Dining for the Arts Still Available

by Paris Wolfe, Contributing Writer

If you haven’t purchased a dinner from the Dining with the Arts fundraiser, pick one soon. This isn’t just food, it’s an experience.  We were overwhelmed the Progressive Arts Dinner on July 14. After meeting at the home of Ashtabula Arts Center executive director Meeghan Humphrey we were shuttled to each of four courses held in lush garden settings at the countryside homes of four different artists.

Judy Campbell, owner of Bridge Street Artworks, and her husband Don offered a tour of his day lily hybridizing beds which included original lilies that he created. After that Judy provided canvases on which to paint lilies while quaffing wine punch. The brave in our bunch of eight diners sampled the edible day lilies in a fruited salad.

The next stop, Greg and Pat Seymour started with a savory bruschetta cheesecake and a selection of beverages including watermelon-bourbon punch. Part two of this second course included two soups – garden fresh tomato and coconut curry zucchini.  Between servings Greg demonstrated wood turning on his lathe and explained how Japanese artist George Nakashima’s respect for the tree has inspired his work.  (PHOTO)

Becca Stowell greeted us at the third stop where we dined on chicken and pork kebabs, risotto and fresh vegetables. Then, we played with clay as Becca showed up how to make hand-carved clay tiles.  (PHOTO)

And the finale was like coming home after a busy day. Blacksmith Ralph Bacon,  Meeghan’s husband, demonstrated in his forge. Then, we relaxed under an organic pergola woven of black locust saplings and glowing strings of lights. I was sated from earlier stops, but someone had to eat the peach dumpling with bourbon hard sauce and so I did.

Not all dinners are quite so interactive, but all have themes and generous menus served in lovely local homes and businesses that promise to be an experience. Get yours now at Dining for the Arts.


Space at Dining for the Arts events

We have some remaining spaces open at some of this year’s Dining for the Arts events. Below you’ll find events, dates, and menus. To reserve a place at an event and get details about locations, call the Arts Center at (440) 964-3396. (Please note that some events are small and may only have one or two openings left.)


Art in the Garden
Saturday, July 14 at 4 p.m.
$150 per person
Campbell Lily Garden – Acres of lillies in full bloom
Lily Salad, Crusty Bread, White Wine Punch, Iced Tea & Fresh Lemonade
Guided by Judy Campbell, guests will make their own small lily painting.
Seymour Gardens – Japanese Tea House & Dry Garden
Garden Fresh Tomato Soup, Coconut Curry Zucchini Soup, Bruschetta Cheesecake w/ Crostini & Crackers, Watermelon Bourbon Punch
Greg Seymour will demonstrate wood turning in his shop, and guests will take home a turned piece.
Stowell Deck – Relax in the shade of a massive silver maple tree with a view of the woods
Assorted Grilled Shish Kabobs, Risotto, Fruit Salad, Wine, Beer, & Water
Guided by Becca Stowell, guests will create a hand-carved clay tile.
Humphrey/Bacon Pergola by the Pond – finish the evening listening to frogs singing in the pond, and take a lantern-lit walk in the labyrinth or sit by the bonfire.
Peach Dumplings w/ Bourbon Hard Sauce, Baked Custard w/ Raspberry Topping, Ice Wine, Coffee, & Tea
Ralph Bacon will fire up the forge and invite guests to try their hand at hammering hot iron. Guests will receive a gift from the forge to take home.

Flavors of the Middle East: Dinner and a Show at the Ashtabula Arts Center
Saturday, July 21 at 5:45 p.m.
$65 per person – includes both dinner and ticket to Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
Hummus, Bread, Olives
Tabbouleh Salad
Lamb Shish Kabob w/ Vegetables over Rice, Grape Leaves,
Luban, Baked Kibbe (Lamb w/ Bulgur Wheat & Spices)
Cocktails, Baklava, Coffee, & Lemonade

Beachside Brunch at Lakehouse Inn
Saturday, August 5 at noon
$65 per person
4-5 farm-to-table, small plate courses specifically chosen within season, paired w/ wine, spirits, or aperitifs.

Harvest Dinner: Apple Cider & Timber Frames
Saturday, September 15 at 6:30 p.m.
$65 per person
Assorted Appetizers
County-Style Fried Chicken Dinner w/ Mashed Potatoes & All the Fixings
Apple Pie & Cake
Wine, Apple Cider, & Soft Drinks
All guests will receive a bottle of hand-pressed apple cider to take with them.

Oktoberfest: an Evening of Bavarian Tapas with Chef Lisa Delgado
Saturday, September 29 at 6 p.m.
$200 per person
Chapter One – Smoked Trout Plate w/ Horseradish Cream Sauce
Chapter Two – Spaetzle w/ Brown Butter, Lemon, & Herbs,
Seared Magret Duck Breast w/ Foie Gras
Chapter Three – “Wurst” Trio Plate: Wild Boar, Veal, & Knockwurst w/ Apple Mustard, Stone Mustard, & Local Honey Mustard,
Caramelized Onion, & Pretzel Bread
Chapter Four – Palate Cleanser of Lemon Sorbet
Chapter Five – Veal Schnitzel, Pan Fried w/ Housemade Pickled
Cabbage, Wild Mushroom, & Crispy Pork Crackings
Chapter Six – Saurkraut en Backteig: Deep-Fried Saurkraut & Jarlsburg Swiss, Potato Pancake w/ Crème Fraiche & Lingonberry Puree

Fall Dinner at the Winery
Wednesday, October 17 at 6:30 p.m.
$125 per person
Assorted Canapés
Grilled Octopus w/ Homegrown Potato,
Celery, & Parsley
Chicken & Duck Gallantine w/ Fig Chutney
Sous Vide Lamb Tenderloin w/ Smoked Eggplant Caviar,
Artichoke, & Roasted Tomatoes
Cast Iron Certified Angus Beef Chuck Steak w/ Braised Oxtail
& Barley Risotto
Warm Plum Clafoutis, Crème Fraiche Sorbet