Dirt Road Charm

Motherhood, Agriculture, and everything in between

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Farm to Plate with no guilt!

Last week I finally made it to the new(ish) Red Haven Restaurant that has been taunting me on social media with its amazing food pics for months!  What I found unique about this restaurant is that it advertised as farm to plate and is considered a small plates restaurant.  If you have never eaten at one of these the idea is small portions to share so you try multiple dishes among your couple or group.

You all know by now that I love anything that supports the farm and even local for that matter.  I was hesitant to what I would see when I went inside. I just imagined that since it sets right in the heart of East Lansing/Okemos, which for those of you that don't already know it is the epicenter of the one and only Michigan State University, their would be some agenda being pushed.  I assumed since local was their forte I would walk in to a menu that screamed organic, grass fed, hormone and antibiotic free, natural.....etc.   You get my point.  Having me sit there feeling guilty that I would rather have grain finished over grass fed and not caring if it was given hormones or antibiotics because I understand animal agriculture and trust those that raise my food and know they are doing what is best for the animal.

Once I walked in and looked around and got a good glance at the menu I was nothing but relieved, excited, and thankful!  None of my initial thoughts were validated.  I was able to try some amazing food and enjoy an atmosphere that didn't consist of fear marketing or pitting one industry against the other......Just good local food and for that Red Haven I THANK YOU!!!!!!

Now don't get me wrong, I have nothing against organic, natural, hormone/antibiotic free etc.  They all have a place in this wonderful food system we have.  I just get annoyed when people use fear marketing to sell a product.  It was refreshing to go somewhere of that caliber and the only agenda being pushed was Local (first).

Now onto the important stuff..........the FOOD!!
My taste buds haven't been on this type of overload in quite some time.  Everything I tasted was out of this world delicious and just to help you understand I took pics of everything I consumed so you can drool and instantly want to make a reservation.

Disclaimer: I was so excited to try the food many of these pics may not be the best quality because all I cared about was getting the food into my mouth.

We started out with these 2; the ravioli stuffed with chevre with a butternut squash sauce.  I hate goat cheese because it legit tastes like a goats udder smells, but this was phenomenal.  The cheese was mild and the sauce was pretty much amazing.  We also tried the truffle fries with a poached egg on top.  Sounds crazy but dipping the fries into the yolk was delish and lets be honest......truffle makes everything better.

This was by far my favorite dish of the night! Mini fajitas however the sauce they used is what made this dish.  The steak was perfect and the peppers were the perfect pair. You must try this!!!

We then had what you might call the "main" dish.  We chose the salmon and chicken.  Here is the salmon with roasted brussel sprouts over mashed parsnips.  I don't know if any of you have had mashed parsnips but they were delish and could seriously give potatoes a run for their money.

This was the chicken......and if I had to choose this one beats the salmon.  Don't get me wrong the salmon was great but this stuffed chicken made my taste buds dance!!  Not only was the chicken phenomenal but the green beans and roasted cauliflower were just as amazing.

Dessert........what everyone waits for. Why don't we start with dessert?  For real.......

We ended the delicious meal with dessert and french pressed coffee.  Nothing beats french pressed coffee friends.  Trust me.  The top one I have no idea what it was called but just imagine a huge lucky charms marshmallow with whipped topping and fruit and a lemon drizzle on the bottom.....fancify it by 1000 and that is what we had.  It was bangin!  The bottom was called candy bar and it was chocolate with a mint creme and raspberry drizzle.....omg friends....omg.

All I can say is if you are up in Michigan near MSU campus you must try this place out!  I can't rave enough about it and will now make it a staple when I am in the area!  Thanks again Red Haven for such a great experience!!



  1. All of that looks DELICIOUS! What a neat restaurant to go to. We have a small restaurant where we live (Wheat & Barley Pub in Echo, OR) and they try to incorporate local ingredients into their cooking - and while it may cost a little bit more, we love to go there because the food is fabulous and we like supporting a business who supports local (conventional and non-conventional) farmers.

  2. I'm sitting here in South Jersey, where so many outstanding restaurants are just a short drive away - and contemplating a (serious) ROAD-TRIP ! Man, that write up has made me H-U-N-G-R-Y!

    1. Tony it would definitely be worth the road trip! :)