My grandparents and great grandparents always topped their dining tables with ingredients straight from their farms and gardens for every breakfast, lunch and dinner. The scenery surrounding my Tennessee family was filled with mountains, gardens that span a few acres, cows, chickens, 4-wheelers and a dual purpose fresh water spring that served as our pool, and also kept our parent’s beer bottles ice cold. After every visit, we’d leave with a bag full of homemade canned green beans, strawberry preserves, and sauerkraut. Snapping beans for canning was just something we all did while running our mouths to one another.
If you’ve visited Backwoods Crossing, then you’ve definitely been introduced to fresh ingredients straight from farm to fork, brought to you by brothers Jesse and Tyler Rice. I’m not sure that it gets more fresh than a farm tractor parked right behind your restaurant. Backwoods Crossing is a bit hard to define to someone that’s never been there because they’ve certainly created a unique space for themselves in Tallahassee, and I can assure you, this is one of the many reasons they are so popular. They’re gardens and interior decor are very southern, yet their menu is hardly casual featuring the culinary endeavors of their creative chefs. In short, “upscale southern”, perhaps?
When you arrive, you’re greeted by their beautiful garden that supplies the ingredients featured all over their food and beverage menus. What started as a few raised beds to produce the restaurant’s fresh herbs, eventually morphed into a full 3.5 acre farm! I probably took too many pictures, but I just couldn’t help myself.
There was a bit of a wait, but we certainly didn’t mind in our beautiful surroundings. We found a seat at the bar and ordered two things highly recommended at the group, the Cream Cheese Stuffed Crab appetizer and the blueberry Cultivated Farmer cocktail featuring their very own blueberry syrup, lemon, Farmer’s Organic Gin, and a frothy egg white. After our appetizer, we ordered a couple more cocktails and enjoyed them outside. Round two for me was their “perfect for summer” New Moon blueberry mojito, and my husband had another Summer Showers gin cocktail, which fit the moment as we were dodging rain drops the entire evening.
While we almost ordered cream cheese stuffed blue crab again and again for our entire meal, we did decide to switch things up a bit. We went for another appetizer and considered the, also highly recommended at the group, Mahan Moz Logs. Since we’d just had a fried appetizer, our server Olivia suggested the Blairstone Basil Buttons and they were so amazing! They were giving me caprese vibes with the cheese (Parmesan), tomato, and basil (pesto). The mushrooms disappeared quick!
My husband started with the Blue Crab Corn Bisque, and this may be the only corn anything I’ve ever loved. It won me over, yet as a non-corn lover, this is something I would have never ordered for myself. I will definitely have a bowl of my own next time. I had a salad with a mix of balsamic and blue cheese dressings on the side. Mixing the two has been my thing lately. You should try it!
I had a lot of trouble deciding on an entree because they have SO many wonderful options to choose from. I knew I wanted fish, so I ordered from their specials menu. The banana leaf wrapped sea trout is seasoned to perfection and topped with a cantaloupe chutney, served with a side of cilantro-lime rice and red pepper coulis. This dish was art, beautifully plated and it was so very delicious! Simply amazing. My husband had the beef stroganoff and claimed it was the best he’d ever had, even better than mine, but I’ll take that coming from a kitchen of trained professionals!
So come to find out, I got super lucky with my dessert choice. I asked about their creme brûlée flavor of the day and was excited when Olivia responded, “chocolate”!!! Chocolate anything is all I’ll ever order from a dessert menu. They have a regular that dines there 2-3 times a week that highly requested the chocolate, they haven’t served it in over a year, made a batch just for her, and I happen to request it the same exact day. I was already super stuffed from my dinner, yet cleared every amazing bite of this dish. I let our server know that I was starting a petition to get their chocolate creme brûlée in regular rotation on their desserts menu. It was rich, chocolatey greatness! My husband only had one bite, I had the rest and had to take deep breaths afterwards before I could remove myself from the bench and out the front door. I was uncomfortable, in the best way possible.
I’m so happy we chose Backwoods Crossing to celebrate our anniversary and my husband’s birthday. I can’t wait to go back again, hopefully very soon!