commissioned for Farmers & Distillers. More information about Farmers & Distillers, our artists, and their work, including photos and videos, is available online at Farmers&Distillers.com. Or come on by for a meal or a drink and see them for yourself.

*photo: Artist Ronald Jackson smiles as his portraits are unveiled at F&D, as FRG Owner Dan Simons looks on.