Out and About in DC: Dirty Dinner at Calleva Farm


photo courtesy of calleva.org

There are so many great things to do in the DC metro area that I don’t think I have even skimmed the surface after living here for 12 years.  Then children come along and your ambitious plans for new adventures slow to a crawl.  Fortunately, the husband and I do get out every once in a while.  So on a hot but manageable July Saturday, we were fortunate enough to enjoy an evening at Calleva Farm in Dickerson, Maryland in late July.  You may ask how did I hear about Calleva Farm.  The answer is easy.  A Dirty Dinner for Four was an item up for bid at our children’s school auction.  We won the Dirty Dinner, asked some friends to join us, and we headed out for an evening of live music, local food and wine and an evening in the countryside.

This is the information provided on their website:


Dirty Dinners at Calleva Farm is a series of unique evenings in the countryside, featuring local ingredients, local wines and live music on our beautiful farm in Dickerson, MD. The past 2 seasons have been everything we’d hoped for: brilliant groups of guests, great music, absolutely delicious food (if we do say so ourselves), and being selected “Best of” with Bethesda Magazine and “Things to Do” for Washingtonian. We love the way the Dirty Dinners series reflects Calleva’s mission & values by introducing people to the beauty of the great outdoors in Montgomery County’s Agricultural Reserve. Dinner ingredients are mostly grown at Calleva Farm, plus additional produce from other area producers & wines from local vineyards. Our dairy products come from South Mountain Creamery. A typical Dirty Dinners evening at Calleva Farm: 5-6 pm Social Hour, Hay Rides & Garden Tours; 6:15-9:30 pm Dinner, Music & Dancing.

I really had little expectation going into the event.  I was looking forward to adult time since we rarely get any.  It was a long ride from DC and the most unexpected part of the evening happened when we rounded a bend in the road and came upon a ferry…White’s Ferry.  Maybe I am the only DC resident that didn’t know there was still a ferry service across the Potomac.  Needless to say, it was a safe and secure ride from Virginia to Maryland and then a quick hop to Calleva Farm.


Upon arrival at the Farm, we parked and headed up for a mocktail, tour of the farm, a hayride and even made some picked vegetables.  Out of these four activities, I enjoyed the mocktails the best.  There were two to choose from:  fizzy blueberry lavender lemonade and skinny hot pepper peacharita.  I dove in for the blueberry and absolutely loved it.  The rest of my party sampled the peacharita and liked it but not as much as the blueberry.  It had a bit of spice and on a hot evening maybe not what the doc ordered.


After the mocktail hour, we sat down for dinner and live music.  Dinner was 6 courses of farm to table items and the wait staff described to us what each would be.  If I am honest, my party observed that the wait staff was giving different nuggets of information, and sometimes our wait staff didn’t give us the run down at all.  Not a dinner ruiner but maybe just something they need to clean up for future events.  I enjoyed the menu selection as there were a few items on the menu I wouldn’t normally order like the crunchy radish and dill salad.  It was delicious.  I also enjoyed the soup course as well as the summer squash fritter.  My only complaint about dinner would be the extended time between each serving.  It caused dinner to drag a bit but thank goodness for our friends and good conversation.  Wine was also served from local vineyard Black Ankle.  They offered both a white and red with our meal.  After dinner, they had a bonfire with tea and coffee service.  The music and atmosphere put you at ease and was quite relaxing.  We left soon after dinner because as I mentioned earlier, it was a bit of a drive from Capitol Hill  and we all needed to relieve our babysitters.  We can’t use and abuse our dear babysitters!




All in all, Dirty Dinner was a surprisingly enjoyable event that got us out of the concrete jungle for the night.



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