Tonight we discovered a hidden gem.

Just 10 minutes away from us, where the suburban development gives way to parched corn fields, dense trees, and long grasses, is a white barn with a bright mural painted (and peeling) on the front.

Inside, there are two long rows of tables covered in white tablecloths, a white board with the night’s menu, and Nalini, the 14?-year-old daughter of the owners. She’s the teeniest, tiniest girl with an open smile and a measured voice. Once she explains the restaurant to us (“We have a CSA but we’re letting the land rest this year. In the restaurant, we a set menu every night for $17.95. Tonight’s special is masala chicken over jasmine rice, sauteed spinach, cucumber yogurt salad, red beans in a coconut tomato sauce, potato and eggplant chutney, and felafel.”) she asks us if we want to sit inside or out.

Outside! Because look at the view from our picnic table:

As Brad and I wait for our meal we talk about how strange it is to find an all-organic, seasonal restaurant on a family farm so close to where we live. And how come we’ve never heard of it before? We’re no Alice Waters, but we have a pretty good handle on who the major organic farm players are around here.

When Nalini brought our meal, I almost squealed!

I can’t begin to tell you how tender the chicken was. I spooned homemade tamarind sauce (sort of like tropical molasses) over every bite and sopped up every last drop of yogurt and bean sauce with the rice.

And then we thought, how charming is this? We’re eating a healthful, local dinner under a tree in a summer evening sunlight. We can see the farm off to our right. We can hear the birds singing. We can feel the soft breeze. This is happiness. Not the crazy, heart-leaping-out-of-your-chest happiness, but the solid, sweet, surprising kind.

Want to go? Call ahead to see what the menu is and pick us up on the way.

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